Major Utah paper calls on Hatch to not seek re-election

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

Andrew Harnik AP

The senator had been involved in plans to shrink Bears Ears long before President Donald Trump and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the monument would be reduced from 1.35 million to about 229,000 acres in early December.

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch had a prominent role supporting the bill.

Many were left asking if Hatch had tweeted before reading the Salt Lake Tribune's full reasoning for the award, for the most impactful person in the state, which hit out at his part in slashing the size of Utah's national monuments.

Rather, the editors wrote, the selection stemmed from the role Hatch played in "dismantling" two national monuments with the Trump administration's help; his role in writing the tax code overhaul; and his "utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power".

Hatch said on Twitter that he was "grateful for this great Christmas honor" in response to a critical editorial in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Perhaps the most significant move of Hatch's career is the one that should, if there is any justice, end it. 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.

The editorial goes on to slam Hatch for the length of his tenure in the Utah Senate, a position he said he would give up after his 2012 reelection campaign.

The paper's editorial called Hatch the "Utahn of the Year", while stressing that the designation was not a compliment, and instead a reflection of his influence within the state and Washington, D.C. Still, Hatch's twitter account thanked the paper for the label. Hatch said at the time.

"It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career". Hatch is too old and too out of touch to be an effective Republican in the senate.

"There's no question in my mind she was coached by special interest groups", Hatch said in 1991. "It's so slick it doesn't compute".

The paper urges Hatch to take the advice he offered to his opponent in the election that would first put him in the Senate.

Before it gets to that point, the Tribune's editorial board says it hopes that Hatch will resign.

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