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Rep. Jeff Flake makes four: BYU will have a quartet of alumni in U.S. Senate

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7 2012 1:47 a.m. MST

Arizona Republican Senate candidate and current U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., speaks at a primary election night party with is wife, Cheryl and son, Tanner, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, at his home in Mesa, Ariz.

Matt York, Associated Press

When Arizona elected Rep. Jeff Flake to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, it meant four BYU grads will be serving together in the Senate come January.

Joining Flake in the upper chamber of Congress will be fellow Cougars and sitting Republican senators Mike Lee (Utah), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Mike Crapo (Idaho).

“Flake is a fiscal conservative, known for his opposition to federal spending and rising deficits,” Catalina Camia wrote Wednesday for USA Today. “In the race's final days, the six-term congressman got support from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who argued that Flake would serve as a roadblock to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.”

“Flake, a six-term Republican congressman, is best known for his fierce opposition to ‘earmarks’ — special requests for federal dollars for local pet projects such as roads and bridges,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday.“He said his opposition is a move away from patronage and a move toward basing funding for projects on merit.”

The Hill blogger Ben Geman noted Wednesday how Flake is something of a political wild card when it comes to climate change: “The conservative Flake opposes cap-and-trade legislation and federal carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants, according to Arizona Public Radio. But Flake — whose campaign drew opposition from environmentalists — also has a history of bucking his party on climate change. In 2009, he introduced legislation … that would have imposed a tax on oil, gas and coal production or imports.”

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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