Hatch fires back at Salt Lake Tribune over blistering editorial

Tribune Editorial Why Orrin Hatch is Utahn of the Year

Utah's largest newspaper is calling on the state's senior senator to step down in a brutal editorial.

The editors note that "after 42 years, [Hatch] is the longest-serving Republican senator in USA history, that he has been a senator from Utah longer than three-fifths of the state's population has been alive".

The dubious honor is bestowed on the Utahn who, over the past year, "has done the most" - meaning made the most news or had the biggest impact, for good or for ill.

As reasons Hatch was chosen, The Tribune cited "his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power" and what it called an "anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business" move to scale back two major national monuments in the state.

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

The Tribune also blasted Hatch's role in shrinking the state's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

"So, lest our readers, or the honoree himself, get the wrong impression, let us repeat the idea behind The Salt Lake Tribune's Utahn of the Year designation", the editorial says at the very start.

"This is at least the 4th editorial the Tribune has written in the last two years urging Hatch to retire", Whitlock wrote on Twitter.

The Salt Lake Tribune named Hatch their "Utahn of the Year", an honor the paper said is given to an impactful Utahn, whether their contributions were "for good or for ill". "If he doesn't, the voters should end it for him".

The paper said now that Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had helped shepherd through his long-sought goal of tax reform, he should announce he will not seek re-election.

Hatch, who is the Senate's longest-serving member with 42 years of service, has always been one of the staunchest conservatives in the chamber. "A favor done in return for Hatch's support of the president generally and of his tax reform plan in particular". "Clearly, it was a lie". By not giving other potential candidates a chance to mount a credible challenge, Hatch's backtrack on his promise not to run again "is basically a theft from the Utah electorate", the newspaper said. That's not only not fair to all of those who were passed over. 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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