“Oh man, if I had run a campaign saying I’d be working closely with Marion Barry, I don’t know that I would have been elected,” Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R, UT-03) told Marc Fisher of the Washington Post. But Mr. Chaffetz is on the House subcommittee that oversees Washington DC, and Marion Barry, former three-term DC Mayor, represents Ward 8 in the District of Columbia Council.
The Council passed a law mandating DC recognition of gay marriages performed in other states and countries, with Mr. Barry casting the lone dissenting vote. Mr. Chaffetz also disapproves of that new DC law and, thanks to historical accident, he gets a chance to overrule the duly-elected local government.
Mr. Chaffetz also says DC doesn’t need a vote in Congress since he will represent Washington’s citizens. Why does the Congressman feel no qualms about making laws for a place where he doesn’t live? Probably because he doesn’t live in the Utah district he represents, either. Under Utah state law it is perfectly legal for Jason Chaffetz to live in Alpine, in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District (served by Democrat Jim Matheson) while representing the 3rd Congressional District.
For the record, Marion Barry actually lives in Ward 8.
Mr. Chaffetz loves to amuse the media by sleeping on top of a flagpole on a cot in his DC office and eating cheap fast food. A canny professional political operative, the Congressman favors Five Guys Burgers and Fries – it’s a DC-area chain but has locations in his Utah district (Bountiful, Midvale, Orem, Sandy, West Valley). What a coincidence!