On a great win in the face of tremendous odds.
Chris Cannon seemed to have everything going for him: endorsements of most of Utah’s Republican leadership, name recognition, a bigger budget, experience from previous campaigns, PAC money from outside Utah, all that and yet volunteerism and a great grass roots effort were able to unseat him in a near landslide.
Everyone thought that the 59%-41% vote at the State convention was a fluke, but here it is again repeated in the Republican primary. Obviously Jason has something to say that resonates with voters. Too bad Chris Cannon was more interested in listening to outside voices.
I spent the evening at Chaffetz Headquarters in Springville. At about 11:00 PM, Chris Cannon called to offer his congratulations, and to concede the race for Utah’s Third congressional District.
The totals as of right now (with all but one rural precinct reporting) are:
- Jason Chaffetz – 59.96% (27,266)
- Chris Cannon – 40.04% (18,208)
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Chaffetz thanked Mr. Cannon for his service to the community, which was a nice gesture.
There was a point during the evening where Mr. Cannon said something that served to solidify our feelings about him. He told a local reporter that he was disappointed in the low turnout, and said that it aserved as a lesson to the people of Utah; that if they want good representation, they’re going to have to get out and vote. The comment drew a lot of cat-calls from people at Chaffetz headquarters.
To me, it was reminiscent of another comment that was made several years ago. When Al Gore lost the presidential election in 2000, one of the Democratic leaders was interviewed at the State Capitol. Her comment made my blood boil. She said, as closely as I can recall, “The people have spoken, and if they want to drive this ship of state into the ground, that’s their business.”
Now I know Mr. Cannon didn’t say exactly that, but it certainly felt a lot like it. I am convinced that Washington has historically attracted people who think like that; who think they know better than us benighted masses. Chris Cannon has called for transparency in earmarks. What is really needed to overcome this effect is transparency in government. Washington needs to be a fishbowl, not an opaque bubble. Then nobody could say, “Well, you just don’t understand how things work back there.” That’s always a red flag for me. It says three things, 1) Washington is a closed society that, 2) the politicians think we aren’t bright enough to understand, and 3) we couldn’t get things done there because we aren’t part of the clique.
Here’s hoping Jason Chaffetz breaks it wide open!
With 30% of precincts reporting, Jason Chaffetz has taken a sizable lead.
Chaffetz: 61% (10,583) Cannon 39% (6798)
Watch current results on-line at
Today is the Republican Primary.
Do the right thing, and vote.
I voted Jason Chaffetz for US Congress in Utah’s Third District. I think it’s time for a change, and I’m not talking about the empty change-for-the-sake-of-change that Obama wants. I mean substantive change.
Chris Cannon has served Utah reasonably well, but he now seems to have picked up whatever germ has infested Washington DC that causes our public servants to become arrogant and cocky, to rise up against the people and take an attitude of “I know better than you.”
Jason’s positions more closely match my own, as does his feelings on the immigration question. Leaving in place the incentives that cause people to come here illegally, only to be caught up in the web of deceit laid by our leaders wherein these people cannot lift themselves out of poverty is wrong. We are a country that has prided itself on the equality of opportunity. But these people are shut out of that opportunity cycle by their legal status. The solution is not to make categorical changes to their status, but to encourage them to come to America the right way, in accordance with the law. Luring them here with promises of free health care, better income, whatever, is an evil that must be abolished.
Both Jason Chaffetz and Glenn Beck have rightly named this the new slavery–a community of non-citizens upon which our economy supposedly hangs. That argument was wrong during the revolution, and it is wrong now.
Get out and vote.
Meet at the Chaffetz’s home tonight (May 15, 2008) at 7:00 PM MT. For directions, contact the following people:
- Jason Chaffetz: jason at chaffetz dot com
- Jennifer Scott: jennifer at chaffetz dot com
- Connie Smith: connie at chaffetz dot com
- Deidre Henderson: deidremh at hotmail dot com
- Dell Smith: dellsmith51 at yahoo dot com
- Kellie Nelson: kellieannenelson at yahoo dot com
Jason Chaffetz kicked off the next phase of his campaign today. Jennifer Scott, Chaffetz’s Campaign Manager, said today that they are kicking off “the biggest grass roots effort in the history of [Utah's] Third District.”
The campaign plans to take advantage of new technologies to help distribute news and information, similar to the methods used by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney in their respective bids for the Presidency. Ron Paul has demonstrated that such a movement can be powerful. He remains in the race despite insurmountable odds largely because of the support he gets from his on-line efforts.
Jason has an uphill battle on his hands as he faces Chris Cannon in the June 24th primary. Cannon isn’t going down easily; he has the advantages of name recognition, federal monies reserved for incumbents, and the infamous legacy of John McCain–the McCain-Feingold Act, which places restrictions on advertising for candidates by supporters in the month previous to an election. But those restrictions don’t apply to the media, so any media coverage Cannon can get is basically unrestricted advertising.
But Jason is not to be underestimated. He pulled off a stunning upset at the convention, and I’m betting that the mood for change is contagious; people want to see new faces and new ideas in Congress, and have demonstrated quite forcefully already that they are tired of Republicans acting like Liberal Democrats.
Chris Cannon says we shouldn’t change the status quo when it’s working so well for Utah. He has earned the respect of the movers and shakers in Washington D.C., and it would be foolish to give that up. From my personal perspective, the fact that Mr. Cannon claims to have the respect of Washington insiders speaks volumes. I mean, what does it say when some of the most corrupt, crooked politicians in the country respect you? Ultimately, it is the respect of the people, not of Washington politicians that Cannon should be seeking. That seems to be one of many differences between Jason Chaffetz and Chris Cannon. Please tell your friends about Jason Chaffetz.