Sen. Orrin Hatch is the Salt Lake Tribune's 2017 Utahn of the Year, a distinction the state's biggest paper says it gives the person who had the biggest impact on the year, "for good or ill"—and in the Republican senator's case, it definitely wasn't for good. In an editorial, the Tribune says it is time for the 83-year-old Hatch to "call it a career" after 42 years in the Senate, citing his role in dismantling two national monuments, his work on the controversial tax overhaul as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and his "utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power." Hatch, now in his seventh term, is the longest-serving Republican senator in history.
The "anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning" shrinking of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments appears to be "basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch" in return for his support of the tax plan, the Tribune editorial board writes. But what should end his career, the Tribune writes, is the fact that he promised in 2012 that this would be his last term, but now appears to be planning another run in 2018. The paper calls the flip-flop "basically a theft from the Utah electorate." Mitt Romney was rumored to be planning a run for the Senate seat if Hatch stepped down, the Hill notes. (Insiders say Trump has been pushing for Hatch to stay on.)