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“I would be very interested in supporting candidates that could potentially unseat current Congress members and Senators that can’t help themselves but meddle in our business”

by Prince Of Petworth January 27, 2017 at 1:55 pm 41 Comments

molly
Photo by PoPville flickr user molly

“Dear PoPville,

Thank you for running the post on “Who Should DC Residents Contact?” on Monday. I have been wondering the same thing, and some of the comments were very helpful. A comment left by Hillary, re: Chaffetz potentially getting challenged in his district by another Republican candidate, made me wonder. Is there an organization or a group that coordinates helping elect representatives and senators in other states, specifically those that are running in opposition to incumbents who are known to screw with DC? I would be very interested in supporting candidates that could potentially unseat current Congress members and Senators that can’t help themselves but meddle in our business, and I imagine I’m not alone. So, if there isn’t already a group in place, we need to organize.”

Another reader writes:

“Dear PoPville,

You ran a story on the 23rd about who DC residents should contact and someone had the great idea of contacting Chaffetz about 311 requests since he wants to govern DC anyways. I thought this was a great idea, but I actually had a different one.

Since yesterday I have called Rep. Chaffetz’s Utah office and politely explained that I live in DC and I can’t vote for him. I then tell them that because he has decided to not focus on representing the people of his district, but rather wants to micromanage my life in DC, I have decided to inform his constituents about this. I have also decided not to vacation in his district anymore. I have cancelled a trip to go to Arches and Canyonlands and will travel to some other National Parks instead. I then tell them that I am going to call 10 restaurants and hotels a day and tell them to ask their congressman to focus on them, not on me and I ask them to support Damian W. Kidd in the primary. I then go ahead and actually call 10 random hotels or restaurants with this message.

Now Mr. Chaffetz won his primary last time by 34,000 votes and even if I manage to convince 1 person a day that is still only 365 people in a year. Now this is where I am asking you for help, if you think this is a good idea. If we can get 100 people to do this that would be more than enough votes and maybe we don’t even need all those votes for him to notice and let us decided some things ourselves. Yes, I know this is super unlikely to work, but if nothing else it helps me vent some frustration every morning and I don’t feel so powerless. There are obviously other Congressmen that are guilty of this same behavior, but to me it seems Mr. Chaffetz is the worst, but I could be wrong.”

  • anon

    Is Damian W. Kidd more committed to District sovereignty? Can we show our strength, then offer it for the next two years in exchange for him vocally committing that to us along with whatever else he’s running on?

    • anon

      I agree with this, but I do think that showing strength by getting Chaffetz out would scare any successor straight.

      • anon

        As long as he even knows it’s happening/happened.

    • kls

      I don’t know that he would be more committed to District sovereignty, but he certainly wouldn’t have the level of seniority that lets Chaffetz meddle to the point that he does.

  • BloomingdaleRez

    YES +10000

  • Jaycee

    I LOVE this so much, because I despise his views and policies so much!

  • Anonymous

    I was on the verge of creating a Twitter account centered around rallying DC residents and business owners not to cooperate with Chaffetz and co-conspirators against DC statehood the other day. However, my job would be put at considerable risk if I were ever linked to it, so I’d like to encourage someone without those limitations to consider it!

  • Hill Denizen

    Yeah, the second they hear you’re not from his district, they stop caring. All you’re doing is bugging a poor intern. If his office is like any of the ones I know or have worked for, they’ll just tell you they’ll pass the message along, but your call won’t get recorded. You might as well contact the hotels directly, but don’t do it by phone. Send them a letter. At least then you know someone will see it and there’s a record of it, instead of just talking to an unsuspecting front desk clerk who’ll hang up and keep going about his/her business. What you want is the owners of these hotels or heads of the local chambers to get the message to Chaffetz, and they’ll only do that if they actually feel or see that their businesses are threatened.

    • wdc

      That’s what I thought, too. Someone suggested that DC residents should call anyway, claiming that since we don’t have representation they ALL represent us, and I’m thinking, that’s a nice thought, but both parties have to believe it for it to work. And I don’t think any of them have that much public service in them.

      • Hill Denizen

        It doesn’t matter what they think, we still don’t vote for them, so DC residents calling have no bearing on their ability to keep their job. Now, if a ton of money from DC residents suddenly started filling his opponents campaign coffers, he might care.

        • ted

          It does matter if you tell them you are going to be donating big money to their next challenger.

  • Mr. Magoo

    I called Chaffetz’s office yesterday with a 311 request about a sidewalk grate near my house that that needs repair. His receptionist hung up on me twice. Hopefully others are calling as well, and she’s ruing the day she went to work for that hypocritical, self-righteous cretin.

    I think infiltration activity in his district is a great idea. Maybe post a list of restaurants and hotels in his district that people can start phoning? Much of his district south of Provo is wilderness until you hit Moab, so I imagine that the most target-rich areas would be Provo and Moab.

    The idea of supporting Kidd is a good one, as long as we can be comfortable that the cure would not be worse than the disease if he gets to the House. I guess it’s a safe bet that he wouldn’t get Chaffetz’s committee chair position in any event.

    • Ava16

      Anyone have a good script for doing the 311 request?? I’m so bad at doing these calls because I always get nervous and stumble over my words.

      Also, as a former intern, if we overload the phone lines, actual staff members eventually have to answer because so many calls are coming in…and trust me, it really does ruin their day.

      • Anon

        Me too. I’m terrible on the phone and worry I’ll do more harm than good (though if the intent is just to drive them crazy I guess it doesn’t matter what I say).

        • N. Miller

          Re: a script, perhaps try this:
          “Hello, my name is ___. I’m a resident of the District of Columbia, and since Rep. Chaffetz wants to micro-manage DC, I’m calling to say [I need xx fixed / I want to report xx / I think xx should be improved]. I expect him to attend to this immediately since he’s so eager to be in charge of the District.”

    • Hill Denizen

      Great, so you annoyed the crap out of an unpaid intern, and maybe a few underpaid staffers. He still won’t change his behavior if the people he represents don’t care.

      • James W.

        Given that Chaffetz himself doesn’t answer the phone, who else should they call? Unfortunately being an intern or staffer for a Congressional rep means you get to answer the phone, and the vast majority aren’t calling with thanks.

    • Anon

      Good for you! I don’t feel bad for the intern/receptionist – he/she is complicit in Chaffetz’s policies and positions. As long as we are polite, I think this is a great way to point out the hypocrisy of his meddling in DC. There are some potholes near my house that I think Chaffetz’s office should hear about…

  • Linc Park SE

    Try swingleft.org

    Im seriously considering moving this Spring to a district that can possibly be flipped to Dem to help the campaign

  • Casey

    DC residents should also use the power of proximity. If a congress member is unfairly meddling in DC affairs or even just supporting a position you don’t agree with, go speak to them. Walk into their offices, go to events they are attending. — Former NY Representative Steve Israel said “Writing your representative is good, calling their office is fine . . but there is nothing more valuable, nor spontaneous, than showing up at an event that a member of congress is at and asking them “Why did you vote a certain way?” “What is your position on a certain issue?”. — Organize a group of friends or neighbors to march up to the capitol building or Senate/House offices and make your presence known. Do it respectfully, do it legally, do it with respect, but get up face-to-face with these people who spend a lot of time in DC and can’t ignore a problem standing on the front door of their office.

  • person

    Seriously — Chaffetz isn’t going to care whether or not you visit one of Utah’s Big Five National Parks!!!. Skipping out on a vacation there is only going to hurt the NPS, which isn’t exactly going to get much support in a Trump administration — especially when there are Republican members of Congress who want to sell off federal lands to the states and reverse Obama’s (and even Clinton’s) national monument designation. You should go.

  • Uptowner

    I suggest calling the chambers of commerce for Orem and Provo, the two biggest cities in his district. They’ll start to notice that he’s too busy messing with DC and not looking out for them.

    • anon

      +1

  • Mr. Magoo

    I told the receptionist my name, my address, and that there was a grate on my sidewalk that needed repair. She told me to call the city. I said that I’m calling Rep. Chaffetz instead, because he is apparently so interested in running the District of Columbia that he should be dealing with these repair issues. She said she would relay my concern to Chaffetz. I said I wanted my grate fixed and I wanted Chaffetz to assist. She said thank you and hung up on me.

    I called her back and said she shouldn’t be hanging up on a federal and DC taxpayer. I asked for her name. She then hung up on me again. So it’s not hard. I think that multiple calls of this nature will stress out and annoy his staff, which is a sufficient result from my perspective. They are working for a jackass and it should go with the territory. Maybe they will even tell the jackass what’s going on.

  • General Grant Circle

    Send tweets to @jasoninthehouse and tag his local newspaper/business handles in them

  • kejad

    Quick feeler: who, other than Chaffetz, needs to know about my missed recycling pickup and my cracked sidewalk? Remember when Andy Harris (R-MD) was grandstanding over DC’s cannabis laws?

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Rubio is trying to loosen district gun laws. Someone was going after the marijuana as well. There was a post article a week or two ago talking about all the anti-DC bills being introduced.

  • enough_is_enough

    Wow! There is a tremendous amount of hate in this blog. Meddling in the districts business by proposing we don’t use taxpayer dollars for free abortions??

    Whatever happened to personal responsibility??? Many of you need to get off the government handout program for everything, especially abortion.

    • JohnH

      You listed one of many ways that Congress meddles with D.C., including not letting us elect our own district attorney.
      .
      Do you not think D.C. residents should be able to elect a district attorney to prosecute crimes occurring in the district? Because nobody’s being held accountable.

      • enough_is_enough

        I do agree with that, but this carryover from Monday’s post was about defunding Planned Parenthood.

        Listen, there are many things I wish we could control in the District, but sadly, the current leadership in DC is in shambles. A rise in crime (regardless of those stats recently released), the inability to get 311 requests completed, etc. The only thing our District is good at is using our tax dollars for “fair and affordable” housing. DC is an expensive city. If you want cheaper housing, move to the suburbs.

        • James W

          If you buy the right wing talking point that PP just funds ‘free abortions’ then you’re ignorant of the facts. This has been widely debunked if you care to do even the most basic research.

          • Anon

            +1

        • Northzax

          A rise in crime despite statistics? Where have I heard this governing by anecdote before? Wait, it’ll come to me…

      • Luca

        I’m fairly certain this is sarcasm

    • James W

      Not sure if you’re from around here “enough_is_enough”, but Congress has been mucking around with DC for quite some time an all manner of ways. Beyond that, DC residents pay both District and Federal taxes, yet have no elected representative with a vote in Congress. Maybe you’ve seen our license plates? I’m not sure where you’re getting this ‘government handout’ nonsense from, but District residents pay as much in Federal taxes as they get back in funding. You can’t really say the same about most red states. Takers not makers.

      • Karen

        Also, we don’t have to”earn” rights through good governance. If that were true then Illinois, which had sent several governors to jail, Louisiana, a perennial mess with crime and graft among its public servants at all levels, Orange County, which went bankrupt, and a host of others that are worse than DC should lose their rights too. That’s not how it works. I have a right to representation in how my government makes decisions about laws, how to spend money, whether to go to eat, etc. I am a citizen of this country, born and raised. My rights do not terminate at the DC border. Denial of representation is denial of my rights. All else is just noise.

        • N. Miller

          Amen sister.

      • Hello

        So, when you decided to move to DC (I’m assuming you do actually live in the city), was there a different governance in place? Oh..there wasn’t? Okay, great. So may be the answer is you should research where you are moving before you move there and then determine if it is a place you’d like to live. You write as if you had no clue what you were getting into and are shocked the city is being run this way.

  • Luca

    There has to be a dem operative with time on his/her hands and experience setting up super pacs or similar bodies to be willing to create a D.C. Rights entity that funds opponents of congressman that target D.C. Residents. I’ve been wondering for quite some time why this doesn’t exist already. With the free publicity from popville I think this thing could easily raise enough money to be a useful deterrent

  • wd

    WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE

    2236 Rayburn House
    Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-7751
    Hours: M-F 9AM-6PM EST

    PROVO, UT OFFICE

    51 S University Ave.
    Suite 318
    Provo, UT 84601
    Phone: (801) 851-2500

  • zulucious

    DC residents should write to Jeff Bezos as Amazon.com (jeff@amazon.com) – amazon was Congressman Chaffetz top campaign contributor in 2016. Here’s the letter I sent:

    Dear Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com board,

    As the owner of the Washington Post you are part of our District of Columbia community. Your newspaper posted on Friday an op ed piece by Congressman Jason Chaffetz advocating that Congress should overturn the District’s Death with Dignity Act that was passed by the District’s democratically elected City Council and signed by our democratically elected Mayor. Jason Chaffetz continues to advocate for meddling in DC’s local decisionmaking (even though he represents Utah). Congress meddles in DC’s laws to control guns, to protect reproductive rights, and now laws to allow terminally ill resident’s to choose how to end their own lives — laws to protect the health, safety and welfare of DC residents.

    This meddling must stop – and your corporations must STOP supporting candidates like Jason Chaffetz that meddle in DC politics (Amazoncom was Congressman Chaffetz top funder – http://maplight.org/us-congress/legislator/752-jason-chaffetz). Jason Chaffetz only won his district by 125,000 votes in his ultra-conservative 3rd district of Utah; the total population of DC is 650,000; Jason Chaffetz was not elected by District residents; does not speak for us; and should not interfere in our local affairs (neither should his fellow Congressman). If your corporations continue to give money to meddling candidates, like Chaffetz, DC residents should stop giving money to your corporations by canceling subscriptions to Washington Post and Amazon. This meddling must stop and corporations that support candidates that meddle in DC local affairs should be held accountable.

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