A top Republican was just named Utahn of the Year, but there’s a major catch

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The Salt Lake Tribune has named Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as the 2017 Utahn of the Year, but the publication made sure to include a caveat.

“The criteria are not set in stone. But this year, as many times in the past, The Tribune has assigned the label to the Utahn who, over the past 12 months, has done the most. Has made the most news. Has had the biggest impact. For good or for ill.”

And “for ill” it was. The Tribune conceded that while Hatch is the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, their bestowal has nothing to do with the length of his tenure.

Instead, they write “it has everything to do with recognizing” the following:

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  • Hatch’s part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
  • His role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in passing a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.
  • His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.

The publication slams Hatch’s endorsement of Trump’s move to decimate the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument, a decision which has “no constitutional, legal, or environmental logic.” Rather, the move is regarded as “a political favor the White House did for Hatch… in return for Hatch’s support of the president generally and of his tax reform plan in particular.”

In terms of tax reform, while the Tribune conceded that Hatch has always run for re-election on the basis of overhauling our tax code, after 40 years, only now has anything ever been done about it.

“And Hatch, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has his fingerprints all over it.”

Finally, the Tribune calls the seven-term Senator out for his most brazen lie to the American people. In 2012, he promised this would be his last campaign, causing possible successors from both parties “to stand down, to let the elder statesman have his victory tour,” while others “prepare to run for an open seat in 2018.”

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“Clearly, it was a lie. Over the years, Hatch stared down a generation or two of highly qualified political leaders who were fully qualified to take his place, Hatch is now moving to run for another term — it would be his eighth — in the Senate. Once again, Hatch has moved to freeze the field to make it nigh unto impossible for any number of would-be senators to so much as mount a credible challenge. That’s not only not fair to all of those who were passed over. It is basically a theft from the Utah electorate.”

The people of Utah finally realize the scam that Hatch and his Republican Party are selling them. They’re not willing to put up with the lies any longer.

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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