A major Utah newspaper tore into Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Monday as it declared him “Utahn of the Year,” acknowledging Hatch’s role in major legislative achievements before calling on him to resign and accusing of him of having an “utter lack of integrity” and an “unquenchable thirst for power.”
The board cites three reasons for his award. The first being his role in what the Tribune describes as the “dramatic dismantling” of two major Utah monuments — moves by President Donald Trump that shrunk the sizes of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments. The Tribune says the move has “no constitutional, legal or environmental logic.”
The second was Hatch’s role, as head of the Senate Finance Committee, in the passing of the recent tax bill by Congress.
The third, veering off-course somewhat, was: “His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.”
In justifying this last reason, the Tribune claims Hatch lied to voters in 2012 when he said it would be his last campaign. Now, Hatch is eyeing another run, possibly to head off anti-Trump candidate and failed 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
The Tribune accuses Hatch of “theft from the Utah electorate” although it is presumably that electorate that would be needed to put Hatch back into office.
“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,” the editorial reads. “That’s not only not fair to all of those who were passed over. It is basically a theft from the Utah electorate.”
Before it gets to that point, the Tribune’s editorial board says it hopes that Hatch will resign.
“It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career,” the Tribune’s editorial says. “If he doesn’t, the voters should end it for him.”
Hatch responded by thanking the Tribune in a tweet Monday.
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) December 25, 2017
It is not clear whether Hatch was offering a tongue-in-cheek response or if he had reacted to the front page without having read the editorial.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.