In my previous post, I mentioned some of the big criticisms of Jason Chaffetz, but I failed to mention one. Thanks to the several comments on the previous post that helped remind me that I should address this issue more fully.
When I first heard that Chaffetz did not live in the Third District, I was very concerned about voting for him. This was still prior to my having made a final decision on who I was voting for, and it really could have put me over the edge.
However, As I started to think about it, I realized that my concern was based on faulty logic. This shouldn’t be a concern because constitutionally, it doesn’t matter what district he lives in. He just needs to live in the state. So, he is not doing something that is illegal or unethical. He is just doing something that isn’t common and perhaps not even well recieved.
Those who dislike Chaffetz run, perhaps because of where he lives, have accused Chaffetz of being a political opportunist. However, this doesn’t add up to me.
First, what does it mean to be a political opportunist? An opportunist is someone who takes advantage of an opportunity that arises. So, when you buy a milkshake at the local drive and dine because it is 50 cents off, then you are an opportunist. The phrase political opportunist doesn’t make much sense to me. Cannon is a political opportunist because he is running again and because he is more likely to get reelected as the incumbent. Leavitt is also an opportunist because he is running after the varied experiences he had as a lawyer, believe he is the best candidate.
Okay, I understand that such accusations are based on the fact that Chaffetz lives in the Second District and not the Third. And they feel he is doing this because it is better for him. If you look at the changes in the districts over the years, you will see that Apline was once in the Third District. And odds are that it will again one day be there, especially, if we get a fourth seat.
A second question that must be asked is, whether it is more advantageous for a Republican to run in the Third District over the Second? Sure Jim Matheson has a good hold of the Second District and many of his constituents like him. However, he could be beat by the right man. Chaffetz could very well have been that man. But Chaffetz doesn’t see the second district as his home. He wants to represent the part of Utah that he feels a part of.
Also, would it be easier to the be one of two republican candidates in the Second District or the little man in the race of three for the Third District. Opportunism implies that you are taking the easy road, and it appears to me that fighting two other viable candidates would be harder than fighting just one in the Second. I don’t see the opportunism in fighting for the Third District here. I simply see Chaffetz as one whose heart is in the Western half of Utah and so that is who he wants to represent.
It’s pretty cut and dry for me. Chaffetz is the more politically conservative candidate. He speaks to me when I hear him. I hear what I want to hear from Leavitt, just as I do from Cannon, but I can’t see it in them. They don’t seem to have a grasp of the details. Chaffetz sees the big picture and filters things through the same conservative lens. It doesn’t matter where he live, he holds to my principles, and he is the right choice.