Saturday, July 25, 2009

Letter to the Editor -

Dear Editor,

I’ve been closely following Jason Chaffetz’ as Congressman for District 3. I admired his choice to sleep in his office when in D.C. I liked that he kept in touch with his constituents through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I’m impressed with his commitment to fiscal discipline. At first he seemed like a good guy to have in office. Then I got a fear mongering e-mail from him about a “Cap-and-Trade Tax.” I did some research and found out it was full of lies, distortions and insinuations. I watched his videos. Some are informative but others are just as much political hot air as we ever got from Chris Cannon. I started to fact-check the things that he sends out to his constituents and I was very uncomfortable with the amount of disinformation he was spreading, much of it he gets directly from his party leadership. He also isn’t very forthcoming when it comes to providing sources for some of the things he says. I’ve managed to find these sources on my own only to discover that information has been taken out of context or lifted from outdated or even discredited documents. Of course much of his “research” is done for him by the Republican party, which is just as disappointing because instead of getting information for himself, he just passes the buck. Most people don’t go to these lengths to make sure that their Congressmen is being straight with them and that’s too bad. There are many people in District 3 who take Chaffetz at his word and have no idea that sometimes he’s misleading him. Not being one to sit idly by when someone tries to pull a fast one on me, I took it upon myself to start a web site to keep track of Chaffetz’ actions and statements as Congressman: Out of fairness, I offer him both praise for the good things that he does do and criticism for when he falls short. So far, the good outnumbers the bad and I hope it stays that way. I’ve also included a message board on the site that’s open to the public so they can share their praise and criticism of their Congressman as well. I follow Mr. Chaffetz’ twitter feed, subscribe to his videos and, until recently, he and I were “friends” on Facebook. When I first watched his videos on YouTube, I left comments on them. Usually to point out a fact he might not have considered or to give him some friendly critique. His response was to disable the comments feature on his channel. This disappointed me. A Congressman needs to be open to criticism and the views of those he is elected to represent. I thought he made up for this on his Facebook page where people are free to post topics and discuss them. Chaffetz decided to remove me from that forum because of the “frequency” of my comments. Frankly, I just don’t think he liked what I had to say.

-Joe Puente
Sanpete, Utah

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