Orrin Hatch grateful for 'honor' from Utah newspaper criticizing him

27 December, 2017, 02:53 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch R-Utah signs the final version of the GOP tax bill during an enrollment ceremony at the Capitol in Washington Thursday Dec. 21 2017

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has been named the Salt Lake Tribune's "Utahn of the Year", a designation the lawmaker has since called "a great Christmas honor".

Grateful for this great Christmas honor from the Salt Lake Tribune.

"Everyone celebrates Christmas differently", said Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock in a statement.

Quite similar to the yearly confusion surrounding the choosing process behind TIME magazine's Person of the Year, the Salt Lake City Tribune attempted to explain that being designated Utahn of the Year is not inherently positive. Hatch earned these honors, the Tribune said, for helping dramatically dismantle the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, his leading role in enacting the Republican tax overhaul, and - in case you were wondering about good vs. ill - "his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power".

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And it's odd that the leading newspaper from a state where 70% of the land is owned by the federal government should raise a ruckus when some of it is given back to the people. And it asked Hatch, who has been a senator for 42 years, to not run for re-election next year. He was seen as one of the driving forces behind President Trump's decision to shrink the two national monuments by about 2 million acres.

The Tribune also noted Hatch's involvement in the passage of the GOP tax plan last week given his role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. At 83, he is the third-oldest member of the Senate, and he had promised that 2012 would be his last campaign, the newspaper reported. "That's not only not fair to all of those who were passed over".

Speculation has swirled that former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would run for the seat if Hatch retired, as a potential challenge to the president's agenda.

The piece then called on him to not seek another term in 2018 saying the move would choke off a rising generation of leaders in the state and would be nothing less than "theft from the Utah electorate". It was in those hearings that Anita Hill alleged that Thomas, while her boss at the Department of Education and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, had sexually harassed her. Hatch has since said that Thomas and his wife deserve an apology from Hill.

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