Thursday, June 26, 2008

An Open Letter to Jason Chaffetz

Mr Chaffetz,
Congratulations on your primary win. You certainly weren't my candidate, and you still aren't. Not that it matters a whole lot, because my write-in vote won't count, at the same time I would love to hear from you on the following issues:

1. Are you going to behave in Congress as you did in your campaign? I felt that you were full of a lot of talk (and a lot of it was not constructive, but rather crowd-pleasing - see your comments to your former boss "Mr. Huntsman, global warming is a farce" - as just one example), but not many real, constructive ideas. There's an old saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and I felt that your comments towards everybody were more vinegar than honey. Do people feel frustrated with Congress? Absolutely. At the same time, as a (presumed) new member of Congress, you will have to work with the very people who you've slammed. Utah doesn't need someone who has a loud mouth and no influence. We need someone who will stand up for our values, but at the same time work with others towards common goals.

2. I really think you should take another look at your immigration stance. I know that the same anti-immigrant fears that have gripped every prior generation of Americans currently has us in its clutches, but for the most part it's just as irrational now as it was then. There have been a large number of illegal immigrants, but I would suggest the issue isn't as simple as rounding them up and loading them on C-5s that run hourly flights to Mexico City. The bigger issue is comprehensive immigration reform that would eliminate the benefits to illegally immigrating, namely that you can actually get into the US. If we made it easy to get here, illegals would become extinct. Before you go hoisting xenophobic, Tancredoesque solutions on us, step back and acknowledge their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness too.

If you can get those issues resolved for me, I would be happy to put my support behind you instead of still unknown write-in candidate.


Simply Sallie said...

Not sure if Jason will see this and respond, but as one of his volunteers who voted for him, I'd like to point you to his website, specifically his seven-point immigration plan, which you can see here:

Regarding your first question, I sincerely believe he will run his Congressional office the way he ran his campaign. I gotta chuckle whenever I see comments that criticize his directness (which many view as arrogance or rudeness, which could not be further from the reality). What you aren't taking into account is that Jason is one of US, as fed up as we are. He is not a politician (yet) and isn't about to conduct "business as usual." So why dis him for being himself? "Political behavior" hasn't gotten us much thus far, has it? ;-)

Respectfully yours

Sorro said...

The immigration plan is mostly fine, although I would suggest that you have to fix #1 before you do anything else. Otherwise you're trying to get buckets of water and run them upstream while the dam is about to burst. Patch the dam, then deal with the river. I think English as the official language of the US is overrated. It's not going to change the 2 or 3 languages that are on packaging, billboards, etc, and that's what's most visible to people. Marketers, being savvy as they are, will continue to market to those that will buy their products in the most effective way possible. Nevertheless, adoption of English among this generation of immigrants and their children outpaces that of every generation before us.
As far as the behavior, some may think it's direct, but I would suggest it's attacking. You can put forth your ideas and say you'd do it differently without being rude about it. I felt that the personal attacks on Gov. Huntsman, Sen. Hatch, Sen. Bennett, and Rep. Cannon weren't just direct, but rather rude. I have my disagreements with all of them, but I would highlight the disagreements with only the person I was running against. There's no need to drag other politicians into the fray (i.e. "Rep. Cannon won't sign a pledge to refuse earmarks, I will" instead of "Gov. Huntsman - global warming is a farce!" He's not running against Huntsman, so the only reason I can see for a comment like that is rabble-rousing. He may not be our Congressman yet, but again you can disagree without being disagreeable. What good is someone representing us as 1 of 435 if he goes off in a corner and gripes about everyone else? I think everyone in the US is sick of Congress (as shown by the Consumer Satisfaction survey, Congress is liked less than HMOs), so there does need to be a change of the guard. At the same time, an ineffective Congressman is as good as no Congressman. I want someone who will work for us and with everyone else there too. Not just standing at the side and saying "you all stink!"

Rachelle said...

I strongly disagree with is immigration policy. It is WAY too harsh. I think people should be able to come here legally (which is the only part I agree with of his) but we can't just kick everyone out. There are people here who have been here longer than I've been alive and are contributing members of society. It's partially our fault that they aren't legal...we didn't let them come legally. So are we now making criminals and then punishing them? Sure there are illegals who are breaking the law and such, but a lot of them are just looking for a better life. Why should we deny them that? And, what would happen to our workforce should millions of people just up and leave? Our economy would tank. I think we should say "there have been a lot of mistakes, some by you and some by us, so let's work together to fix them to the benefit of all." Where is our compassion, our mercy? That's what I want to know.

Rachelle said...

Oh, and while I'm talking about Jason, can I just say how much it bugs me that he didn't live in our district? Why did he run here? We aren't his neighbors, his kids aren't in our schools, how can he really represent us?

Sorro said...

I also think that his policy is too harsh, but I say start with 1, fix that by removing immigration caps and then let's see what the next best step would be. I would proffer that illegals could then apply for visas at points of entry - airports, consulates, etc and get a background check. If they're clean, why mess up the economy by shipping them all back just to say "No amnesty?" Let's get rid of the knee-jerk reactions and xenophobia that are inherent in this issue over immigrants and get down to business.

Anonymous said...

Jason Chaffetz says that as a congressman, "I will...fix legal immigration, etc. etc. etc." What a presumptive statement! He, a freshman rep in the minority Congress, will fix legal immigration? Now, please don't tell me that "Jason meant to say he will WORK to fix legal immigration and everything else he said he will do." That doesn't fly. Why? Because Jason was just as nit-picky of others. For example, Mr. Leavitt had a paragraph on his Web site (I can't even remember what it said) revised last October or so, which Jason Chaffetz cited throughout the ENTIRE CAMPAIGN to say Leavitt supported amnesty...months after Leavitt changed the wording! To everyone, Leavitt explained his position on immigration--a consistent one from the time he actively began campaigning, as far as I understand--to everyone who asked. And it was detailed. But Chaffetz still had to nit-pick and trash his opponents by using vague crowd-pleasing statements that cater to angry voters, but that have no real basis to them. Chaffetz is full of talk, but honestly, he is unprepared to represent us in Congress. People say his time as chief of staff prepared him for this. I would argue that he could serve well in the legislature, but nothing about a rocky tenure as chief of staff for a Utah Governor makes him qualified to be in Congress. As much as I would like to vote Republican, I will be voting for Bennion Spencer. (In all fairness, I don't believe being a television news reporter makes you qualified to be in Congress either. Maybe the state legislature--like Phil Riesen--but not Congress. It's a much bigger game there.)