Posts Tagged ‘Orrin Hatch’

Hatch not ruling out 2018 run

August 27, 2011

Chris Vanocur of ABC4 did an exclusive interview with Senator Orrin Hatch this week. It was the first interview since Congressman Jason Chaffetz announced he was not running for the US Senate.

Vanocur asked about Jim Matheson as a possible opponent. Hatch replied that he was good friends with Jim and that he didn’t think he would run. Just like Hatch didn’t think Chaffetz would run. And like he doesn’t think anyone else will run. Because everyone knows you don’t run against the juggernaut, right?

Vanocur then followed up by asking the Senator if he won next year, would he run again in 2018?

ABC 4: “Will that be it? Will that be your last term?”

Senator Hatch: “Well, let me put it to you this way…”

For those playing at home, that was neither a yes or a no answer.

So, we asked the senator again.

ABC 4: “That almost sounds like, if you’re reelected, you would leave open the option of running for another term after that?”

Senator: Hatch: “Well, I think it’s too early to make any decision there. It’s unlikely I would run again but I wouldn’t foreclose it.”

So there you have it folks – 36 years is not enough for Senator Hatch. 42 years may not be enough. At what point does Utah step up and say “Enough is enough?”


Chaffetz not running for Senate

August 22, 2011

As the day started, there was no indication there would be anything out of the ordinary to rock the political boat, but things can change in a hurry. One tweet from one reporter saying that Congressman Jason Chaffetz was announcing his intentions today at 4 pm started a virtual Twitter explosion. Like a summer squall that comes on suddenly, politicos across the state – and the nation – began calling, texting, tweeting and writing. Before noon, speculation was running rampant that Chaffetz would in fact announce that he was NOT going to challenge 6-term incumbent Orrin Hatch.

So confident was Tribune reporter Robert Gehrke that he posted the first online article stating that Chaffetz was out of the Senate race hours before the press conference. He was followed in short order by ABC 4, Politico, WaPo, the New York Times, the Daily Caller and of course, the blogosphere – Hot Air and Michelle Malkin, to name two.  (Stories have been updated)

Indeed, at 4 pm, Congressman Chaffetz, accompanied by his wife Julie, his campaign staff, his chief of staff and his communications director, told the assembled media peeps that he would be running for re-election to his House seat.  Pointing to his sponsorship of the popular “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill, the Fast and Furious investigation in which he plays a major role and the earmark ban he pushed for, he said it was clear that he did not need to wait for seniority in order to be effective.

“Ultimately,” he said, “I can spend the next 15 months doing my job, or I can spend the next 15 months campaigning to do Senator Hatch’s.”

His announcement stunned most political insiders, including this blogger who has to now go find a hat to eat….

Daily Fix, Aug 11

August 11, 2011

*Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love continues to make waves as she announces the formation of a Congressional Exploratory Committee. Jennifer Scott, former campaign manager for Jason Chaffetz, is advising Mayor Love. I expect her to be a formidable candidate. Daily Herald, Fox 13, DNews

*Senator Hatch said a few months ago that “governments have promised too much money in lifetime pensions” saying “…these governments are living in the past, playing irresponsibly with taxpayer money, and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for too many lifetime pension promises.” According to NTU (the National Taxpayer’s Union) his pension currently stands at $125K per year, not including health care bennies – or Social Security payments. If he wins re-election and Republicans control the Senate next year, Hatch is in line to become the chair of the Senate Finance committee. chairman. The Senate Finance Committee oversees public employee pension plans. ABC4 The Utah Democratic chair questions why Hatch’s pension is more than 6 figures. ABC4

*Last night, Congressman Chaffetz held a townhall in American Fork. A lot of the meeting was focused on his potential rival, Senator Orrin Hatch. From the Trib: “They blew it,” he said of leaders during the Republican-dominated years between 2000 and 2006. Chaffetz then lowered the boom on Hatch. “You don’t have to have 36 years of seniority to get things done in Washington,” Chaffetz said. “Seniority doesn’t matter if you don’t vote right.” He held a similar meeting tonight in Ogden, with a similar response.

*The Pentagon respected the wishes of the families of the soldiers who died in the recent helicopter crash and would not allow the media to photograph the remains as they arrived at Dover AFB. Never fear – a White House photographer took pics anyway. AP

*And finally, if you did not watch the GOP debate tonight, you missed out on some good political theater. WaPo

Daily Fix, Aug 8

August 8, 2011

*S&P downgraded our nation’s credit rating on Friday and the last 72 hours have been filled with polarized, partisan sniping. Why don’t we go straight to the source for the reasons for the downgrade? S&P ratings specialist John Chambers talks about those reasons.

*According to Politico, President Barack Obama “came out swinging against S&P on Monday — but Wall Street delivered an even harder 634-point punch in the gut over Washington’s handling of the debt and deficit crisis.” He announced he would unveil his own plan – but the White House had no time frame on when we should expect that plan.

*Governor Rick Perry is expected to announce his intentions to run for President of the United States at a RedState gathering this Saturday and from there, he heads to a New Hampshire event. He is expected to steal the thunder from the Iowa straw poll also happening on Saturday. Expect a big splash, then a whole lot of people looking a lot more closely at the governor from Texas.

*Closer to home, Congressman Jason Chaffetz began a week of town halls around the state. First on the schedule? Castle Dale, Utah, where the town hall turned into a tea party rally. Trib

*Meanwhile, potential rival Senator Orrin Hatch welcomed people to his new campaign offices in Murray – but couldn’t quite find the time to talk to the DREAM Act supporters who wanted to thank him in person. Hatch says he remains supportive of the DREAM Act, but acknowledges other things have to happen before it could be passed. Trib

*Riots are consuming London for the 3rd night in a row.  Some see it not as a protest, but an opportunistic crime spree. Scary. Fox 13

Daily Fix, Aug 2

August 2, 2011

*Last week, Representative Julie Fisher resigned to become the state director of the Department of Community and Culture. There will be a special election to fill the vacancy on August 25th. To date, there are 6 people in the race but the deadline to file is August 18th. Currently running are Carl Downing, Peter Cannon, Stewart Barlow, Don Milligan, Benton Bramwell and Neil Harris. D News

*President Obama nominated David Barlow, a Republican, to be the US attorney for Utah. He has been serving as Senator Mike Lee’s general counsel since January. Fox 13 Barlow’s appointment was met with howls from the Dems in Utah, wanting to know what back room deals were made. None, say the powers that be. Trib

*Mayor Mia Love just returned from a trip to Washington DC, where she met with a variety of people and organizations, including the NRCC, where she was very well received. She will not make a final determination until after redistricting is done. Trib

*Orrin Hatch snagged an endorsement from Sean Hannity today. Hannity said praised Hatch for fighting for Balanced Budgets and for his work in appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court. Washington Examiner

*Hatch is also taking heat for censuring unfavorable comments on his Facebook page. According to the SL Trib, Jen Howe joined that conversation to ask what he would “cut, cap and/or balance” in the federal budget. “Hatch responded that he would reveal specifics after the proposed balanced budget amendment passed. So Howe asked how he could ask his fellow co-workers to vote on something they didn’t know the specifics of, and told him she felt his constituents also needed access to this information. “For this, he defriended and removed me from his page, along with many others,” Howe says.” Hatch’s spokesman says they only remove “inappropriate, obscene or other offensive remarks on his page.” Trib

*Senator Mike Lee unveiled his new PAC – the Constitutional Conservatives Fund. His goal will be to “find and support candidates for federal office who share my view that federal government has become too big and too expensive.” He is open to supporting challengers to sitting Senators. The Hill

*Moody’s did NOT downgrade the US’ credit rating but did give it a negative outlook. I guess the world didn’t end after all. The Hill

*Central Falls, Rhode Island is broke. 18,000 people live there and are facing $80 million in unfunded liabilities to pay for the pensions of 141 people. Senator Dan Liljenquist blogs that “reality is not negotiable.”

*A Pleasant Grove man had a bad night when he crawled in bed with the wrong woman. In the wrong house. And started to get romantic. You gotta feel for him… Trib

*And finally, The Mayor of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, has had enough. He’s sick of people parking where ever they feel like it and he decided to prove his point. Check it out.


July 13, 2011

Public Policy Polling (PPP) recently surveyed Utah voters on potential Senate match-ups in a general election. They found that Matheson could be a serious contender in a race with either Hatch or Chaffetz. The polling – by one of the most accurate companies out there – found that in a head-to-head competition, Senator Hatch and Congressman Matheson would start out virtually deadlocked, 44-45. A race between Chaffetz and Matheson shows a 5 point advantage for Matheson – 42-47.

The polling also shows approval ratings of under 50% for both Republicans – 46% for Hatch, 43% for Chaffetz – but a whopping 59% for Matheson. Matheson gets almost all of the Dem vote, a heavy majority of the independent/unaffiliated vote and STILL manages to capture 23% of the Republican vote against Chaffetz and 20% against Hatch.

To quote PPP, “If Matheson runs it will certainly be the most national attention a political race in Utah has drawn in many, many years.” It also highlights room in the Senate race for another GOP contender, someone like Senator Dan Liljenquist. Senator Liljenquist reformed Utah’s pension and Medicaid programs and has saved the state billions in just 2 years. He could make this race even more interesting than it already is.

Daily Fix, Feb 21

February 21, 2011

The Utah legislature has a much-appreciated day off today in honor of President’s day. Rumors are that tomorrow’s budget numbers will be even better news than anticipated, Dennis Stowell is fighting for his life and Orrin Hatch remains in the crosshairs. I mean targeted. I mean “strongly encouraged to retire.”

*Senator Dennis Stowell, R-Parowan, is in a fight for his life.  Diagnosed with prostate cancer 5 years ago, it has spread to his bones, causing severe back pain and fatigue, yet he is determined to soldier on.  Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.  Trib

*After 4:40 am Saturday morning, after 4 days of debate, the US House passed the continuing resolution that will allow the government to continue functioning.  The resolution calls for cutting $61 billion from the 2010 spending levels.  Speaker Boehner pledged to have an open process and lawmakers were able to offer unlimited amendments.  More than 500 were submitted, almost 70 were voted on and fewer than 20 were approved.  Nancy Pelosi claimed the cuts would “destroy jobs.”  The Hill

*One of those amendments was offered by Rep Mike Pence and would no longer provide tax-payer dollars to Planned Parenthood. Even though the federal dollars can not be used to pay for abortions directly, those Title X funds free up other dollars to allow the nation’s largest abortion provider to continue to operate. In Utah, one Planned Parenthood clinic offers abortions. The vote passed 240-185. Fox 13 // Politico

*Utah’s Orrin Hatch continues to be one of the top 3 GOP targets in the 2012 election cycle, joining Olympia Snowe from Maine and Dick Lugar of Indiana. Lugar is ignoring the tea party, Snowe is making “key alliances” and Hatch is wooing them and where possible, he is hiring them. His staff includes key members of the Mike Lee and Morgan Philpot campaigns, as well as former state GOP chair and vice-chair, Dave Hansen and Kitty Dunn. Huff Po

*Hatch is also showing up at conservative events like a recent Tea Party Express rally and CPAC. Tea Party Express chairman, Amy Kremer, said he invited himself. According to Time, “Hatch has been a senator for 34 years, which is itself a fatal flaw for the insurrectionists eager to purge the party’s dinosaurs. (When he mentioned the length of his tenure, a man behind me muttered, “Time to move on.”) Since coming to Washington, he’s committed enough apostasies to flunk any Tea Party purity test. Hatch voted for TARP, sponsored the DREAM Act, and has a record of forging alliances with Democrats like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, with whom he worked on broadening children’s health-insurance coverage.” Time

*FreedomWorks, well-known for their focus on fiscal conservatism and grassroots activism was in Utah on Thursday to meet with various tea party groups and potential candidates as they look to the 2012 races. Russ Walker, FreedomWork’s vice president for political and grassroots campaigns, says the meetings were to analyze the [Senate] race and to figure out “whether we have a real challenger to Hatch, and if we do have that challenger, what the next step in the process will be.” CNN

Daily Fix, Feb 14

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day! CPAC concluded in DC over the weekend – Mitch Daniels gives a well-received speech, Orrin Hatch gets booed, Ron Paul wins the straw poll. Again. On the homefront, Sandstrom’s immigration bill passes out of committee and Utahn’s would choose Romney over Huntsman by more than 2 to 1.

*CPAC – the Conservative Political Action Conference – held their annual get-together in DC over the weekend. Mitch Daniels was one of the presidential hopefuls who addressed the crowd. He called the sea of red ink the new “Red Menace” and called for drastic measures in cutting. “Our morbidly obese federal government needs not just behavior modification but bariatric surgery,” he told the applauding masses. He also told Politico he would have fun running for POTUS but would not commit. Politico

*Ron Paul breezed to victory – again – in the CPAC straw poll — a sign, says Politico, of the intense following he enjoys and the waning relevance of the surveys. Politico

*Utah Senator Orrin Hatch braved the lion’s den and spoke to the CPAC crowd. He was booed soundly for his TARP vote, and while he defended it, he also apologized for it. Trib // The Blaze // Slate

*Arizona Republican Jeff Flake is the first to jump into the Senate race just days after Senator Jon Kyl announced he will not be seeking re-election. Club for Growth has already announced their endorsement of Flake, the first of their endorsements in the 2012 cycle. AZ Central // Club for Growth

*In Utah news, Rep Steve Sandstrom‘s immigration bill passes out of committee on a party-line 9-3 vote after almost 4 hours of debate. Changing “shall” to “may” in Class B and C misdemeanors is expected to drop the fiscal note significantly, as well as increase the comfort level for legislators and other involved parties. Deseret News

*Utahns would vote for Romney over Huntsman by over 2-1. Makes for some interesting dynamics headed into the 2012 cycle and probably makes the rumor that Huntsman actually wants to run against Hatch less likely to happen. Deseret News

Daily Fix, Feb 9

February 9, 2011

A move to extend three provisions of the Patriot Act fails to reach 2/3 majority, the bill to redraw boundaries finally gets some movement, loosening car seat requirements a no-go, and Hatch continues to try and engage the tea party.

*A bill to extend 3 provisions of the Patriot Act failed to meet the threshold of 2/3 to move forward. Democrats were joined by conservative Republicans – including Rob Bishop of Utah – to defeat it. The Hill

*Senator Dan Liljenquist continues to garner attention for the pension reforms passed a year ago and his willingness to tackle Medicaid reform this year. One of the state’s fiscal analysts presented their estimate on cost-savings to the state – $770 million to the state in 7 years. Utah Policy Kansas Reporter

*SB 113, the bill to redraw the boundaries in District 57, finally saw some movement. It was substituted in committee and now includes language that would put into place the checks and balances we need to ensure this type of mistake does not happen again. Both former Rep Craig Frank and the current Rep spoke in favor of the bill. Daily Herald Des News

*A bill that would loosen booster seat regulations died in committee yesterday on a 6-5 vote. Sponsor Chris Herrod R-Provo spoke to parental rights but Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, said, “Convenience should never trump safety.” SL Trib

*Senator Orrin Hatch sat down with Senator Mike Lee and others at a forum held by the Tea Party Express. Hatch spoke of lessons learned during his long tenure in the Senate and following the meeting, he commented on tea partiers. “I think the more they look at it the more they realize ‘How do you get somebody as good as he is?’ ” Senator Lee remarked: “With all due respect to those who have served in this body over the last few decades, our money has not been well-managed.” Politico Trib

*A bill allowing “cake” fireworks passed out of the Utah House yesterday. Those fireworks are ones that stay on the ground but shoot sparks higher than 15 feet in the air. Bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers and cherry bombs are still illegal. Des News

Daily Fix, Dec 29

December 28, 2010

Welcome to a snowy Wednesday morning during a mostly-quiet week on the political front.  One week from today is swearing-in day in DC, then the 112th Congress will get right to work and news will be hopping.  In the meantime…..

*Breaking news on the Utah political front is that Governor Herbert has named Ally Isom as his Communications Director and Deputy Chief of Staff.  The Utah House Democrats have named Holly Mullen as their Communications Director, meaning we’ll have two Hollys on the Hill come Jan 24. SL Tribune and SL Tribune

*The White House wants to hush discussion on death panels, revived again by the New York Times.  Doctors discussing “end-of-life” options with their clients receive financial kick-backs.  The White House countered by saying the new Medicare regulations simply continue a practice already in place but now OK’s those discussions at annual “wellness” visits.  The Hill

*Senator-elect Mike Lee will have a good chunk of change to hire some 35-40 staffers, plus additional $$ to set up offices around the state as he is sworn in next week. Chaffetz’ district director, Jennifer Scott, shares some of the lessons she learned as she looks back on setting up new offices two years ago. Resumès from Lee staffer-hopefuls outnumber positions available by more than 10 to 1. Deseret News

*The 2012 election cycle has begun. Republicans have a number of Democrat Senators in their sights, including Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. On the Republican side, Orrin Hatch tops the list of Senators who can expect a strong intra-party challenge followed by Senator Dick Lugar from Indiana and Olympia Snowe from Maine. The Hill  Washington Post

*The recently-ended 111th Congress added more debt than the entire 100 first Congresses COMBINED.  Not exactly a record to be proud of. CNSNews

*And if none of that interests you, how about paying your parking fines in gold?  Could happen if one Utah legislator gets his way.  SL Tribune

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