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Principles count again – Utah halfway there in 2011

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With the rise of the Tea Party, principles are again returning to Washington. This past year one Utah Senator lost his election bid and next year with any luck so will one more. With the new year upon us I just wanted to take a minute to remind the people of Utah about our former Senator Bob Bennett, our present Senator Orrin Hatch, and the hope for our future in Senator Mike Lee.

The Past:

Although not my first choice for replacement, Utah Senator Bob Bennett was due for retirement as a Utah senator. Mr. Bennett did have a reasonably conservative record according to Wikipedia and other sources, and while certainly not the worst of two Utah senators before the 2010 elections, he had been making some bad decisions in recent years. Including his words before the second round of voting at the GOP convention where he said to the delegates, “Don’t take a chance on a newcomer”. I guess he must have thought his vote for TARP, support for gas tax increases, or his own health care bill which mandated citizens purchase health insurance were not something he wanted to remind delegates of just before the vote. While Mr. Bennett had his bad decisions such as when he refused to tell constituents what companies were receiving money from his sponsored earmarks and the previously mentioned votes. Mr. Bennett should receive credit for a 2009 vote where he stood on Constitutional principle, something in which Orrin Hatch could use a lesson. Unlike Senator Hatch who sponsored the unconstitutional S.160, Mr. Bennett voted against the bill, which would have given unconstitutional representation in Congress to the District of Columbia. However, if anyone had any doubts about Mr. Bennett’s removal from office. They should now rest assured knowing they did the right thing after votes from this last lame duck session of Congress. In it Mr. Bennett used his last few votes to show his true colors, not only voting FOR the Dream Act but also FOR START, which in case you hadn’t heard is really in the best interest of Russia. I wonder if our former Senator even read the treaty before he voted in favor of its ratification?

The Present:

Senator Orrin Hatch, what can be said about Utah’s longest serving Senator? Well, the Senator puts up a good front, as a Co-Chairman of the Federalist Society. He even seemed like a strong conservative until I moved to Utah and started paying more attention to his antics. Just over a year ago Mr. Hatch was happy to sell out the Constitution for an extra Utah seat in the House of Representatives as he sponsored and pushed for passage of S.160. When I asked Mr. Hatch about the constitutionality of this bill I received this response

“I continue to believe that, in order to be fair, we should provide the citizens of the District of Columbia with representation in Congress.” “In addition, the Constitution, by granting Congress the exclusive authority to pass legislation on all matters regarding the District, gives Congress the power to give representation to the citizens of the District”.

Interestingly enough Mr. Hatch freedom isn’t fair and Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution says that

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature”,

the keyword being “states”. Obviously Mr. Hatch also must have forgotten how states acquire more representation in the House when he said

“I believe that S.160 is the best way to ensure that Utah receives an additional House seat”.

States receive more representation in the House via the number of people residing in each state as determined by the census Mr. Hatch, not via shady legislation, it’s as simple as that. In the middle of 2010 Mr. Hatch started up the 2012 election campaign with a steady stream of conservative rhetoric telling the voters of Utah just what they want to hear. He came out against the DREAM Act, a problem piece of legislation which he himself created several years ago. When I asked Mr. Hatch how he planned to vote on S.729, he told me via letter that he did not support this legislation. I was very surprised to find out Mr. Hatch did not even show up to cast his vote against S.729. Of course he said after the vote that he would have voted against it if he hadn’t been in Missouri attending a grandson’s college graduation. His missed vote was no doubt a political calculation putting him on both sides of the issue in 2012. In the middle of 2010 Hatch came out for the DREAM Act in a town meeting, only to be against it now that he is in campaign mode. Frankly, I am wondering why we are paying Mr. Hatch well over $174,000 a year inclusive of the very posh benefits senators receive? I believe the people of Utah elected Mr. Hatch to cast his vote for Utah citizens in Washington, something that has apparently escaped the mind of our good Senator. Perhaps he needs to be reminded in 2012 that he has failed in his duties. Not only by ignoring his duty to vote on legislation and his contempt for the Constitution with S.160. But also for his arrogance, on display recently when asked about 2012 Mr. Hatch stated

“We think when people really look at the record, they’ll say, ‘My gosh, how do you replace a guy who is going to head the Finance Committee, the most powerful committee in all of Congress?’ That’s like saying forget Utah”.

Well, in my home state South Dakota the people removed Tom Daschle in 2004. He also held a powerful position in the senate and made similar childlike scare mongering statements. It’s time to remind the good Senator it is not about power, but doing the right thing. Recently, it was announced that due to the 2010 census Utah would be receiving a fourth seat in the House of Representatives. It makes me wonder if Orrin regrets trying to sell out the Constitution back in 2009? It’s time to elect another new Utah Senator in 2012, someone with a little more respect for the office and the country.

The Future:

There is hope, our newly sworn in Utah Senator Mike Lee has discussed trying to return to the 2004 budget and has repeatedly said it is time to return to a smaller government. He also has said that he is prepared to tell Americans they will have to do without some good programs because the country simply cannot afford them. We will shortly see how hard he will work to make the issues he discussed during his campaign a reality, issues which are key to turning back the growth of government and ensuring freedom for future generations. As for Mr. Hatch, most of Utah has had enough, only two more years and we will have another new Utah Senator to replace you. We will replace you with someone who is not part of the “Good Ol’ Boys” club in Washington, someone who will stand up for the Constitution instead of selling it out for their own personal feelings of fairness, someone who will stand up for freedom and have the foresight to not only do what best for Utah but for the country as well. Finally we will replace you with someone who will be humbled by the responsibility they have been entrusted with by the people, someone who will read bills and ensure they are present to vote yes or no for the people of Utah.

Final Word:

Fire Hatch in 2012.

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