Posts Tagged ‘DC Vote’

Burgers and Bedfellows

May 19, 2009

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!


DC is Offered a Vote in Congress

April 16, 2009

DC is Offered a Vote by Congress

Washingtonians paid Federal Income Tax yesterday, but they still have no vote in the U.S. Congress. Taxation Without Representation. Ring a bell?

When the laws establishing the District of Columbia were created, the founders were too busy bargaining about the National Debt to consider representation of future DC residents, and their negligence has been preserved as if it were intentional. Leaders starting with Andrew Jackson tried to correct this undemocratic oversight, but Congress had inadvertently created a little playpen in DC, where congressmen could throw their weight around without consequences, and they enjoyed it. Two centuries later, they still do.

Pending legislation (S 160 and HR 157) would remedy two centuries of Congressional neglect by granting DC a vote in the House of Representatives. Democracy might finally come to the 600,000 American citizens who live in the Capital of the Free World, but there’s a hitch.

A man of strong moral principles, Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada (State motto: Meretricis et Alea, “Whores and Gambling”) has added a completely unrelated amendment to the bill. It would throw out gun laws established by the District’s duly elected officials and mandate interstate gun sales (illegal everywhere else in the country). Washington residents would be allowed to buy firearms in Maryland and Virginia.


Congress Wants Guns in DC. No Problem.

March 9, 2009

Congress Wants Guns in DC. No Problem.

The District of Columbia Voting Rights Act of 2009, giving the U.S. citizens of the District of Columbia representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, passed in the Senate. But partisan opponents appended an unrelated “poison pill” amendment, a provision to throw out local DC gun laws.

Many congressmen face a dilemma. They want to end two centuries of congressional neglect and give DC citizens something even residents of Baghdad have, voting representation in their national legislature. On the other hand, they do not want to overturn local laws established by the duly-elected city government, critical laws concerning public safety.

Congress: vote “yes.” But add one more amendment to the bill first, one that requires a gun shop in the new Capitol Visitor Center.


Welcome, DC Commuters

February 10, 2009

Welcome DC Commuters

Rich Green of Arlington, Virginia is upset. He drives his car across the Potomac to his job in Washington, DC five days a week and there are potholes in the road.

“Most of the potholes seem to stick around for months, and they can get to be more than six inches deep,” he wrote to the Washington Post. “Who is responsible for this section of road, and why don’t they repair the potholes …?” he asked.

Mr. Green did not ask who is responsible for causing the potholes or suggest who should pay for repairs.

Others fill in these potholes lacunae in Mr. Green’s complaint: