On Christmas Day, the Tribune posted two articles on Hatch: one naming him the Utah man of the year and an editorial explaining the selection while trashing the longtime Utah lawmaker for his "lack of integrity".
Sen. Orrin Hatch is hitting back at a scathing Salt Lake Tribune editorial being spread far and wide online in which the paper's editorial board calls on the 83-year-old to retire at the end of his term. The Tribune also highlighted the senator's role in passing a major overhaul of the nation's tax code that overwhelmingly benefits corporations and the nation's wealthy.
Grateful for this great Christmas honor from the Salt Lake Tribune.
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.
The editors note that "after 42 years, [Hatch] is the longest-serving Republican senator in US history, that he has been a senator from Utah longer than three-fifths of the state's population has been alive".
The last time the senator was up for reelection, in 2012, he promised that it would be his last campaign.
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Since the election of President Donald Trump, Hatch's Senate seat has been the subject of swirling rumors suggesting a political comeback for former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. A spokesperson for the senator did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 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.
Earlier this month the U.S. president, Donald Trump, modified designations for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, potentially opening the land to big corporate developers and the oil and gas industry.
Speaking in a condescendingly paternalistic fashion, Hatch said earlier this year that Native Americans were "manipulated" into their support for the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Orrin Hatch's "utter lack of integrity" and called for him to end his 42-year career in the Senate.
None of that, apparently, caught Hatch's attention.
Prior to Clarence Thomas and the anti-apartheid vote, in his first decade in the Senate, Hatch offered advice to Capitol Hill interns in 1983.