20060413 Orrin Hatch meeting

Senator Hatch answered a number of questions. He was articulate and got over excited only a couple of times. The room was full and the delegates were grateful that they were given enough notice of this meeting so that they could plan to be there.

7:32:17 PM Introductions Lisa Shepherd I want to sign you in so that I can meet each of you. Thanks to Matt for introducing me. If you love your Senator as much as I do, then I would like you to fill out the endorsement cards that we have handed out. Orrin Hatch is open to any question.
7:34:44 PM Information Orrin Hatch “What you are doing is very important. I would like to say a few things before we ask questions.
I was asked, “”why are you running again?”” We still have a lot of things that we need to get done. HAFB, Skull Valley issues, where I am weighing in. Energy with tar sands where I introduced 5 bills. Tar sands and oil shale are pretty important because we are running behind. Canada is running 1 million barrels/day and they have developed theirs. It will take us about 30/barrel to produce. The estimate is that there are 3 trillion barrels of oil which is more recoverable oil than all the proven reserves in the Middle East.
The language that we have put in there is helping us do that.
We are also focused on geothermal wells. We can produce energy for 20 million homes.
We haven’t built an oil refinery for 20 years and so we put the words in there to get that done. You saw what happened with Katrina where we lost 25% of our refinery capacity.
The 5th bill was very important and is the Clear Act. I have been working on it for the last five years. What it does is allows us to develop our alternative energy options. Hybrids are now coming online with the car manufactures. Toyota is going to make a hybrid camry and lexus in the future. This will be a very important change to the future.
These are important bills. We also have very clean coal and we are the Saudi Arabia of that kind of coal. We are working on systems to take derivatives out of that coal as well as make it clean burning. The DoD is working on contracts in this area.
So one reason that I am running again is that I would like to complete this work. In another couple of years I will be the Chairman of the Finance Cmmttee. It is the biggest in the Senate. So that is another reason that I am running.
I play a pivotal role in getting good conservative justices placed.
There are many other reasons that I am running and would like your help. Please talk to your neighbors.
There are 3 others who are running against me. We will fight for the right to represent you. If I run well, then every Republican will run well. Or we can go back to 1976 and the reign of the Democrats. We can help all of our party. We are raising money for our State as well. Questions?”
7:43:07 PM Question Allen Hales I have been writing to you for quite a while. I am concerned about US sovereignity. These unelected bureaucrats who define our policy. Pres Bush has a partnership with Mexico and Canada that will eliminate our borders. Your letters say that you support the US, yet you voted for CAFTA, NAFTA.
7:44:26 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “Our exports have gone up 90% because of NAFTA, so I have to disagree with you.
The Baucus/Hatch bill says that we will not give up our sovereign ability. That includes the WTO.”
7:45:19 PM Question Allen Hales What do we do when they rule against us, the WTO.
7:45:38 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “The WTO helps us push free market economics around the world. We do lose some of the issues, but we usually win. It brings Russia and middle eastern countries in to the real economics. We don’t dictate all the issues.
I am not a big fan of the United Nations, but in the case of something like the Balkans, we help other countries and they do more. Sometimes we have to deal with these issues. Sometimes we do good and sometimes we do bad.
One example is Intellectual Property. China is robbing us blind and Russia as well. They are stealing our property, books, movies and software. I have talked about enforcing IP rights. They can’t force people to live the way we want. They can pressure countries to move forward. Just yesterday China said that they would enforce IP rights.
The reason why they are doing it is because Microsoft is over there and helping them learn this. IP rights are explicity in the Constitution. We use these instruments to move things forward throughout the World.
We have to sell our products internationally and that is done by making Trade. On the balance of trade issues, we lose so much money through IP loss so that balance is out of control.
We are not an island and need to work with them. We have to be smart how we use these systems. Don’t think we can be an island without their help or without helping them.”
7:50:28 PM Question Thank you for voting against McCain/Kennedy amnesty bill. It brings up an important problem for us Republicans. I want to hear how we should handle this problem?
7:51:13 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “We could have gone all night without this question. We have to answer it though. The House passed a border patrol bill that was too harsh. They want a felony for businesses of hiring and felony for undocumented workers.
We have to do everything we can to stop the flow. You don’t help an overflowing tub problem by mopping the floor. You have to first turn off the water and Then you can find out how to resolve the people that are here.
The votes are with Kennedy/McCain and not Frist’s. I am against amnesty because Carter gave amnesty in the 70’s and Reagan gave it in the 80’s so they know they can get citizenship by sneaking in.
Cornyn added a guest worker bill that said you would have to go home to get in line to get citizenship. We have some who have been born here and have lived here for 40 years. What do you do about that?
We have people from China, Japan and Eurasia countries. The bulk are hispanics. 95% of them work and they work hard. They are normally good neighbors and parents. They are religious and try to live according to the rules. So you want to be compassionate with them but we have to obey the law.
Almost every employer who uses them says they can’t survive without undocumented workers. All of them have identification even though it is fraudulent. How are we going to tell who is not a fraud. I have had a number of growers and construction businesses come in as well as tourism and they ‘need them.’
There was a Brocero program years ago. Ted Kennedy killed the program along with the Unions because they thought it would lose them the jobs. But now they have changed their tune. The reason they are doing it is because if he gives amnesty they will vote Democratic. They will get the vote on their side but we need to get them on our side.
They have the same percent of criminals that we do. The Unions want them in because their unions are flagging and losing. If Bush had not gotten Hispanic votes last election, we would have lost to Kerry. We need to get through the committee with our bill.
We couldn’t beat cloture on these issues.
Martinez and Hagel came up with a difference and said for the people who are new during the last 5 years, they have to go back and get in line.
I don’t like it because I would like to give them a right to work and also to go home and get in line. I think it would be better than what we have. It still is not the final answer because they have raised half their family here in the US. So you can’t send the parents home and leave the children.
I am hoping that we can get a bill out of Conference that will work and will emphasize border patrol. It takes 18 months to train agents. We can send up unmanned vehicles now.
We may need to put up double fences in San Diego and other sensitive places. In some places in Arizona and Texas as well. We need to come up with reason behind this.
Hopefully we won’t lose the citizen vote.”
8:01:40 PM Question Curt Meiers “You are aware of the Central Utah Project and we need more money. We also need more repair of our highways like hwy 6. This also ties in to water issues. It would make sense to do highway and water funds at the same time. Central UT water conservancy has been paying their debt down well and will save a lot of money, but we don’t seem to be able to get money here versus in other states.
And how about making a straight corridor at the 1600 North I15 corner . . .”
8:04:16 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “Some of these ideas are good. I was a big support of the Central Utah Project and many people know me in DC about CUP. We didn’t spend nearly enough on our highway bill. The money came from trust funds for highways. We got more money here because I was on committee.
For those of you who don’t like earmarks, it is true that some are Very bad. But there are others that are good. Like we get money for a specific highway situation. There are good and bad.
For those who bought off on the bridge in Alaska that doesn’t go anywhere. But that highway, when you see the real picture, will know that they needed it. From their perspective it was not pork.
Please write me and we will see if we can move it forward.”
8:07:21 PM Question Is there any evidence that China can overtake US in trade?
8:07:37 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “We should not be an island. We educate 60k engineers a year here in the US. One half of them are foreigners. China is educating 300k engineers and they are taught by the people that we taught.
I wanted to expand our H1B program so that we could keep them here. Liberals and far right wing conservatives beat that bill, so now they leave.
If we don’t turn it around then in 20 years China will likely overtake us. “”The World is Flat”” is a great book about this situation. Our future is high tech.”
8:09:40 PM Question Carey Hadley My question is about Medicare. If we tried to control the cost a few years ago, then now it is only worse.
8:10:26 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “Let’s start with the fact that the president has been hammered for not getting spending under control. His new budget will cut the deficit in half by 2009. There has not been one day or one minute during which the conservatives have been in a complete majority, which requires 60 votes. We are now 55 and 45 and when you take our liberal republicans out of the vote we are even lower.
In economics of Medicare, Medicaid, SS are 70% of our debt right now.
The president is trying to restrain the spending. It is not a cut, but a control.
The remaining 30% going 15% to the military and 15% discretionary for roads and other infrastructure. So how do you get out of this problem?
You produce by cutting taxes and keep the growth of the economy up while keeping the spending down.
Medicare Part D was a long conference. I had to sit in between the 2 fighting parties. There are things that make the bill expensive and some that save us money. There are things in that bill that we have fought for for a number of years. One of those things is the HSA so that you and I can save money for our medical purposes.
The Democrats know that if we get Health Savings Accounts we will win the vote and the issue. It is a big cat fight and I have done a lot on that particular bill.
It gets pharmaceuticals out cheaper to everyone.
In 1950 there were 19 workers for every 1 person on Social Security. We are now at only 3 and will become 2 for every 1. We can’t get anything through that we have to shore this up.
We have to elect more Republicans and conservatives.”
8:16:42 PM Question Carey Hadley Are we going to fix some of the problems.
8:17:06 PM Answer Orrin Hatch If you make me emperor for just 2 years I will get it all done and right. We do need some more people to work with us nicely.
8:17:31 PM Question I know you were instrumental in budget and tax credits. . . Why would we only make them pay 2000.00 to get citizenship
8:18:55 PM Answer Orrin Hatch I want us to reauthorize credits and we need to fix the citizenship issue.
8:19:04 PM Question Part of the immigration issue is that the rallies are influencing this. We make is so hard for the workers to get legitimate where I have employees who I am working with to get Green cards right now. But then these guys get free rein.
8:20:15 PM Answer Orrin Hatch Everyone of you ought to be writing to me with your ideas. If you let us know how we can do this then that will help. I listen to my constituents and then we can run. I want to get the right answer and we aren’t there yet.
8:21:04 PM Question I want a long term study from the GAO on the citizenship issue. Looking forward on the 20-30 years vision fiscally with issues of education and work as well.
8:21:44 PM Answer Orrin Hatch I am not sure the GAO is the best way but I am willing to let us look at that.
8:22:49 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “I want to talk about Skull Valley and the Goshute issue. Some have gone over with Harry Reid. I wanted us to not have it come here. We said that we would vote for Yucca if they would support us against Skull Valley. It is the only real answer to the spent fuel.
When we went over with Harry Reid, I had leveraged a commitment with the White House so that those who were with me would help get PFS companies out of Skull Valley.
What they want to do is put 4000 casts there. They are so big that they can only deliver 200 / year. The most that exist in one place now is 60. They want to basically experiment with us. I was able to get the Secretary of the Air Force to say that we were concerned about the Testing base. HAFB would be gone if we didn’t have the training range. It is the largest supersonic area to work with live cruise missiles. We have 7000 sorties going out there and they fly just over this area. There are 60 crashes per year and one just happened right near the site. So he wrote a letter that said we shouldn’t have the project there.
Because I stuck with the administration and not with my delegation I was able to get the last letter as the coup de grace. The head of the BLM opened up comment for this issue for 90 days. He wanted to, but it has not been done. That 90 days ends on May 8th.
Pam Schuler should get letters from you (letter, fax, email) that state that it is not in the public interest to have this here. You need to write to Pam so that she is overwhelmed with these letters so that the administration can kill this project.
We need you to write.”
8:31:23 PM Question Perhaps the greatest accomplishment is Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court. I loved the hearings. The so called gang of 14 negotiated an agreement on who would or would not make it through. We still have several nominees who are still in limbo. What are you going to do to get them through?
8:32:31 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “I have put literally 100s of people on the bench who are not activist judges. Democrats love them to be activists and liberal judges. Much legislation from the bench came about.
You mentioned Roberts and Alito. Roberts was terrific and 22 of the Democrats came over. Since he has joined the Court we have had a number of unanimous decisions.
One of the Washington Post articles said that Alito is a true geek. His shoes are untied sometimes. He has a tremendous sense of humor.
When LaVell Edwards was our PR representative in New York I was able to get Chuck Schumer to a Mormon dinner. He was very kind. I was able to get Alito there and he has had so many clerks who are LDS. One of them is now the President of the UofU right now.
For those of you who are LDS you have to know that Charlie Rangle of Harlem was able to get an LDS ward in Harlem. That would not have happened without him and he is incredibly liberal.
I backed Bush on these judges and it was one of the reasons that he got re-elected. We sat together on the plane and he said to me that he was grateful that I helped him get this done because he didn’t see the importance at first.”
8:37:49 PM Question How about taxes, a Value Added Tax or something.
8:38:01 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “The problem is that you would have to increase the price of good and services by 25-30%. It would be a big thing for the Democrats to win on. A flat tax usually has to be graduated and then Congress would put us back where we are now.
With VAT it is too easy to raise the rates over time. They forget larger economic principles. I am the coauthor of Hatch/Liebermann that pushed the reduction on capital gains. That has helped our economy come back.
Liebermann was pretty gutsy to stand up with me. The Democrats want to increase taxes to reduce the budget, but they are spending more each time.
My SCHIP bill was able to get the balanced budget together. I was the one who put that together. The Democrats were able to vote for it then so that we had a Republican controlled Congress.
Some times you have to stand up and take a lot of crap. We take care of the working poor which is a significant issue. 2 couples from Provo convinced me to do it. They both worked and they made a total of 20,000.00 / year. So that made me do it and it was the right thing!”
8:42:59 PM Question Terry Fox I want to talk about violent crime reduction that has happened. I think the Cops programs helped us out. This administration has done away with that and moved to Homeland Security and gadgets?
8:43:38 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “COPS wasn’t as important as you think. Utah used the money better than anywhere else. In NY they just used it for more revenues and hired more administrators. The reason that we have less crime is because we have cracked down on drugs harder.
Clinton’s justice department was pretty good, with Reno.”
8:45:14 PM Question Derek Jenson Iran?
8:45:22 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “They are a real worry. They are going to move forward with a nuclear weapon. Israel is not going to let it happen. Many of their facilities are buried deep and so they would need bunker busting bombs. They would have World War III immediately. They would take out Tel Aviv.
People have said, like John Kerry, that we should set a date for when we are going to withdraw, but that is absurd. They would just wait until we left.
We have been taking the fight to them and so we have not had an incident here. We have caught over 300 of them because of the Patriot Act.
Give me a break if you think that Patriot Act took away your rights. All we did was take the anti-terrorism laws up to the mafia law levels.
I demanded that the ACLU show me one claim that someone had been abused. After all the screaming and shouting, they did not have anything. Don’t buy off on the liberal acting out on this issue. It has also helped take down crime.
Does anyone believe that Khadafi would have backed down without us going in to Iraq?
How about the Gaza strip movement if it had not been for this president? We need to keep it going. We have to take these terrorists on or we will lose. We now have an economy that is beginning to vote and run. 70% of the Iraqis got out and voted.
Think about it. The media is harping on the things that are sad and hard. They aren’t focusing on the amount of military trained people we have. If we are successful against these groups, then President Bush will go down in history as a very influential person.”
8:51:15 PM Question Dean Robinson Why can’t the conservative media have a bigger say?
8:51:33 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “Because we let them. This is an economy. I read the blogs because I get more truth out of them than the newspaper. Powerlineblog.com is one of my favorites. I like nationalreview blog and michelle rocan. The follett conspiracy blog as well. They give us the truth and think the right way.
The media has been controlled by the left. St Petersburg, NY, SF etc. Many people are beginning to leave them now for the Internet because they want the truth.”
8:54:14 PM Answer We are one of the most stalwart Red states in the Union. Our demographics are changing. Salt Lake County is very liberal and it is hard to get Republicans to win so we need to do this.
8:55:05 PM Question What is your opinion on NCLB and how we are educating our children.
8:55:19 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “We have the highest ratio of student to teacher. They are doing a great job. 60% of those teaching math have not taken it in a University. We are behind some other countries.
NCLB is a problem because we don’t want mandates. We do want federal dollars because we have large families and children that we educate. Personally we have 6 children and 22 grand children.
NCLB was one of Bush’s first initiatives and we had to support him or it would have been sad. The easy vote would have been to vote against it. I knew that if I voted against it I would not be able to influence it.
We have been able to make headway on it because I voted for it. If we funded it enough then it would work, but we don’t. I would like to fund it more if we can. I want it to work.
If we had lost on that first initiative then we would have lost everything else.
We tried to get tort reform and the Democrats #1 investors are personal injury lawyers. So we don’t have the majority.
I was able to get something through after 8 years. We were able to get Class Action reform through. We have not been able to get medical liability reform.
I used to be a medical liability defense lawyer. This is what I had to do with my doctors. I had to tell them that they could not just give a quick answer because they would have to test for EVERYTHING. And that gets expensive because they want to defend themselves from lawsuits. So they run up the costs so that they can save themselves.
I said 20 years ago that the costs were going to go up considerably.”
9:02:14 PM Question But 100,000 wrongful deaths?
9:02:23 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “I worked on a wrong leg amputation so I know about this. The asbestos cases that have taken out the companies. The people that have really been injured did not get money, but 60% of the xrays were fraudulent.
There is a purpose to have good lawyers but with phony information this issues has inflated out of control.”
9:07:06 PM Question “Heard there is a department in the House who is looking at “”sunsetting.”””
9:07:41 PM Answer Orrin Hatch I think it is good and they should keep doing it. We cut back a number of committees.
9:08:09 PM Question Gayle Ruzica For the last 16 years we have gone to convention and been on the winning side. The President though is going to Cancun with Fox vs going to the AZ border. He is not doing well on the image factor.
9:09:21 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “He needs to have your support. During the last 3 years of Reagan he was crashing but we were able to get the win on Bush 1. The reason that the media is hurting him is that he is not going to take the pushing and shoving.
McCain is working against the President as well as others like Hagel. I think he is right on things and is moving ahead. Reagan was blasted by many during his last years, but they now look at him as a top president.
We need to stick together. We can not give up on him. We are watching him get hit by the media day in and day out. The local papers here is hurting him as well.
We need to stand together or we will be asking for it.
Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the city. He is a tough guy.
John McCain is very good on foreign policy.
My dream ticket is Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice.
Huckabee is a very good governor.
Frist is a high quality individual. Sometimes its good to not have charisma, but have a lot of knowledge. He has been alright as a leader.
Mitt Romney is in the most liberal state in the Union. Does he have a chance? The night that I announced for President I was on Larry King Live. He asked me how I was going to do it. He said that 18% of the Republicans can’t vote for you. I had to say that I would get the other percentage.
The reason Romney can make it is because he is Not from Utah. He has been a wonderful governor of a very liberal state. He took a state with 3 billion deficit to 1 billion surplus in 3 years. He is attractive and a good man who lives his religion.
He is immensely wealthy with 100-200 million dollars. He built Bain Capital to what it is today. Is he as conservative as we like? He is in Massachusetts! He has done what he could in that difficult state. There are only 18% of their population that claim to be Republicans.
When I ran there were 18% here in Utah that admitted they were Republicans. So they could win.
I like criticism, but we don’t need to tear down our leaders. We have a tendency in the state to shift back and forth. Mathisen is beloved in this state. Everything I do he takes credit for. I worked on the Nuclear fallout situation and people all over Washington County think he did it.
He works his constituency. We have to be vigilant and we can not expect our candidates to be perfectly aligned to what we think. There is no way that you can find that.
I am one of those people and I have done it for 30 years.”
9:22:10 PM Question I am a firm believer of listening to both sides. You also have to lose some to win some. I am concerned about GITMO. You know more than we do, but what is going on there?
9:22:49 PM Answer Orrin Hatch “These are for the most part terrorists and helpers. All the media crap that has come out is false. They don’t have any real information on GITMO. We do have administrative courts that are taking care of this.
When it comes to terrorists who are helping Osama Bin Laden who is an American, I understand that we will have to go through the trial process. In some cases we have to hold these other terrorists for a long time in order for them to not do more damage.
We follow constitutional principles by in large. It is inconvenient to give full jury trials to some, but we have to do that. This country upholds the rights even when a criminal might go free.”
9:24:56 PM Closing Orrin Hatch “I don’t want to lose your vote there in the back who is a fellow trial lawyer. Let me just say, my wife asked why I was doing it again. I know I can do things that other people can’t. We have to do Skull Valley. You have to do your part because you are fighting for our state. Please do it.
There are a lot of things that I have still not done that we need to finish. We can’t just snap our fingers to get our will. We have to work with them. Move, push, shove and it takes a lot of experience, which I have.
This is the greatest country in the world. I love it. We are the luckiest people in the world. God Bless all of you.
David Hansen has run campaigns across the country. He is one of the best.
One of the other candidates says his address is the governors mansion and I think it goes down from there.”
9:28:07 PM Closing Orrin Hatch “Chris Cannon is a powerhouse. He is a good worker. John Jacob is a good man. Chris can do a great job. Rob Bishop is already on the rules commission. Banking and Finance committees will be led by Bob Bennett and I if I am elected.
God Bless all of you.”
9:29:27 PM Adjourn

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