Stephen Tryon draws attention to the rhetoric of Congressman Chaffetz

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Photo by Julie Ostler

Utah’s 3rd congressional district debate between U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his democratic opponent, Stephen Tyron, included disagreements on most issues and heated exchanges. The debate was televised live from the Grande Ballroom Oct. 19.

One of the topics discussed was privacy rights in a cyber era and solutions that Congress can take for tracking metadata. Chaffetz brought up how he fought against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as a way to retain individual privacy.

“I don’t fundamentally trust the government, and if you’re a suspicionless American, you should have a right to privacy,” Chaffetz said.

Tryon said, “I also am a fan of privacy, but I also like the idea of keeping our nation secure.”

Tryon continued with the subject and shared his views on the roles of the government:

“I think that if we can’t trust our government, we’ve got a problem. Our government is Americans. It’s our neighbors, it’s our friends,” Tryon said.

Zachary Hurst, a student at UVU, asked the candidates to share their views on a safe solution for Syrian refugees. While Tryon and Chaffetz both agree on the fact that refugees who wish to enter the country should be vetted first, Chaffetz concluded that terrorism is directly connected with the Obama administration allowing a certain amount of refugees into the country.

Tryon rebutted by claiming that the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the country shouldn’t be interpreted as a commitment to terrorism.

“The Statue of Liberty says ‘give me your poor, your oppressed.’ That’s who we’re dealing with here with these refugees who are coming from Syria. I’m just objecting to the notion that because the administration has committed to a number that that means they’re not concerned about security. The Obama administration is just as concerned about security as anybody in our government, and of course we’re going to vet the people that we bring in,” Tryon said.

Debate moderator David Magleby, asked whether or not Chaffetz and Tryon support the nominees for president.

“I find Hillary Clinton to be a patriot. I think she is a good civil servant. I think she has been wrongfully characterized by Congressman Chaffetz. I think this is a blatant case where he has politicized his duties as a Congressman, which is one of my biggest objections to the way you go about doing your business. I think that all of this nonsense about emails, and the quid pro quo stuff that we watched unfold this last weekend, you’ve mischaracterized event after event in order to create publicity for yourself and to undermine your candidate of the opposing party, and it’s absolutely unconscionable,” Tryon said.

Chaffetz discussed Clinton’s email scandal throughout the debate.

“If you had done that, you would have gone to jail,” he said. “I withdrew my endorsement of Donald Trump. Now I am never with Hillary, never ever. I think she is a liar. I think she lies, lies, lies. I think she uses cronyism to new levels. I cannot say enough bad things about her,” Chaffetz said.

Phillip Varney, UVU student and chair of the philanthropy council, spoke about the importance for millennials to go out and vote at local and national elections.

“It’s important to vote on every single issue and every single matter, but a vote for your local congress is going to impact your day to day life,” Varney said.