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Utah's biggest newspaper unloads on Orrin Hatch

On Monday, The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah's largest newspaper, named Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) "Utahn of the Year," but lest Hatch or readers get the idea this was some sort of Christmas present, the newspaper's editorial board reminded everyone that they recognize the Utahan who "has had the biggest impact. For good or for ill." Hatch earned these honors, the Tribune said, for helping dramatically dismantle the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, his leading role in enacting the Republican tax overhaul, and — in case you were wondering about good vs. ill — "his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power."

The Tribune editorialists said the decision to shrink the national monuments "has no constitutional, legal, or environmental logic," and was "basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch," and recognized that the GOP tax cuts Hatch put "his fingerprints all over" has compelling arguments on both sides, but they said that "perhaps the most significant move of Hatch's career is the one that should, if there is any justice, end it."

Hatch promised in 2012 that it was his last campaign, clearing the field of potential rivals so "the elder statesman" could "have his victory tour and to prepare to run for an open seat in 2018," but "clearly, it was a lie," as he is moving to run for his eighth term, the editorial says. Hatch is again selfishly freezing out "a generation or two of highly qualified political leaders," in what's "basically a theft from the Utah electorate." He finally "caught the Great White Whale of tax reform" so he should "call it a career," the Tribune says, and "if he doesn't, the voters should end it for him." You can read the entire editorial at The Salt Lake Tribune.