Burgers and Bedfellows

Burgers and Bedfellows

“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!

Marc Fisher notes that Mr. Chaffetz might not be able to lunch on Five Guys burgers with his strange bedfellow Marion Barry, since the Councilman avoids red meat, but Mr. Barry can always chow down on the Five Guys Veggie Sandwich (the Grilled Cheese is too high in fat). Actually, Rep. Chaffetz should have more issues about fast food than Mr. Barry — he worked for a dietary supplement manufacturer for over a decade. But Mr. Chaffetz was born in a Jewish California family and served as Utah co-chairman of the 1988 Dukakis presidential campaign; he is now in the GOP and LDS. After his political party and religious conversions, the change of diet from GlycoBars to cheeseburgers must have been a snap.

In some respects Mr. Chaffetz seems downright gay-friendly. His father John Chaffetz wrote a sympathetic book about a Gay California couple, and Dad seems to have been in business with “out” aristocrat Sir Elton John — they were co-owners of the LA Aztecs soccer team. The Congressman recently made an eyebrow-raising video,  leg-wrestling with a male TV star.

And here’s what Jason Chaffetz had to say about his career as placekicker for the Brigham Young University football team:

“It’s like being a ballet dancer: tight pants, a little contact and a whole lot of kicking.”

Oooh.  ‘Nuff said.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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