Meddle in our local governance? Let’s see how you like it.

Photo courtesy of
‘West Point wins collegiate boxing championship’
courtesy of ‘The U.S. Army’

Utah’s rep, Jason Chaffetz, has tried to meddle in our voting rights, gay marriage, and gun control issues. Shadow rep Mike Panetta figures that if they want to mess around in our sandbox then we’ll mess around in theirs. So he’s planning on using his two-year-old political action committee, the “Free and Equal D.C. Fund,” to spend money going after folks like Chaffetz who have decided to reach out and tinker around here with DC’s choices.

As of 11am April 23rd the current effort, the ActBlue “send Jason packing” fund, has raised $101. I don’t think Chaffetz is shaking in his boots here, but I admire the symmetry.

I’ll suggest, though, that rather than targeting a highly secure seat in Utah perhaps the money would be better spent continuing to educate people.  I’m always amazed when I talk to distant friends and find that highly educated folks are completely unaware that DC lacks voting representation and can have its legislative decisions overridden by Congress. Panetta has indicated that perhaps that’s the kind of content he’d like to see in the ads he’d run against Chaffetz, but I’m inclined to think a less specific and more positive message would be more successful.

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


3 thoughts on “Meddle in our local governance? Let’s see how you like it.

  1. Thanks for writing about this. Education is good, and you’re right that it’s sorely needed. However, we’ve been all “carrot” and no “stick”.

    I know it’s a secure seat, and we won’t raise a ton of cash…but I liken it to the whimpy kid who’s being picked on by the bullies who one day just has enough of being pushed around swings back.

    Every now and then he gets lucky and delivers a knock-out blow.

  2. Mike, I like your analogy of liberals being bullies who will swing back. But make no mistake, Jason Chaffetz is no wimpy kid, and he is definitely not shaking in his boots.

    What surprises me is that everyone knows (or SHOULD know) that DC is not a state, and therefore not entitled to be treated as a state. When houses were built there and people moved there, they knew (or should have known) it was a no-man’s land that was basically subject only to federal law (which was part of its appeal). Now it’s kinda like those morons who move next to this big open area covered with asphalt and cement and lined with little runway lights where you can see the stars at night and then complain about the noise airplanes make when they take off over their homes.

  3. Having grown up in Miami and thought somewhat uncharitable things about people who built far into the floodplain, I am somewhat sympathetic to part of your argument, Sallie.

    However I think there’s a notable difference between people making those kind of decisions and people being denied proper electoral representation. We found a way to let DC residents participate in Presidential selection despite the historical arrangement. We should find a way for them to be represented in Congress as well.

    I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing. We strike a balance between federal and local interests every day in the city. Sometimes it feels a little silly – like when part of the sidewalk is under the purview of the Park Service and part isn’t – but we manage.

    The current situation, where the Senators and Representatives of every state get to meddle in the day to day affairs of the District but not a one of them is elected by the citizens they’re governing… that’s not a balance.

    Just because the situation you describe is how it has been doesn’t mean it’s the way it has to continue. A hundred years ago there were still places that could deny you the right to vote, Sallie.

    That was the way things where, and people who moved to a region might have known that in that particular area a woman wouldn’t have the right to vote. That wasn’t a good enough reason not to change things then and it’s not a good enough reason now.