fairn.png
Sunday October 2nd, 2022 10:42PM

Long-serving Utah Senator Orrin Hatch dies at age 88

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Orrin G. Hatch, who became the longest-serving Republican senator in history as he represented Utah for more than four decades, died Saturday at age 88.

His death was announced in a statement from his foundation, which did not specify a cause. He launched the Hatch Foundation as he retired in 2019 and was replaced by Republican Mitt Romney.

A conservative on most economic and social issues, he nonetheless teamed with Democrats several times during his long career on issues ranging from stem cell research to rights for people with disabilities to expanding children’s health insurance. He also formed friendships across the aisle, particularly with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

“He exemplified a generation of lawmakers brought up on the principles of comity and compromise, and he embodied those principles better than anyone," said Hatch Foundation chairman A. Scott Anderson in a statement. “In a nation divided, Orrin Hatch helped show us a better way by forging meaningful friendships on both sides of the aisle. Today, more than ever, we would do well to follow his example.”

Hatch also championed GOP issues like abortion limits and helped shape the U.S. Supreme Court, including defending Justice Clarence Thomas against sexual harassment allegations during confirmation hearings.

Toward the end of his career, Hatch became an ally of Republican President Donald Trump, using his role as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee to get a major rewrite of the U.S. tax codes to the president’s desk. In return, Trump helped Hatch deliver a key issue for Republicans in Utah by agreeing to drastically downsize two national monuments that had been declared by past presidents.

Through Trump encouraged Hatch to run again, the longtime senator, who would have faced a tough primary battle and had promised not to run again. Hatch instead stepped aside and encouraged Romney to run to replace him.

Hatch was also noted for his side career as a singer and recording artist of music with themes of his religious faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine, and their six children.

Hatch came to the Senate after a 1976 election win and went onto become the longest-serving senator in Utah history, winning a seventh term in 2012. He became the Senate president pro tempore in 2015 when Republicans took control of the Senate. The position made him third in the line of presidential succession behind then-Vice President Joe Biden and the Speaker of the House.

One issue Hatch returned to over the course of his career was limiting or outlawing abortion, a position that put him at the center of one of the nation's most controversial issues for decades. He was the author of a variety of “Hatch amendments” to the Constitution aimed at diminishing the availability of abortions.

In 1991, he became known as one of the most vocal defenders of Clarence Thomas against sexual harassment allegations from Anita Hill. Hatch read aloud at the confirmation hearings from “The Exorcist,” and he suggested that Hill stole details from the book.

While unquestionably conservative, there were times Hatch differed from many of his conservative colleagues — including then-President George W. Bush when Hatch pushed for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

In 1997, Hatch joined Kennedy in sponsoring a $24 billion program for states to provide health insurance to the children of low-income parents who don’t qualify for Medicaid.

Hatch helped usher through legislation toughening child pornography laws and making illegally downloading music a prosecutable crime.

For Hatch, the issue of illegally downloaded music was a personal one. A Mormon, he frequently wrote religious songs and recorded music in his spare time as a way to relax from the stresses of life in Washington. Hatch earned about $39,000 in royalties from his songs in 2005.

One of his songs, “Unspoken,” went platinum after appearing on “WOW Hits 2005,” a compilation of Christian pop music.

In 2000, Hatch sought the Republican nomination for president, saying he had more experience in Washington than his opponents and that he could work with Democrats. Hatch readily acknowledged that winning would be a long shot. He withdrew from the race after only winning 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses and then endorsed George W. Bush.

He became a strong opponent of President Barack Obama’s 2009 health care law after pulling out of early bipartisan talks on the legislation. At one point, he said of the legislation: “It is 2,074 pages long. It is enough to make you barf.”

Hatch faced a tough re-election battle from a conservative candidate in 2012, two years after a tea party wave carried longtime Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett out of office. Both Bennett and Hatch voted in favor of a 2008 bank bailout that rankled those on the far right.

Hatch poured about $10 million into his 2012 race and worked to build support among tea party conservatives.

Hatch was used to playing tough — he learned to box as a child in Pittsburgh to fend off the attacks of older, larger students. Unafraid to fight, he said he always made a point to quickly become friends with those he had arguments with.

When Hatch announced he would not seek re-election in 2018, he said “every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves.”

After moving to Utah in the early 1970s, Hatch — a former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — ran for his first public office in 1976 and narrowly upset Democratic Sen. Frank Moss.

In 1982, he held off challenger Ted Wilson, the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City, to win a second term by a solid margin.

He was never seriously challenged again.

Orrin Grant Hatch was born in 1934 in Pittsburgh. He married Elaine Hanson in 1957 and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1959. He received a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1962 and was a partner in the law firm of Thomson, Rhodes and Grigsby in that city until 1969.

Later, he was a partner in the Salt Lake City firm of Hatch & Plumb. He had six children: Brent, Marcia, Scott, Kimberly, Alysa and Jess.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Jazz beat Mavericks to tie series, spoil Doncic's return
Rudy Gobert gave Utah the lead with an alley-oop dunk with 11.0 seconds left and the Jazz held off the Dallas Mavericks 100-99 on Saturday in Game 4 to tie the first-round series
9:08PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Long-serving Utah Senator Orrin Hatch dies at age 88
Orrin G
9:05PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Rays lose no-hit bid in 10th inning against Red Sox
The Tampa Bay Rays lost their bid for a combined no-hitter when Bobby Dalbec hit an RBI triple for the Boston Red Sox in the 10th inning
8:59PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Michigan GOP picks candidates with Trump clout on the line
Michigan Republicans are meeting to pick candidates for statewide races that former President Donald Trump has sought to sway while flirting with another run for the White House
4:26PM ( 4 hours ago )
Police ID Maryland man shot in incident at Peru envoy's home
Authorities have identified the man who was shot and killed by U.S. Secret Service officers this past week at the Washington residence of Peru’s ambassador to the United States
12:26PM ( 8 hours ago )
Sanctions hit Russian economy, although Putin says otherwise
Nearly two months into the Russian-Ukraine war, the Kremlin has taken extraordinary steps to blunt an economic counteroffensive from the West
12:05PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump's Oz, Vance endorsements bring cash windfall, backlash
Former President Donald Trump’s late endorsements in hypercompetitive Republican Senate primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania have unlocked a flood of support for his chosen candidates, including millions in cash
12:14AM ( 21 hours ago )
Kremlin critic jailed over denouncing Ukraine war
Russian authorities have opened a criminal case against a prominent opposition activist and remanded him in pre-trial detention for allegedly spreading “false information” about the country’s armed forces
9:24PM ( 1 day ago )
Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill to limit discussion of race
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law new guidelines involving race-based discussions in businesses and school, part his campaign against critical race theory
7:20PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Congress News
Ukraine battered again; Zelenskyy says US officials to visit
An adviser to Ukraine’s presidential office says Russian forces have tried to storm a steel plant that is the last defense stronghold in the strategic port city of Mariupol
9:18PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Jazz beat Mavericks to tie series, spoil Doncic's return
Rudy Gobert gave Utah the lead with an alley-oop dunk with 11.0 seconds left and the Jazz held off the Dallas Mavericks 100-99 on Saturday in Game 4 to tie the first-round series
9:08PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Rays lose no-hit bid in 10th inning against Red Sox
The Tampa Bay Rays lost their bid for a combined no-hitter when Bobby Dalbec hit an RBI triple for the Boston Red Sox in the 10th inning
8:59PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Yanks fans pelt Cleveland outfielders with debris after win
Some Yankees fans in the right-field bleachers pelted Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene moments after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres got RBI hits with two outs in the ninth inning to lift New York to a 6-5 win
8:59PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Rays working on no-hitter through 9 innings vs Red Sox
The Tampa Bay Rays have a combined no-hit bid through nine innings against the Boston Red Sox
8:43PM ( 41 minutes ago )