Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Congressman Jason Chaffetz Again Hints At A Run Against Utah U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch In 2012; Hatch's Incumbency Is The Problem, Not The Solution

Perhaps energized not only by Bob Bennett's defeat at the Utah State Republican Convention on May 8th, but also by an April 28th Salt Lake Tribune poll which shows that among this year's convention delegates, 71 percent would back a candidate other than Orrin Hatch, Utah's 3rd District Congressman Jason Chaffetz is once again hinting that he may challenge Orrin Hatch for his Senate seat in 2012. Additional local media stories from the Deseret News and KSL Channel 5.

When interviewed by Jake Gibson of Fox News on May 10th, Chaffetz said, "It's a possibility, I'm not taking anything off the table...This anti-incumbent sentiment is a tsunami that isn't going away... I respect everything Senator Hatch has done, but the question is whether 36 years in the U.S. Senate might be enough. Orrin will be 78 in 2012." Chaffetz might not be alone, though; Cherilyn Eagar is talking about launching her own bid.

This same story was also posted on The Hill, and it attracted this interesting comment:

Puente on 05/11/2010 at 13:40
Chaffetz, like all other tea bagger republicans, is a backstabbing jackass. The fact that he's already entertaining his options in 2012 (he posted a Salt Lake Tribune article about his prospects against Hatch in 2012 on his Facebook page) is testament to how little he cares about being a representative and how obsessed he is with acquiring more and more power for the sake of having that power. The guy is a megalomaniacal, narcissistic douche bag.

O.K., who do we know named "Puente"? When I look at the list of candidates for the 3rd District, I find that an individual named Joseph Puente is running against Chaffetz as an independent. Note that I cannot verify whether or not Joseph Puente actually wrote the comment. But Puente has a long-standing political feud with Chaffetz, and he's posted derogatory comments about Chaffetz to The Hill in the past. In the Dirty Laundry page of his website, Puente also admits to having been diagnosed with clinical depression while he was serving our country in the U.S. Navy, contemplated suicide three times over a 15 month period, and is functional only with the aid of antidepressants. So it's quite possible that if Puente posted the comment, he did so while off his meds.

As for Hatch, he doesn't seem too worried about a Chaffetz challenge. "He has the right to if he wants to," Hatch said of a potential Chaffetz bid. "He won't be the first person to challenge me." Hatch then added, "I'm one of the hardest workers you'll ever find...And I intend to run again, if feel healthy enough to do it. If I can do the same work I'm doing now, [Utah Republicans] are going to want me. They're going to need me, and most people know that."

"They're going to need me"??? Isn't that what Bob Bennett kept saying?

The issue is NOT personal character. Both Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch are classy gentlemen who exhibit no signs of being power-hungry. But they're essentially clueless as to what's going on. Incumbency has become a major issue -- particularly long-term incumbency. Those who have been there the longest are perceived as part of the problem merely because they've been there the longest. The same problem exists on the other side of the aisle as well; how do you think a lesbian gender studies instructor named Claudia Wright forced a responsible, moderate blue-dog incumbent named Jim Matheson into a Democratic primary? That wouldn't have happened in 2008, but it happened this year. And it may happen to Orrin Hatch in 2012.

By the way, Orrin Hatch does not intend to take sides in the upcoming June 22nd primary battle between Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee. Hatch told MSNBC that he thinks either one of them would be a good senator and he will go by what the population says.


Joseph L. Puente said...

Joe Puente here. Independent candidate for Congress in Utah's 3rd district. Allow me to verify that yes, I did indeed write the comment you refer to. To address another remark, I'm not "off my meds" and I would advise treading lightly when referring to someone's mental illness, especially when it's being treated by qualified medical professionals. Mental illness, specifically depression, is quite prevalent in this country and Utahn's are no stranger to it either and it would be unwise to disparage someone based on it, even a candidate for elected office. My politics and policies are fair game, my medical condition is not. You wouldn't mock a paraplegic running for Congress because he uses a wheel chair, would you? A person who's deaf? Blind? Diabetic? A cancer survivor? No. I would appreciate it if you would give me the same courtesy where my medical conditions are concerned. I share them on my web site not to make an issue of them but specifically to make them non issues by discussing them myself so others need not waste time on them. I would advise all political candidates to add a dirty laundry page to their campaign web sites to dispel the myth that candidates for public office are somehow superior to the masses. Everyone has their flaws, faults, challenges and mistakes that they have to deal with. By putting them out in the open, it gives people the opportunity to acknowledge them, understand them and move on to discussing the really important issues.

And don't confuse my frustration with Chaffetz' arrogance as a symptom of my clinical depression. Like a lot of Americans, I'm pissed off at the establishment and arrogant incumbents like Chaffetz who pretend to be average Joes when in reality they're just party operatives playing the same damned games that got us into the mess we find ourselves in now.

I'm not sad, I'm mad and I pull no punches when it comes to Jason Chaffetz, his arrogance and his cowardice.

Nice article, btw.

Deseret Dawg said...

Joseph - Appreciate you stepping up to the plate and acknowledging the remark you posted on The Hill. That shows you're willing to stand behind what you say.

However, that remark went far beyond legitimate criticism of Chaffetz - it was abusive and could be considered by some to be defamatory. As a candidate, you do NOT publicly refer to your opponent as a "douchebag".

As far as your disability goes, there's a difference between a physical disability and a psychological or mental disability. A paraplegic may not be able to walk unaided, but a paraplegic can still think and make decisions effectively. But when one is struggling with a psychological disability, it can affect the ENTIRE organism. So when you used extreme and abusive syntax to attack Chaffetz, it was only natural to wonder whether or not your medication was still effective.

If you don't want people questioning your mental stability, don't publicly refer to your opponents as "douchebags". Your disability is NOT a refuge from accountability.

Anonymous said...

Well, it seems to me that if we revisit Puente's comments about Chaffetz today, we might agree how prescient they were.