'Are you voting for Hatch or not?' Citizens need to do their homework on candidates

By Glen P. Davis

Published: Friday, April 6 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

"So if you're to become a delegate, who are you going to vote for for U.S. senator?" That's one of the questions posed to me and other delegate nominees at my precinct caucus meeting. Some of the attendees cut right to the chase, asking, "Are you going to vote for Hatch or not?" Well, how is a person to know, especially if not one person at our caucus meeting had a complete list of candidates who are running?

It turns out that 10 Republican candidates are running for U.S. Senate. It seems to me that citizen delegates are derelict in their duty if they've already decided, before doing their due diligence, whether or not they're going to vote for U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch. Isn't it incumbent upon us as delegates to first find out who's running and then carefully listen to each candidate to consider what they stand for?

When it comes to Hatch, here's one of several issues I've been greatly bothered by for some time. Hatch tells us he's been a longtime proponent of limiting government spending and balancing the budget, yet he's voted 16 times to raise the national debt ceiling. He is responsible, in part, for $7.5 trillion of our national debt. How is it that we castigate Obama for $5 trillion of national debt since taking office, yet we give Hatch a pass for the $7.5 trillion of debt he's voted in favor of?

Hatch tells us how important it is that we re-elect him because he's likely to become the Senate Finance Committee chairman. But is that what we want? A finance committee chairman who is responsible, in part, for half of our $15 trillion national debt? Seriously, do we give Hatch a pass just because he's "our" Utah senator? That scares me.

I'm not campaigning for any candidate. I haven't yet met or talked to one, nor am I working with or corresponding with any anti-Hatch group or special interest groups. I'm truly just wondering how Republican delegates reconcile the above issue if they're leaning toward voting for him.

Glen P. Davis is a state delegate representing precinct HOLOO3 and a former Republican candidate for governor.

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