The Legacy of Orrin Hatch | The Hinckley Report

The Legacy of Orrin Hatch | The Hinckley Report

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♪♪♪ male announcer: Funding
for the Hinckley Report is made possible in part by the George
S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Cleone
Peterson Eccles Endowment Fund. Jason Perry: Tonight on
the Hinckley Report, as the year draws to a close,
leaders in Washington are still hard at work. What major changes will
we see in the final weeks? Will they avoid a
government shutdown? And how are Utah’s
lawmakers involved? In Utah, lawmakers
prepare for the year ahead. What candidates are
making big announcements? Which issues are
becoming headlines? And how are Utahans weighing in? ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ Jason: Good evening, and
welcome to the Hinckley Report. I’m Jason Perry, Director of the
Hinckley Institute of Politics. Covering the week, we have Ben
Winslow, Political Reporter with Fox 13 News, Nicole Nixon,
Political Reporter with KUER, and Glen Mills, Anchor
and Political Reporter with ABC 4 News. So glad to be
with you all today. We’re going to jump in
’cause there’s a lot of stuff happening in politics. Let’s start with you, Ben, okay? So, we’re all watching what’s
happening in Washington D.C. this week, an impending
government shutdown. Ben Winslow: Tick tock. Jason: The clock is
literally ticking right now. Explain to us what’s happening. Ben: Well, right now
there is obviously a big dispute that government–there
has been a partial funding. There has been some money given,
but not without the border wall. The House voted
obviously to secure that. The president wants that. He wants it because it’s a
key campaign promise that he made, and
we’re going to see if the Senate’s going
to give it to him. The House acquiesced along
largely a party line vote, and now they’ve sent
it back to the Senate. The President this morning is
meeting with senate Republicans to make the pitch, to
see if they can find some kind of a common ground. But, we’re going to see if
ultimately he can get it. Glen Mills: This is like the
ultimate game of chicken just before Christmas with the
American people as the potential losers in this,
especially those who work for the federal government. That’s what we saw last time the
government shut down is those workers who are
living paycheck to paycheck. All of a sudden, that
paycheck stops coming in, and they’re the ones that
ultimately lose from this. Jason: Nicole, how big
of a deal is this wall? Give it–paint a picture
for us because this seems to be the dividing line. Nicole Nixon: Right, and this
is the issue, I think, that Trump campaigned on and he
promised during the campaign. Of course, while
he was campaigning, he said Mexico’s
going to pay for it. And now, that’s the fight is, is
this $5 billion that Democrats really don’t want to give, and
it’s going to be exponentially harder for him to get it
in January when Democrats take over the House. So, he really
wants to get this now. Ben: We’re going to be right
back at this I think again in February because this only funds
for a certain amount of time. Jason: That’s true.
That is true. We had this
conversation going forward, but I’m curious about this
point that Nicole just made. So, there were two campaign
promises: one is the wall, and I guess the other part was,
“and we’re not paying for it.” Help us understand. Ben: Guess what?
We’re paying for it. That appears to be the case
because what you’re seeing is this funding, unless that
GoFundMe account that’s been going on in Florida
suddenly takes off. It appears that the U.S.
government is going to be paying for this, and
that’s tax payers. Jason: Glen, where
are our delegation? Glen: Well, our
delegation–the House voted on the
bill last night. All three–Mia Love was not
there, but all three voted in favor of it, and I actually
had a chance to talk with Representative Stewart on the
phone last night right before the vote, and Representative
Curtis was right there with him, and they were adamant
that this promise that the President made, the $5
billion border security be in this bill, and they’re
trying to broker a deal that they thought they’d be able
to get more Democrats on with, with about $8 billion in
disaster relief funding. They thought potentially they
can get to California Democrats on board with that
part of the bill. However, you take a
look at the vote today, and it has been pointed out,
it was pretty much party line, only Republicans voting “No”. No Democrats voting “Yes”. So, even as that
goes into the Senate, we aren’t expecting them to be
on board with that bill anyway. But clearly, the Democrats in
the House did not bite on that. So, why would the
Democrats in the Senate? Jason: Nicole, I’m curious
about some of the ramifications ’cause, you know,
you get a bill–and they have to talk
about what the cost might be. I’m curious about a
statement from President Trump. He said, “I’m going to shut down
this and I will take the blame.” I’m kind of curious how
you’re seeing that out there. Is he going to get
the blame if this goes? Who will ultimately–? Nicole: I mean, he said
he would shoulder the blame. What’s interesting is, at
the beginning of the week, it looked like he
would sign this bill that the Senate
initially passed. And then, you had Ann
Coulter going on Fox News and saying, “He is a liar. He promised a wall,
and now he’s giving in and we’re not
going to get a wall.” And he changed his mind
almost immediately and said, “I don’t want to have this fight
in February with the Democrats. I want to have it now,”
and he’s willing to shut down the
government over it. I mean, he said that. He said he would take the blame. So, I guess, we’ll see
if he keeps that promise, too. Jason: Yeah; Ben, we’ve been
through this fairly recently, and as a state, we had
some impacts the last time. We understand, the Department
of the Interior is going to keep the parks open, but no essential
services, no visitor’s center. How does a closure
like this, apart from that, really impact our state? Ben: In a number of ways, I
mean, tourism is a huge factor here and, you know, the Mighty
Five is a big draw to people. We are entering a sort of a
little bit of a slow time. So, if, you know, you
have your worst case scenario and the government shuts
down, it may not be as bad. But, you’re still going to have
people who are coming through here, and yes, that is going
to impact potentially local economies, especially the
economies around these parks that have penned
largely on tourism dollars. Obviously, the state’s going
to try to also make a push of, “Hey, while you’re
here, visit our wonderful, you know, state
parks that we have. We have Dead Horse Point,
we have Goblin Valley, all of these others. Check these out.
They are open.” Nicole: The state kept the
national parks open five years ago when the government shut
down in 2013, and they gave up about a million dollars
and tried and tried to get reimbursed for that,
and it ultimately never came from the
federal government. So, we may lose a little
more money this time, too. Glen: Just again, a
point I already made, but back in 2013, the people
that were really hurt by this were the federal employees
whose paychecks stopped coming, who were living
paycheck by paycheck. All of a sudden
they are wondering, “How do I make my house payment? How do I pay for childcare?” They really lost in
that last shutdown. Jason: Okay, let’s talk
about a win for Senator Lee in–this week. Glen, let’s go with you because
you had a very interesting story this week where you
interviewed a former U.S. attorney, Brett Tolman on
this Criminal Justice Reform. What did it do, and why is our
delegation so interested in it? Glen: Okay, so remember back
when we were growing up in the ’80s and, you know, ’70s and
what not, some of us here. Okay, so back then, what
was the big pitch from our political office seekers? “I will be tough on crime.” That’s where all these mandatory
minimums, all these harsh federal sentences came from, and
people were getting elected on that, even up in
through the ’90s. Now, we’re starting to
see the impact of that. Federal prisons
bursting at the seams. People being
charged like Weldon Angelos, one of the people that Senator
Lee here in Utah really shined the spotlight on over this being
sentenced to 55 years for what, in the long term,
in the long run, was a pretty minimal infraction. You know, I think he got
caught selling marihuana and he did it like three times. Fifty-five years for that. Brett Tolman talked about a
23-year-old who is mandatorily sentenced to 77
years in federal prison. So now, we’re starting to take
a look at this and we even saw this trickle down locally, in
the local Sheriff’s office. Now, instead of
being tough on crime, we’re starting to hear, we
need to be smart on crime. So, this Reform does away, or
gives judges more discretion when it comes to
these sentences. If they see
someone that they think, you know, may be able to
rehabilitate themselves, be a contributing
member of society, be a father to their children,
they have that discretion now to not go with these
mandatory minimum sentences. Also, a huge part of this bill
is to invest in rehabilitation programs and get them a
foundation while they’re in prison so that they can go on
and be successful in life after. Jason: Nicole, one of the
interesting things about this bill is, this is one we
saw true bipartisan support. Why did this issue
capture both sides of the aisle, and maybe a little comment
about why Jared Kushner was so involved in this. Nicole: Well, Jared Kushner has
a little experience with this ’cause his own father
was sentenced to some months in federal prison. So, this was at absolute
spectrum of political opinion. You saw progressive Democrats. You saw Kim Kardashian go to the
White House to make a pitch for this, Jared Kushner,
Republicans like Mike Lee. I think the only people who
weren’t happy with this in the end were law enforcement
and sheriffs agencies, and it’s an issue
that, like you said, Brett Tolman has been
working on for many, many years, I think eight
years, pushing and pushing, and Mitch McConnell, of course, over
the past few months seemed like he didn’t want to take it up,
and it took a lot of lobbying on the part of Jared Kushner,
Mike Lee, President Trump to get it through, but it
passed with support on both sides of the aisles. Glen: One of the things that
I thought was interesting about that is that the crew that Mike
Lee is usually in with on everything he stands for was
against him on this one. The far-right conservative
branch of the Senate, you know, Cotton and Kennedy calling
it misguided and dangerous. The “We need to still be
tough on crime crew” worked against Senator Lee. However, in the end, it was a
landslide victory in the Senate. Jason: If we can just take
a minute on what happened here with Senator Mike Lee,
’cause he’s had a lot of time– Ben: He’s had an
interesting week, hasn’t he? Jason: Yeah; so this one big
one and a couple of other ones. Ben: He got this one, and then
there’s been a couple of others. There’s been the Public Lands
Bill that he was basically been accused of blocking as
part of some of the machinations of Washington. That’s angered some in
rural Utah who have wanted that to pass. Then there is the EEOC
issue where he’s holding up the nominee, a Trump re-nominee,
because of her views on LGBTQ rights, and his
views on religious freedom and
traditional marriage. And then there is–isn’t
there one more I think? Nicole: He, just a few weeks
ago, also singlehandedly blocked the resolution to
support the Muller probe, the special council. Ben: So, he has had
certainly an interesting week in Washington, at least an
interesting couple of weeks. Jason: Is this him being the
senior senator from the state? Ben: You can’t help but
wonder if this is a sign of things to come. This is a man who often largely
was in Senator Hatch’s shadow. He may be coming
into his own now. He has his own visions. He certainly, of course, has
always been his own man, but, you know, this may be, “These
are the priorities that I have. These are the views that I have,
and I’m now the senior senator.” Nicole: Seems strange
though, as a senior senator, you would–it seems like you
would want to work with your side a little more to
get these things through. Jason: Let’s take out this
issue that you just brought, the shadow
of Orrin Hatch. Nicole, can we start with you? You did some great
reporting on Orrin Hatch. He gave his farewell speech
this last week in the Senate. He’s coming back to the state. Let’s talk about the
legacy for just a moment. In some of your reporting,
what do you think one of his legacies is? Nicole: There are a
lot, and I’ve noticed this over the past few weeks. He’s picked about seven or eight
pieces of legislation that he’s called his favorite
pieces of legislation. But I think that if you’re
in the Senate for 42 years, seven terms, maybe you
do get seven favorites. Jason: Okay,
we’ll give him that. Glen: Out of the 800 plus. Nicole: Yeah, exactly,
there’s–the things, of course, he will be remembered
for, like, CHIP, Children’s Health Insurance. A lot of work he does on
healthcare legislation, bipartisan bills with
Democrats through the years, things like his work on the
Americans With Disabilities Act, and in more recent years, he’s
been an ally for LGBT and has always been an ally
for religious liberty. So, he had the chance to
reflect on that in his farewell speech last week. He lamented the state of the
Senate at this point and how it seems to have moved away form
the bipartisanship that he has championed
throughout his career, and said that the Senate
may very well be in crisis. Jason: Glen, it was
interesting ’cause he had a call for civility in
his farewell speech. I mean, does that
coincide with his long history? Is this–you know, when someone
looks at 42 years of the Senate, is that where you think he would
likely end that conversation? Glen: Yeah, I mean he
certainly has seen the Senate evolve from one body to a
completely different body. However, a lot of people pointed
to his speech and thought that it was somewhat critical
in ways in that, you know, recently we’ve heard him
say words about Democrats that I can’t repeat on this
television program. The Merrick Garland nomination,
he was right in the midst of blocking President Obama’s
nomination to the supreme court, which by the way, he knew well. The pendulum always swings and
that could come back to bite Republicans at another time. But there’s no doubt you cannot
look at his career and see that he was willing to cross
party lines to get things done. He’s still doing it
the very last days. Just this week he teamed
up with Senator Schumer on a sports betting bill. You would think those
two would never come together and see eye to eye. But he’s known definitely
for crossing the line. Of course his friendship
with the late Ted Kennedy. He worked on huge
landmark legislation with him, and when I went to D.C. to cover
his last days a couple months ago, there’s this
feeling among Democrats. I talked with Senator Blumenthal
from Connecticut that even though they see things so
differently politically, there’s still a mutual respect
between Democratic lawmakers and Senator Hatch, and
I would say that’s why see them willing to work with
him on legislation. Jason: Ben, one of the things
people have been talking about with the departure of Senator
Orrin Hatch is whether or not Mitt Romney could be the
person that reaches across the aisle and
fills that void. I mean–you’re
interviewing everyone. Is that the feeling
that’s going to happen? Ben: I think everybody
wants to wait and see. And what you get
with Mitt Romney. I mean, this is a man
who will enter Washington with
outsized influence. The man ran for President
of the United States, and he has that cache that he immediately
goes into office with. But he is still a
freshmen senator, and so, and really, in Utah, he’s of
course our junior senator. But he’s new to that in terms
of that arena of government. Yes, he was governor,
but he ran for president. He’s got all of
these–this impressive resume. It’s gonna be interesting
to see what he does with it. If he asserts himself and
starts finding himself in more leadership type roles or if
he steps back and just kind of learns and watches what happens. Jason: One of the areas
where he will get to weigh in, Nicole, is let’s talk
about some departures. The Department of Interior’s
about to have a major change at the end of this year
with Secretary Zinke leaving the post. And the reason I wanna talk
about this is first the impact on the state for the
Department of Interior. But also we have a
couple of Utahans on the list as potential replacements. Nicole: Right, yeah,
Representative Rob Bishop and Attorney General Sean Reyes,
which I think was a bit of a surprise to a few of us. He doesn’t have much
experience with public lands, with interior things. Of course, he’s been
fighting a lot of them in court. And then, as well as
some other western figures. Raul Rafael Labrador from Idaho. A few other people
from western states. I think–I’m not sure
what to watch for there. Ryan Zinke was really effective
in implementing the Trump agenda on public lands and in the
interior department. I’m not sure exactly what
Trump is looking for as a replacement to fill those shoes. Maybe just somebody with less
ethics violation investigations. Ben: There’s a lot of pressure,
though, to appoint someone from the west, to understand
the uniquely western issues, so it wouldn’t surprise me
to see any of these people. Rob Bishop, obviously, having
chaired the Natural Resources Committee, being a clear
frontrunner for this type of position, especially since he is
on his last term, you know– Nicole: And now
in the minority. Jason: You’re
absolutely right. Glen: I’ll go ahead and go
out in a limb and say it will not be Sean Reyes. It just doesn’t
make a lot of sense. He tends to pop up every
time there’s an opening for the Trump administration. And some in the past have made
more sense along his experience and, you know, his line
of responsibility. But this particular post
just doesn’t make a lot of sense for Sean Reyes. Rob Bishop, as you point out,
hits a lot of the criteria that you would think the
president would go for. And we’re probably gonna
see someone along the line of thinking as what
we saw with Zinke. Jason: All right, Glen, will
you pick up a thread that Ben brought up here about, you know,
maybe someone from the west, who understands
the western issues. One interesting
idea that seems to be, you know, catching hold is the
idea that even moving the Bureau of Land Management, maybe
even to the state of Utah. Why is that kind
of on agenda now? And how likely is it? Glen: Well, Zinke
wanted to do that. The governor
wants it to happen. A lot of local
officials want that to happen. The reasoning is because that
department impacts the west more than any other
part of the country. So to them, it makes sense to
be in the backyard where you’re working and to
understand those issues. That could be a hit with
Zinke leaving potentially, because we know he was
moving in that direction. Whether or not the next one
will, we’ll have to wait and see, but I’ve been told
that of the candidates that are being considered,
it’s probably narrowing down to or three at this time. Maybe we’ll see an
announcement early next week. But those that support Zinke are
saying, “Utahans that support Zinke are going to be happy
with the next selection.” Jason: Okay, can we get
into some fun speculation? ‘Cause this is the time of the
year we start thinking about who’s gonna run for offices;
Ben, you’re always– Ben: It’s the most wonderful
time of the year, isn’t it? Jason: We’re gonna start
talking 2020 already, right? Ben: Oh, no! Jason: We’re about to do it.
Here it comes, Ben. All right, so right now we have,
coming up the second week of January, the first
fundraiser for governor, all right, with Spencer Cox– Ben: Because the
governor doesn’t throw a party for just anyone. Jason: Oh, please explain. Ben: Obviously, it appears
that Spencer Cox is leaning very heavily toward running, because
the governor is hosting a fundraiser luncheon in
the middle of January, ahead of the legislative
session, for Spencer Cox. And it is
soliciting contributions. The lieutenant governor’s office
says that this is to feel out the possibility of whether there
is support, to gauge support, so this kind of the
debutant ball, as it were. And to see if he has
that kind of support to mount a full-on bid. Jason: Mm-hmm, Nicole,
it’s pretty significant, as Ben just said, the
governor is convening. Spencer Cox is the
headliner though, all right. So what’s his message to
other contenders out there? Nicole: Well, it
might be a little bit of a territory stake out. Everyone knows that
Spencer Cox is very popular, moderate Republican,
just like Herbert. And they’ve been
on the same ticket a couple years now, right? A couple elections. So, I think, and we’ve
seen some polling on this, right, that shows people that
are interested in running for governor,
including Jason Chaffetz, Greg Hughes, some
other–Rob Bishop. Ben: Sean Reyes. Nicole: Sean Reyes,
Republican names. And I think surprising
to some, but maybe not surprising to others. Jason Chaffetz has
been generally the leader of those polls. Ben: But those are
name recognition polls– Nicole: Exactly,
exactly, at this point, Jason Chaffetz is the
highest profile of these possible gubernatorial
contenders. I think, obviously there’s
a fundraiser–what is it, $2,000 a plate? Money will help. Jason: It helps raise
the name ID. Glen: And let’s
not make any mistake. These campaigns have been going
on for a while, unofficially. Clearly, people are
jockeying to get their name out there to run for governor. I think those names that you
just mentioned that we’ve been polling, along with Greg
Miller, are probably all in. But there’s also, I think, going
to be other people that get in that we’re not
talking about right now. That could come in and
shake things up a bit. Jason: Mm-hmm, one thing
that Nicole mentioned, which is true in
all the polling. It is name ID, but the unknowns,
the people who don’t know, is about 36% in the
last polls, so– Glen: Plenty to
sway it any way for any of the other candidates. Jason: Yeah, that’s right;
one of the things that some of us are watching is this
ranked choice voting option. We have at least three
municipalities, which is the next– Ben: Maybe four. Jason: Talk about how this might
work in the logistical issues. Ben: Yeah, so we
have Salem, Lehigh, West Jordan have all said
so far they’re interested, a couple of other cities
are flirting with the idea. But they have until the
end of next week to declare whether they want to. And this could shake
up how voting works. And it’s an
education period for voters. But they’re doing with the
municipals, because there’s less turnout, there’s a little more
chance to experiment with this. This is Representative
Rebecca Chavez-Houck’s legacy, as it were, one of her many,
dealing with voter issues. But this would allow you to
go basically on the ballot hot or not, first to worst. You–instead of saying having
the two candidates or having a primary, you eliminate that,
and you rank them one, two, three, four, five. And even you are, say, fifth
place on somebody’s ballot, you may be second on somebody
else’s, there’s a chance for you float up to the top
and still capture the office. It’s gonna be interesting to see
if this goes forward, if municipalities can implement
this, if county clerks are willing to implement this,
and see what happens. But it’s been done
in other states, other cities, other countries;
Australia does it nationally. This could be really
interesting as far as how governance gets done. One of the
advantages, people say, is that you can, it requires
no longer pandering to a base. You have to build a
broader range of support. You’re no longer–it eliminates
more nasty campaigning. But one of the
downsides that people, critics, say is that it
leads to coalition government. Jason: Mm-hmm, it’s such an
interesting to watch what happens when a candidate
is running for number two. Glen: Yeah, that
could definitely, definitely, change the rhetoric
out on the campaign field. A couple of important notes to
add to what Ben was saying is they have to
declare by next week. But the lieutenant governor’s
office is going to give them some leeway to back out
even after they declare. So if they’re getting in to
February and to March and they’re thinking, “Oh boy, we’re
not ready for this,” they’ll still have the
option to back out, I believe, by May
is that deadline. Jason: Okay, let’s talk about
a couple of these interesting local races that are coming up. So we still need to
replace Ben McAdams as the Salt Lake County Mayor. Nicole, who do we know is in? And let’s talk
about this process. Nicole: There are three
names we know who are in. There’s Jenny Wilson,
who famously ran against Mitt Romney for Senate. Shireen Ghorbani, who ran for
Congress against Christ Stewart, and Arlyn Bradshaw, who
is on the county council already with Jenny Wilson. I think what’s
worth–well, first let’s explain
how this works. So, Ben McAdams officially
resigns on January 2nd. The day before he’s
sworn into Congress. And then the Salt Lake
Democratic Party has one month to pick his
replacement basically. And those delegates, I’m told,
will have a special election in late January or early
February to pick that nominee. And then, they’ll send that
name to the county council who will swear that person in. I think what’s worth pointing
out is that I think all three of these candidates are
a little further left than Ben McAdams is. He’s been a famous–he joined
the Blue Dog Democrat caucus this week; he’s been a famous
reach-across-the-aisle with Republicans around
the state and county. But we’ll see, I think all three
of those are strong candidates. Jenny Wilson may be frontrunner,
but it’s the Democratic delegates who get to pick. Jason: Uh-huh, so Ben, it is
a little more to the left than Ben McAdams, is that
what Salt Lake County is looking for, you think? Ben: Well, we’ll we’ve
seen certainly a shift in demographics in
Salt Lake County. As you have also pointed out,
Salt Lake County asserted itself in the last election
on a number of issues. We’ll see. Remember, when a lot of
these people came into party leadership, and we are catering
to the committee members of the Salt Lake County
Democratic Party, a lot of them were Berniecrats. They were supporters of
that, so they may be more progressive-leaning as well. And all of these, all three of
these people are very good at campaigning, and they
are catering for that; but they also have to commit to
run for the next election cycle as a mayor in a
general election. So you only go maybe so far left
before you have to moderate to the West Jordan, Herriman,
Riverton base that’s a little bit
more conservative. Jason: Okay, very good. Glen: Just one
point I would make. Ben McAdams is still the most
electable Democrat in Salt Lake County, even with the shift. The Berniecrats and
others still like Ben. So just to address that. But if you take a look at the
campaigns that Jenny Wilson and Shireen Ghorbani ran, they were
clearly setting themselves up for something in the future. On election night, the thought
immediately went to “Jenny Wilson for County Mayor.” So, you take a look at the
campaigns they ran, and they knew they were in an uphill
battle, not likely to win. But they set themselves up
further possibilities down the road, and now, we’re
seeing that play out. Jason: Mm-hmm, Nicole
thinks Jenny’s probably the frontrunner, Ben? Ben: I would not
underestimate Shireen Ghorbani. She had a lot of support. She outperformed in
her district as well. Jason: Why is
that do you think? Ben: She was popular; she
managed to get a lot of support for a very
conservative-leaning district, so that could translate. Arlyn Bradshaw as well. Glen: And she worked hard. She knocked on a lot of doors
and met with people that are gonna be making
this decision. Jason: Okay, thank you,
that’s gonna have to be the last comment, thank
you for your insights. That’s it for “The
Hinckley Report.” For more on this week’s issues,
please visit us online at KUED.ORG/HinckleyReport. I’m Jason Perry,
thank you and goodnight. ♪♪♪

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