From: St. George Utah
By: Leo Wright
ST. GEORGE - Dan Liljenquist, running against Orrin Hatch in Utah’s Republican Primary, visited Southern Utah on Thursday and Friday. While here, Liljenquist made three public appearances in an attempt to get his message out. His first event was at the J.C. Snow Park in St. George where about 90 people came out to listen, then the Main Street Park in Cedar City where about 40 people came out to listen, and finally the Community Center in Hurricane where about 40 people came out to listen.
He took the time to introduce himself and told a little about his background. He got his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Economics. He then graduated from the University of Chicago’s Law School. He never practiced as a lawyer, instead he started his career working at Bain Consulting and ended up owning his own call center company.
He then ran for and won a spot in the Utah State Senate. While there he spent most of his effort working on pension and medicaid reform to help keep Utah from getting into an even worse financial situation. During his time in the Utah State Senate he was able to get both pension and medicaid reform passed.
He said he promises hit the federal budget just as hard as he did the state one. He said he promises to work on getting medicaid reformed at the federal level by passing more control to the states. He also said he promises to push for cut, cap and balance and to stand against the extra spending that has happened for so long.
He spent a little bit of time talking about some of the differences between himself and Orrin Hatch. He said he is opposed to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that Hatch voted for, he said that some groups are claiming that it gives the President the authority to detain without habeas corpus anyone he suspects is a terrorist. He also said that there are other groups that say that the NDAA does not give the President such authority for U.S. citizens. Liljenquist said, “if there’s any doubt, we need to change it before we pass it.” He told those in attendance that he would not have voted for it until that possibility was gone.
He also talked about some of the other wasteful spending that has taken place while Hatch has been in office. He specifically named the Troubled Asset Relief Program also know as TARP. Liljenquist reminded those in attendance in Hurricane that Hatch voted for TARP and many other areas of wasteful spending.
Liljenquist also spent time both in St. George and in Hurricane talking about how congress has slowly delegated more and more authority to the president and several different bodies who now write and put into law, through regulation and executive order, most of the new laws in our country. He talked about how the Founding Fathers didn’t mean for it to be this way and said that he would push to change it so that the regulations, even if they are put together by other organizations, would have to be passed by Congress. He gave an example of a regulatory body that got out of hand when he was in the state Senate.
Another Conservative Republican Trumps Establishment Candidate
(Salt Lake City, UT) – Conservative Dan Liljenquist today congratulated Nebraska State Senator Deb Fischer for her upset victory in the Nebraska Republican primary election.
“I congratulate Deb Fischer on her come from behind victory, further proving what we are hearing everywhere we go in Utah,” said Dan Liljenquist. “Voters are tired of the go-along-to-get-along mentality of career politicians. They want new leaders who will step up and bring real conservative change to Washington.”
Conservative Republican Dan Liljenquist has forced 6 term incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch into his first primary since 1976.
“Senator Hatch’s fiscally irresponsible voting record has become part of the problem,” said Liljenquist spokeswoman Holly Richardson. “Hatch’s votes in favor of earmarks such as the Bridge to Nowhere, the TARP bank bailout, decades of debt ceiling raises and gambling taxpayer money by picking winners and losers in the marketplace are driving our country’s finances off a cliff.”
“Orrin Hatch went to Washington nearly four decades ago and it is time that we hold him accountable for the things that have happened under his watch,” said Richardson. “That’s why we are challenging Orrin to be part of the solution and agree to contribute his expected six figure pension upon retirement to help pay down the national debt he helped create during his 36 years in Washington.”
(SALT LAKE CITY, UT) – Today, conservative Republican Dan Liljenquist announced that if successful in his campaign for the US Senate, he will forgo a pension as Senator and sponsor legislation to eliminate pensions for Senators and Representatives. This is in stark contrast to his opponent, 36-year incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch, who will collect an annual pension nearly three times greater than Utah’s average annual salary upon retirement.
“I am determined to rein in the out-of-control spending in Washington and that starts with ending pensions and other perks for Washington insiders,” Liljenquist said. “I sponsored the bill that ended pensions for state legislators in Utah and I will do the same in Washington.”
“After decades of supporting profligate spending in Washington, it is time that Utahns send a new voice to Washington,” said Liljenquist campaign spokeswoman, Holly Richardson. “From repeatedly voting to raise his own salary, to supporting 16 increases in the federal debt ceiling, Hatch has forgotten what it means to be a fiscal conservative.”
“It’s time for a Senator who practices fiscal restraint and doesn’t just preach it,” added Richardson. “That’s why we are challenging Senator Hatch to put his money where his mouth is and agree to donate his expected $125,000 pension, upon retirement, to paying down the national debt he helped create during his 36 years in Washington.”
LILJENQUIST CONGRATULATES MOURDOCK FOR HISTORICU.S. SENATE PRIMARY UPSET VICTORY IN INDIANA
Primary Defeat Of Six-Term Senator Sends Message to Incumbents Across America: Voters Are Fed Up With Washington’s Spending Habit
(Salt Lake City, UT) – May 8, 2012 – Conservative Dan Liljenquist tonight congratulated Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock for his historic upset victory over six-term incumbent Dick Lugar in the primary election, citing numerous parallels between the primary contests in both states.
Republican primary voters across the country, and especially in Utah, are acknowledging the need for new leaders who will step up and bring real conservative change to Washington.
Like Indiana’s Lugar, six-term incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch has become a creature of Washington, where his fiscally irresponsible voting record has become part of the problem, not the solution. Hatch’s votes in favor of earmarks such as the Bridge to Nowhere, the TARP bank bailout, decades of debt ceiling raises and gambling taxpayer money by picking winners and losers in the marketplace are driving our country’s finances off a cliff.
“Orrin Hatch went to Washington nearly four decades ago and became part of the problem. It is time that we hold him accountable for the things that have happened under his watch,” said Liljenquist. “Our ever-increasing federal budget deficit and exploding national debt are the result of Senators like Orrin Hatch and Dick Lugar who were more concerned with implementing their pet projects than sound fiscal governance.”
“Taxpayers are on the hook for Hatch’s decades-long spending spree, and our children’s children will be paying off his bad decisions for decades to come,” added Liljenquist. “As Richard Mourdock’s historic victory over six-term incumbent U.S. Senator Dick Lugar in Indiana shows, this can be done, and it must be done, before America’s finances begin to mirror Greece.”
Conservative Former State Senator Again Issues Challenge to Orrin Hatch to Follow His Own Words and Agree to Eight Debates Across the State
Salt Lake City, UT – Conservative former State Senator Dan Liljenquist today accepted an invitation from the Deseret News and KSL-TV to debate Senator Hatch this June. The Deseret News issued their call for a debate in today’s edition, citing the need for “civility, transparency, accountability and participation” in this year’s U.S. Senate race.
“When Senator Hatch ran for the U.S. Senate in 1976 he called for eight debates, so that Utahns could see the candidates side-by-side and hear their positions,” said Liljenquist. “Over the last two weeks, we’ve extended multiple offers to Senator Hatch to debate. Those offers have been ignored. Why does Senator Hatch feel he is entitled to run out the clock as he runs for his 7th term and simply refuse to debate?”
“While today’s debate invitation from the Deseret News and KSL-TV is a great starting point, the people of Utah deserve more,” said Liljenquist. “Senator Hatch, if you respect the voters of this state you will stop ducking debates and make yourself available around the state to debate the issues of the day, just as you challenged your Republican primary opponent to do in 1976.”
From: Daily Herald
By: Billy Hesterman
The Dan Liljenquist for Senate team is eager to take on Sen. Orrin Hatch in a debate.
A week ago Liljenquist’s campaign issued a challenge to Hatch to debate at eight different higher education institutions around the state. Hatch’s team, though, is taking its time on responding to the challenge, which was sent through the media and not by a direct Liljenquist representative. The Liljenquist team now is ramping up its rhetoric to compel Hatch to agree to the debates.
“I am willing to debate Sen. Hatch, anytime, any place. If he can’t leave D.C., I will go to him and debate him there. I’ll even debate him on MSNBC if that makes him more comfortable,” Liljenquist said in a statement released by his campaign. “The people of Utah deserve to see the two candidates with fundamentally different approaches to reforming government side-by-side.”
Hatch’s people are saying not so fast to Liljenquist as they argue there are still eight weeks until the Republican primary and that Hatch needs to attend to his duties in Washington, D.C., before he schedules more debates.
“First of all, we just barely got done with the convention,” Dave Hansen, Hatch’s campaign manager, said. “Second of all, the senator is still a U.S. senator. Unlike his opponent, he didn’t resign from his job to run a campaign.”
Click here to read the full story.
By: CHARLES MAHTESIAN
The news out of Utah isn’t great for Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. But it could have been a lot worse. He could have flat out lost like his former colleague Sen. Bob Bennett two years ago.
Just as Bennett’s ouster in 2010 offered some early clues about the political climate that year, Hatch’s outcome – the six-term senator failed to capture the Utah GOP nomination Saturday and is now forced into a June 26 primary — provides some insight into the forces driving the 2012 elections.
Here are 6 takeaways from the Utah Senate race:
Mitt to the rescue
No Republican in Congress has embraced Mitt Romney tighter than Orrin Hatch. The veteran senator makes sure to trumpet his endorsement from the former Massachusetts governor at every occasion and even played the Romney card as part of his pitch to Utah delegates Saturday, arguing that they should vote for him so he could “be freed up to go campaign for Mitt Romney.”
It’s a smart move: Romney won 90 percent in Utah’s 2008 presidential primary and continues to have stratospheric popularity in the heavily Mormon state.
With Hatch now appearing on the same June 26 Utah primary ballot as Romney, the question is, how much more does the presumptive GOP nominee do for the senator? He’s already endorsed, cut a television ad and done robocalls for Hatch.
While there’s no better visual for Hatch than a campaign appearance together, the Romney camp will have to consider the risks of even greater involvement – such as a spate of stories, in the event Hatch loses, noting that Utah rejected Romney’s pleas to send the senator back to Washington.
From: National Review Online
By: Brian Bolduc
In 1976, a little-known lawyer named Orrin Hatch won the Republican nomination to challenge Utah’s two-term Democratic senator, Frank Moss. That November, Hatch’s nine-point triumph over Moss was considered “the Cinderella campaign of the season,” according to the Deseret News.
Thirty-six years later, Dan Liljenquist is hoping to follow Hatch’s example — in a primary run against the six-term incumbent.
Hatch secured 59.2 percent of the vote at the Utah GOP’s state convention on April 21, only 32 votes shy of the 60 percent required to avoid a primary. Liljenquist, on the other hand, won 40.8 percent of the vote, slightly over the 40 percent threshold to qualify for the ballot. Now, the 37-year-old is making the same argument Hatch used against Moss in his 1976 campaign: He’s been in Washington too long.
The seventh of 15 children, Liljenquist grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He attended Brigham Young University on an academic scholarship that required him to maintain a 3.9 GPA. After graduating with a degree in economics, he earned a law degree at the University of Chicago. In 2001, Liljenquist joined the management-consulting firm Bain & Company. Eventually, he made his way to Roy, Utah, where he became chief operating officer of Focus Services, a small call center that he helped double in size.
FreedomWorks for America announced today its endorsement of Dan Liljenquist, candidate for United States Senate representing Utah. Liljenquist won 40.8 percent of the delegate vote at last Saturday’s Utah GOP Convention, denying incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch the 60 percent necessary to avoid a June primary.
“Dan Liljenquist is an energetic fiscal conservative who will take a leading role in spending cuts and the repeal of ObamaCare from day one,” commented Russ Walker, National Political Director for FreedomWorks for America.
“We have been working with Utah conservatives since last May to elect the strongest and most consistent advocate for conservative economic policy, and Dan has proven himself to be the man for the job. He will be a great addition to support fellow Utah Senator Mike Lee expanding the conservative coalition in the Senate.”
Dan Liljenquist has a proven record of making tough reforms to achieve a leaner and more efficient government, starting with entitlement reform. Liljenquist served as the state senator chairing the Utah legislature’s retirement committee, where he crafted and passed comprehensive pension reform that eliminated pensions for legislators and prevented “double-dipping,” a scam where employees could retire temporarily to receive a pension, but return to work shortly after to receive both incomes.
“Dan Liljenquist is a legislative entrepreneur similar to Paul Ryan in the House,” Walker continued. “Dan will not just identify the problems in Washington- he has the vision and the conviction necessary to create the solutions.”
Liljenquist stands in stark contrast to six-term incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch, who voted for the precursors to ObamaCare (S. 1770 in 1993 and S-CHIP in 1997), supported TARP, and voted to establish the Department of Education, the auto bailouts, and the bailouts of mortgage giant Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Senator Hatch also advocated for the appointments of liberal Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, and to confirm Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman, Eric Holder as Attorney General, and Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury.
FreedomWorks for America plans to support Liljenquist’s election efforts through an aggressive Get out the Vote (GOTV) voter education campaign including door-to-door outreach, phone banking, yard signs, door hangers, and direct mail.
For more information on FreedomWorks for America or endorsed candidates in Utah, please visit www.FreedomWorksforAmerica.org or contact National Political Director Russ Walker at RWalker@FreedomWorks.org.
Contact: Jackie Bodnar (202) 942-7652 JBodnar@FreedomWorks.org
SOURCE FreedomWorks for America
From: The Wall Street Journal
By: NAFTALI BENDAVID
Beating back a challenge from tea party activists, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah easily qualified for the Republican primary ballot in his quest for a seventh Senate term Saturday, but he fell just short of winning the GOP nomination outright.
Tough challenges to Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar will signal whether tea-party activists and their allies still have the power they wielded in 2010. Naftali Bendavid has details on The News Hub. Photo: Reuters.
Mr. Hatch needed support from 60% of delegates at a state GOP convention to dispatch his nearest rival, former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, and to advance to the nomination without the need for a primary. He got 59% on the second ballot.
As a result, Messrs. Hatch and Liljenquist will face off in the June 26 primary, with the winner all but certain to claim the seat in heavily Republican Utah.
“Today was a good win for me and for my campaign,” Mr. Hatch said after the vote. “We have come a long way in a short period of time. I am prepared and energized for the battle ahead.”
In the first round, Mr. Hatch received 57% of the vote and Mr. Liljenquist 28%, according to the Associated Press. In the second round, Mr. Hatch improved to 59.19, to 40.8% for Mr. Liljenquist, leaving the senator barely short of clinching the nomination.
Mr. Hatch had to win 40% of the votes in order to qualify for the June 26 Republican primary, a threshold he surpassed easily after months of work to ensure that many of the 4,000 convention delegates would support him.
Despite falling short in his bid for an outright victory, Mr. Hatch heads into the primary with a distinct advantage, with an organization and funding that is likely to far outstrip those of Mr. Liljenquist.
Mr. Hatch’s vote total Saturday marked a stark contrast with the fate of his erstwhile Utah Republican colleague, former Sen. Robert Bennett. Mr. Bennett, facing a rebellion from activists upset at his vote for a bank bailout and other measures, failed to win 40% of delegates at the 2010 convention—one of the tea party movement’s biggest wins that year.
Mr. Bennett was disqualified from the primary that year, and Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) went on to win the contest. He is now Utah’s junior senator.
Mr. Hatch took Mr. Bennett’s defeat as a cautionary tale and wasted little time ensuring he would avoid the same fate. His campaign has spent two years recruiting and advocating for friendly delegates.
The senator also trained his fire on FreedomWorks, the small-government, conservative organization that organized opposition to the senator. FreedomWorks attacked Mr. Hatch for voting for the bank bailout, a children’s health program, debt limit increases, and other measures the group considers examples of big-government spending.
Mr. Hatch said that in characterizing him as anything but a bedrock conservative, the group was distorting his record. FreedomWorks leaders said the senator was mad at them for telling the truth.
FreedomWorks called the outcome “a historic upset” and described Mr. Liljenquist as “an energetic, conservative underdog.”
“Utahns have spoken today, and their message is clear: it’s time for a change,” said Russ Walker, national political director for FreedomWorks for America, in a written statement.
By this week, even Mr. Hatch’s rivals acknowledged he would easily pass the 40% threshold, and the only question was whether he would exceed 60%. Mr. Hatch’s campaign had released a poll suggesting he had the support of 63% of the delegates, but delegates often make up their minds at the last moment, perhaps swayed by the candidates’ speeches.
One question is whether Mr. Hatch’s performance signals that tea party-movement and conservative rebels will have a tougher time this year knocking off GOP establishment picks. In 2010, such activists defeated not only Mr. Bennett but also such GOP leaders as Charlie Crist in Florida and Sue Lowden in Nevada, nominating more vocal conservatives in those Senate races.
Some tea party-aligned candidates, such as Florida’s Marco Rubio, went on to win seats in the Senate, while others, including Nevada’s Sharron Angle, ended up losing to Democrats.
A key test will come on May 8, when Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Ind.) faces off in a primary against Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is running with tea party support.