- The Washington Times - Friday, April 30, 2010

A D.C. political group has set its sights on knocking a Utah congressman out of office.

Upset over Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s efforts to nix D.C. voting rights and other city-related issues, the Free and Equal D.C. Fund group started a fundraising campaign this week to try to defeat the Republican at the polls this fall.

“We’ll make sure his constituents know he’s been spending his time in Washington attempting to do the job of a D.C. Council member, instead of representing the interests of Utah’s 3rd District,” said the D.C. group in a statement vowing “targeted campaign activities and independent expenditures” in his district.

The political action committee was started in 2008 by D.C. “shadow” Rep. Mike Panetta to oust members of Congress opposed to legislation backed by the Democrat-dominated District. Mr. Panetta’s elected post has not official status.

Mr. Chaffetz, who is expected to easily win re-election to a second term, is considered a rising star in the party, and is already the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees the District’s laws and budget. A Salt Lake Tribune poll of Republican delegates for the party’s May 8 convention found Mr. Chaffetz had an 82 percent favorable rating.

Mr. Chaffetz, 43, did not respond to requests for comment.

Last year, Mr. Chaffetz said constitutional issues led him oppose giving Utah a fourth House member, which would likely be a Republican, and give the District its first full voting House member, which would almost certainly be a Democrat. Democrats had sought to ease passage of the voting rights bill by offering an additional seat to Utah, one of the most conservative states in the nation.

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