Opinion

Jay Evensen: Why are you really leaving, Jason Chaffetz?

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  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 24, 2017 3:58 p.m.

    If Jason is a lawyer then he knows full well he can make alot more money at a law firm than in fighting Democrats. I say go for it Jason!!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 24, 2017 10:39 a.m.

    @loweye 4:13,
    RE: "So I guess I'm a drain on society"...
    ---
    I didn't say you were a drain on society. Read my post. Don't assume.

    ===

    RanchHand -10:12 a.m.
    RE" @2 bits; Funny thing about your comment. You imply that the 24 Million Americans Trump will kick off health care are not taxpayers too.
    ---
    No. In fact I said the exact opposite.

    Read my post. I said "319 million American tax payers".
    Google "Population of USA". It's 319 Million. So I clearly included all of us in the "tax payer" category. We all pay taxes.

    Where did I say the 24 million are not tax payers?

    ===

    I wish you guys would quit speaking for me, and saying I said things I didn't say, in your assuming I say what you think I should say (according to your political stereotypes).

    I only said he may have been talking about Trump being for all Americans (not just the 24 million in CBI report, but the whole 319 million who pay taxes)

    Sometimes politicians focus on the poor, or the rich. I hope Trump is for ALL Americans (rich and poor). We are all tax payers. Even Loweye who doesn't pay Federal Income Taxes, pays other taxes.

    I'm saying a President who's for the tax payers is for all of us.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2017 12:25 p.m.

    @Eastern Co Coug "Socialism and religion clash."

    When socialist sci-fi writer wanted to find in his view the most socialist part of the U.S. he found it in 1890's Brigham City. The result was the famous sci-fi novel "Looking Backward."

  • Eastern CO Coug Elizabeth, CO
    April 22, 2017 6:43 p.m.

    I am so amazed by the comments on this article. Have the liberals taken over Utah? Or is it that Liberals/media try to shout down everybody that opposes them? Real freedom of speech! Trump won for several reasons. People see our values go down a rat hole and many fine religious people held their noses while they voted for Trump. At least he wanted to give back the country to the people. People like Chaffetz for many reasons. People have had enough of this government and the socialist push of the left. Colorado has gone liberal and we are becoming a huge social mess here. California here we come! CA is broke and ONLY the Feds are keeping the state from collapsing. Go Greece and Spain and EU! The far left will first push medical marijuana - then recreational marijuana. Youth in CO have big time access to Marijuana. Lives are being ruined. Religion is out of most people's lives here and families are a mess. Socialism and religion clash. Watch out Christians and Guns. Drugs are more than fine though.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    April 22, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    Run Jason the sky is falling. Save yourself and never mind all the damaged you have caused.

    Soon Donald J. Trump's Russian connection will be exposed and he will be impeached! All near him will jump from office to save themselves.

    Billionaires in government office? Now that is funny!

  • Lew Elton Jeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2017 12:09 a.m.

    @2bits "Read the CBI report that estimated as many as 24 million fewer may be insured by 2026. Didn't say anybody would be kicked off. It said up to 24 million may decide they can't afford insurance."

    Of course these means 24 million people without health care. And you wonder why so many are angry and scared.

    I can promise you something 2bits. If this goes down there will be a socialist revolt in this country! I guarantee it.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    April 21, 2017 10:21 p.m.

    I love my home state and miss so many things about it. But I haven't missed our political naÏvetÉ.

    There are situations & occasions when going with a highly skilled outsider is best, but this should be uncommon in politics. Deep-rooted bonds greatly influence what receives attention. Yet like Cannon, Hatch, Romney & Lee, Chaffetz didn't grow up here. He (or in Lee's case, his father) only came to Utah to attend BYU, with no intention of staying permanently. None of them has ancestors from Utah or a material Utah heritage at all. They were barely permanent residents of Utah before being elected to Washington, where he has spent the majority of his time since. And in Washington he has focused extensively on (1) building his national brand image via committee work, and (2) doing the weird "fundraising calls down the street for many hours every week" thing, -- both at the expense of time working on Utah's behalf. It's a bad pattern. Even "native son" Bob Bennett lived in Washington the majority of his life. I say this with respect, but he chose to spend his final days and to pass away in Washington because it was home for him.
    Utah's electoral culture is truly broken.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    April 21, 2017 4:32 p.m.

    Frozen Fractals

    You said: "a retiring member of Congress can focus more on doing what they feel is right rather than feeling like they need to do what is necessary to be re-elected".

    Would that this is what most retiring members do. However, many of them go on to make buckets of money based on who/what they know about how things really work in Washington DC.

    Going to work in Corporate America is bad enough, but so many retired members of Congress and the Senate become lobbyists. (So do many of their family members.) Their ought be a special place in the afterlife for those who now peddle their influence and contacts like this. A common thief has more honor.

  • loweye salt lake, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:13 p.m.

    2bits,

    You're right about tax payers paying for insurance. That's why the 1% won't be paying for insurance--because they DON'T pay taxes. The Paul Ryan version of healthcare was meant to save money by making the lower income Americans pay for it so that the big money makers can have yet another perk. Trump has made that his rich donars become even more rich.

    And it's true that most of the poor you look down on are working. They're rightfully called the working poor. And many of them don't pay taxes because they don't make enough.

    I have not paid taxes for years because I was one of those working poor and since I retired last year I have even less to pay taxes on. So I guess I'm a drain on society, a society that has really never existed, except for the rich.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:34 p.m.

    The Donald and coming storm.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:00 p.m.

    On the plus side, a retiring member of Congress can focus more on doing what they feel is right rather than feeling like they need to do what is necessary to be re-elected.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 21, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    Jay Evensen: Why are you really leaving, Jason Chaffetz?

    ======

    My 2 guesses :

    1. Family trouble.
    or
    2. [and most likely] the bully-in-chief Donald Trump threatened him if ever investigated him.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 21, 2017 10:12 a.m.

    @2 bits;

    Funny thing about your comment. You imply that the 24 Million Americans Trump will kick off health care are not taxpayers too.

    I guess they don't deserve coverage though. After all, they're just poor.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 21, 2017 9:54 a.m.

    Oh, please . . . everybody knows why Chaffetz is quitting now. There's nothing to "investigate" now that the Republicans are in charge, so he's losing his spotlight.

    Back in Utah, he'll pick up some big cash from the MLMs he used to work for and then run for governor, and then president, and why not "Dancing with the Stars"?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 21, 2017 9:08 a.m.

    @Misty,
    RE: "Kicking tens of millions off health insurance is putting America first?"
    ---
    In a way... yes.

    To see how it's putting Americans first, you have to look at America as a whole. People receiving subsidized health insurance are not the only Americans. Trump is for the hundreds of millions of American Tax Payers too. They are Americans too you know.

    Maybe that's what Gravy was getting at. I'm not sure. But I know tax payers are Americans too. And I'm glad we have a President who cares about us too now.

    To put it in perspective... there are 319 million American tax payers. If 24 Million decided insurance is too expensive and drop it, he could still be for Americans if he is for the tax payers.

    BTW... I think Trump cares about the poor too. GOP plan included subsidies for the poor. GOP plan did not kick anybody off their insurance.

    Read the CBI report that estimated as many as 24 million fewer may be insured by 2026. Didn't say anybody would be kicked off.

    It said up to 24 million may decide they can't afford insurance.

    That may happen by 2026 under ACA as well. Insurance premiums are going up each year. Especially ACA plans.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    April 21, 2017 9:04 a.m.

    Rep Chaffetz apologists suggest we should take him literally and at his word for leaving his office.

    Funny, Rep Chaffetz rarely did that when pursuing Democrats and alleged misdeeds.

    I suppose once again, sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    April 21, 2017 8:11 a.m.

    @Herbert Gravy wrote, "Sorry, but we do not have a "despicable" President. Any more than the one we had for the past 8 years. [We have] someone who puts America first! "

    Weekly trips to go golfing in your own resort--with the government having thousands for the golf cart rental fees for the Secret Service people!--is putting America first, yes?

    Putting your family on the government payroll shows a touching concern for America--yes? Along with doing everything you can to keep under wraps your connections with Russia?

    Kicking tens of millions off of health insurance is putting America first? Are these people not "America"? Or are they all "losers"--and losers don't count?

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    April 21, 2017 7:21 a.m.

    Sorry, but we do not have a "despicable" President. Any more than the one we had for the past 8 years.

    Finally, someone who puts America first! You cannot help someone else if you are not strong yourself.

    😁

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    April 21, 2017 7:19 a.m.

    NoNames wrote, "We do not pay congressmen enough to maintain two homes, one of which needs to be in the DC area, one of the most expensive markets I the nation. For the truly honest and ethical, congressional service is a real sacrifice."

    Not true. There are any number of perks, from housing allowances to paid airfare home (with free parking at the airport) that come on top of the official salary. Of course, if he sleeps in his office, he gets to pocket that, too.

    More telling question: Why didn't he just move his family to DC--or at least close by (e.g. Maryland / Virginia) for the rest of his term? Lots of congressmen do just that.

    Regarding the domain names he just registered a few weeks ago--that was then. Many scandals were kept under wraps for years--and then came to light with only a few days warning. Bob Livingston can tell you about that. So can Newt Gingrich. And Aaron Schock. And Dennis Hastert.

  • PamFlinders Sandy, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:56 p.m.

    As a lifelong Republican I am very embarrassed with the state of our politics now. Republicans talked for eight years to about how they had the answers to the pressing issues of our nation and now they finally have the reins it comes to light that there was never really a plan at all, except to lower taxes for the wealthy.

    The last eight years Rep Chaffetz got to play the defender of conservative values without actually having to commit or do anything. Now that he's getting shade for not investigating his own party and criticism for his party's laws, and he's not having fun anymore.

    It's easy to look at someone else's work and find flaws. It's far harder to create something. I hope the person who replaces him is ready to work and get things done - even if it means reaching across the aisle occasionally (gasp! the horror!)

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    April 20, 2017 10:42 p.m.

    Read the article on the domain names he registered. His next move is probably going after Hatch's or Lee's senate seat as a launch pad for his presidential bid.

    I can't imagine that tea party demagogue as the leader of the free world. That'd be like, I don't know -- like having some dark & crazy billionaire businessman in the oval office.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:34 p.m.

    Gettin' while the gettin's good.
    Someone in an oversight role should have seen it coming. It's going to splatter far and wide.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 9:53 p.m.

    Until Utah Republicans come to understand the despicable president we have elected and everything which trails from him, they will not understand what is happening in the congress and the administration: Chaffetz, Nunes, Carter Page, and the list will only grow.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 9:47 p.m.

    I very much hope Chaffetz really just wants to get out of the Washington swamp, and that's it. But what breeds suspicion has been his absolute refusal to examine the Russian involvement with Trump's election. He was so eager to nail Clinton to the barn door, and at the same time so circumspect with Trump, around whom there are questions galore. Why has Chaffetz dodged his responsibility with Trump?

    And now the seemingly desperate departure. This smells. There's no getting around it.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    April 20, 2017 7:55 p.m.

    He's a quitter. ..

  • Designer123 Centerville, UT
    April 20, 2017 7:23 p.m.

    Maybe he's tired of people's never ending watchful eye, trying to constantly find reasons to criticize. This doesn't mean he's been perfect, but that has got to get old. It's fine to step out into normal life again, and sounds like he feels that is best for him.

  • Pa. Reader Harrisburg, PA
    April 20, 2017 6:35 p.m.

    If Chaffetz follows through on his statement today and leaves before the end of this term then he is breaking his contract to represent his district for two years. This is especially true if his motive really is to rejoin the private sector, which in politispeak translates as "cash in on my game while I still can."
    Public servant? Turns out, not so much.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 20, 2017 6:24 p.m.

    I would be interested to know what Donald Trump said to Jason Chaffetz in their private meeting in the Oval Office a few weeks ago.

    I think there is more to this story...MUCH more...

  • JBs Logan, UT
    April 20, 2017 6:05 p.m.

    There is no reason we should take him at his word, because he has used words in the past and then changed those words. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I don't believe Jason. There is no reason I should, because he has changed his mind too many times. Anyone remember the fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"?

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 20, 2017 5:50 p.m.

    It is a shame that in an effort to write an article that highlights why we should accept Rep. Chaffetz at his word, the author ended up promulgating a lot of nasty rumors that really don't need to be furthered. I'm sure this was unintended. But from the comments I think it has been the unfortunate effect.

    I'm sorry to see Chaffetz leaving. I think he has done good work.

    But I can fully understand why 10 years of sleeping on a cot in the office, away from his family is long enough.

    The real question isn't why Chaffetz is leaving after 10 years, but why others stay so long.

    We do not pay congressmen enough to maintain two homes, one of which needs to be in the DC area, one of the most expensive markets I the nation. For the truly honest and ethical, congressional service is a real sacrifice.

    Those who are making a bunch of money while serving in congress are obviously taking advantage of legal, but unethical loopholes (insider trading, for example) available only to members of congress.

    I wish Rep. Chaffetz the best, hope he completes his term before quitting, and is replaced by another solid conservative.

  • Boyd in Provo , 00
    April 20, 2017 3:32 p.m.

    This comes across as a mean-spirited article Jay. Maybe we all can accept Jason Chaffetz words at face value and in the meantime appreciate his service on our behalf.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 20, 2017 2:55 p.m.

    What if he's leaving because he wants to do something else, and live at home with his family... like he says?

    Have you ever changed jobs? I have.

    Sometimes it's because you want to pursue a different (maybe even better) opportunity. Or a quality of live issue.

    Living in Washington and dealing with those egos is not for everybody.

    Why do so many jaded people leap to the assumption that he must have sinned or done something wrong? Maybe he's just moving on to something else (like he said).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 20, 2017 2:41 p.m.

    I hope the howling banshees that showed up at the Cottonwood Heights Town Hall meeting don't think it was their doing.

    If he can't handle that (heckling) he doesn't belong in politics. Every politician deserves some heckling, and has to be able to handle it and move on in representing the majority of their constituents.

    If he quit because of that... I don't respect that.

    But if he quit because he's tired of "Politics-as-Usual" in Washington, and his party leaders insisting he reports to them (instead of the people in his district)... then I respect that.

    He's never been a politics-as-usual guy. From his sleeping on a cot in his small office to save money. But he was starting to become a "politics-as-usual" politician. And maybe that's what he didn't like. I don't know.

    I doubt it's because he sees Trump's fall coming (Like some media types assume). He's not a Trump fan. Remember the harsh things he said about Trump during the Republican Primary? I do. He's not a Trump fan.

    If he saw fall of Trump coming... he would stay on. Because that would mean President Mike Pence. He is a Mike Pence fan.

    I like people who serve and then leave politics. Like Washington.

  • Chancey Sandy, UT
    April 20, 2017 1:15 p.m.

    This decision goes against political perpetual motion, so of course it's suspect. I guess we'll wait and see. You get certain things when each party is in power and many of those things are not good. Perhaps someday American's will get tired of simply having to pick-your-poison. I choose Republican over Democrat and patiently wait for a still better choice. I look at the Democratic National leadership and run! So when you pick a "person" over a "party" you find they are gradually pulled into the party line. Those who resist this pull are eaten by their own.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 20, 2017 12:44 p.m.

    Seems more likely Chaffetz took a look in the mirror and he didn't like what he saw. Mirrors are bad things for a lot of Republicans.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 20, 2017 12:18 p.m.

    David,

    I too have voted R for most of my life. And I voted for GW Bush once (until he and his group pushed us into a completely useless and costly war) I finally realize that the GOP is not fiscally conservative. They cut programs that help people. They cut taxes for the wealthy. And then they spend it all on more military.

    I believe that both the Dems and the Reps are leading us down the tubes. I just like the Dems path a bit better at this point.

    I completely agree with everything you wrote.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    "Was it no longer fun to head the House Oversight Committee without a Democrat in the White House to oversee? Did someone have dirt on you we never will see?"

    I'm guessing both. Chaffetz is a proven self serving opportunist. Doesn't add up. He doesn't walk away from TV cameras. There's got to be something hidden.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 20, 2017 11:27 a.m.

    Jay Evensen: Why are you really leaving, Jason Chaffetz?

    =======

    My guess --
    He is responsible for the House investigation of Donald Trump.

    He is getting pasted by not only his constituents in town-hall meetings,
    but is getting pounced by the entire Nation for NOT doing his JOB!

    and since he is such the Republican lackey,
    he can't bear himself to do it.

    Investigating Trump will make him look like not only an enemy of Trump,
    but as a traitor to all the Republicans throwing themselves on a sword to defend him.

    Politically - Jason Chaffetz made a politically smart move.
    Donald Trump will soon be gone,
    and Chaffetz will jump back onto the game once the smoke has cleared.

  • David Centerville, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:12 a.m.

    I have been a Republican my entire life and am watching carefully to see whether the Republican Party is as hypocritical as the opposition, and will do nothing to reign in federal spending, reform Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security, and reform taxes as they have called for years; or whether they will act like the opposition and spend like crazy while in power and work to secure their own political strength.

    I am not very optimistic. Especially with a president that is definitely not conservative.