Sunday, September 30, 2007

Utah's RINO 3rd District Congressman Chris Cannon Draws A Real Republican Challenger In Former Huntsman Aide Jason Chaffetz

Utah's RINO (Republican In Name Only) 3rd District Congressman Chris Cannon has just drawn his toughest opponent yet for the upcoming 2008 Republican primary. On Monday, October 1st, 2007, former Huntsman aide Jason Chaffetz will formally announce his intention to challenge Cannon for the Republican nomination. Full story posted in the Deseret Morning News.

Chaffetz's resume is bursting at the seams with political experience. A former Brigham Young University football place-kicker, Chaffetz worked on a number of local GOP races before joining Governor Jon Huntsman's 2004 campaign, subsequently becoming the campaign manager. As a reward, Huntsman named Chaffetz his first chief of staff in January 2005. He briefly flirted with the idea of running against Utah's Democratic 2nd District Congressman Jim Matheson in 2006, but chose not to follow through. Matheson, though a Democrat, is well thought of in his district and is not afraid to break ranks with the national Democrats to vote his district's interests.

On his campaign website, Chaffetz briefly explains why he's running against Cannon for Congress:

I am now a candidate for the Republican nomination in Utah's Third Congressional District because a return to conservative principles is our best hope. Since Mr. Cannon took office, fiscal discipline is not a priority, there is no accountability, illegal immigration is worse, he voted in favor of No Child Left Behind, and his ethics and public comments have been an embarrassment.

Chaffetz will be Cannon's first announced opponent for 2008. Others are expected. Cannon was challenged by Matt Throckmorton in 2004. Throckmorton ran a good campaign, but could not compete with Cannon financially, thus falling short in the Republican primary by 16 percentage points.

In 2006, Cannon was challenged by an opponent with powerful financial muscle, John Jacob. At the state Republican Party convention in May 2006, Jacob actually outpointed Cannon 52 percent to 48 percent of delegate ballots. Because neither candidate received the 60 percent or more of delegate ballots necessary to become the Republican nominee outright, both Jacob and Cannon duked it out again in a primary election in June. Jacob continued to run neck-and neck with Cannon until the week before the June primary. Then Jacob made an incredible statement which, when I heard it, I knew that Jacob had just thrown away the election. On June 23rd, 2006, KSL reported the Jacob had told the Salt Lake Tribune, "There's another force that wants to keep us from going to Washington, D.C. It's the devil, is what it is. I don't want you to print that, but it feels like that's what it is."

And this was no idle passing comment, either. Jacobs actually discussed this at length. He told the media that since he decided to run for Congress, Satan had bollixed his business deals, preventing him from putting as much money into the race as he had hoped. Numerous business deals he had lined up have been delayed, freezing money he was counting on to finance his race. "You know, you plan, you organize, you put your budget together and when you have 10 things fall through, not just one, there's some other, something else that is happening," Jacob said. When asked if he actually believed that "something else" was indeed Satan, Jacob said: "I don't know who else it would be if it wasn't him. Now when that gets out in the paper, I'm going to be one of the screw-loose people." Jacob, who, like Cannon and the rest of Utah's congressional delegation, is a Mormon, said he is not the only one who is being opposed by the devil.

Guess what? He must have immediately become perceived as one of the "screw-loose" people, because he suddenly went from a dead heat with Cannon to nearly 12 percentage points down. On June 27th, 2006, Cannon ended up with 55.8 percent of the vote, while Jacob limped home with 44.2 precent. Lesson learned: Do not blame campaign problems on metaphysical events or personalities, not even in Utah's heavily conservative 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of Utah County, the west side of Salt Lake County, and areas into central Utah.

The biggest problem with Chris Cannon is his absolutely deplorable record on immigration issues. Americans for Better Immigration give him an overall letter grade of "C-", but he gets an "F" on both amnesty and on guest workers. Cannon essentially wants to give amnesty to all illegals, and wants to increase the number of guest workers admitted to this country, particularly under the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. A series of posts on the Alaska Pride blog amply document the problems and abuses of the H-1B program, to include an account of a Jewish law firm in Pittsburgh that was indoctrinating employers on how to game the H-1B program to freeze out American workers.

Chris Cannon's financial summary through 2006 can be found HERE. Note that 63.3% percent of his contributions came from PACs.

Cannon's complete voting record can be found on VoteSmart.

Cannon's ratings from special interest groups can be found HERE.


Anonymous said...

You must be either blind or stupid...I can't decide which. Chaffetz? Are you kidding me?

A former Dem, Utah chairman of Dukakis for President? Worked for Huntsman?????

Really, cmon. wakeup. We already have ne Democrat in Congress from Utah, we don't need two. Sure, Cannon goes off the reservation on Immigration, but not enforcement. He just operates in the real world.

The guy has a fiscal and social conservative record that 99% of Republicans want in all their Representatives. But instead, you want to elect someone with no record excet that he worked for Dukakis and Huntsman and fed his own brother media clients. Chaffetz is a hypocrite. Get a real candidate, then get excited.

Until then, I am sticking with Cannon.

Anonymous said...

The comment sounds like another Cannon staffer trying to keep his job. You can always tell the Cannon people by the personal attacks.

Deseret Dawg said...

Anonymous #1 - So what if Chaffetz was involved in the Dukakis campaign? That was 1988, and he was an idealistic young college grad then. Or perhaps he understood the Bush Family early.

What counts now is his commitment to better protect our bordets and to rein in runaway spending. At the start of the Bush II Adminsitration, the national debt was near $6 trillion; it is now over $9 trillion.

And if Cannon is such a good deal, why is Congress's current approval rating at 11%? Only Curtis Allgier has a lower approval rating. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Those Cannon staffers are a cocky bunch, are they not?

But then, it's understandable since they have seen their guy, a rather poor joke of a Congressman, continue to get re-elected.

But anyone as unfit to serve in Congress as Cannon will continue to get primary opposition until he is out of office. Maybe, at long last, we will see Cannon put out to pasture in 2008.

-Lance Sjogren

Author: "Immigration Politics"

Anonymous said...

And as to those complaining about Chaffetz apparent political inclinations in the past.

Cannon would get by far the better of the deal if the campaign does not focus on the past.

After all, what other Republican in Congress has actually claimed that the people of his state like illegal immigration, and has told immigrant workers that if their employers throw them out in order to replace them with illegal aliens, they should go out and find another line of work.

-Lance Sjogren