Over the weekend, news broke of a music producer being arrested in Dubai. CNN, NYTimes and others picked it up. What’s so striking? The involvement of Utah’s ultra-conservative Senator, Orrin Hatch (R). Seems Orrin pulled some strings and helped the producer avoid any jail time. Orrin and the producer share a friend, their music attorney.
Background on Hatch:
Hatch has clung to the chestnut of using election year wedge issue tactics. Since I can remember, he’s brought up a flag burning amendment to the constitution, wanting to make it illegal to burn a U.S. flag in protest. This motion died on the floor recently.
Fortunately, for Utah residents, there is an alternative to re-electing Mr. Hatch. Pete Ashdown, a local internet entrepreneur is running against Hatch. I think Hatch should be worried. But that is more a hope than anything having basis in reality. Here is Pete’s take on Hatch’s behavior. Ashdown mentions a Utah family (SL Tribune article here) who tried to play by the rules and were deported. Hatch didn’t lift a finger, but his staff attempted to help the family through the bureaucracy. Quote from Hatch’s staff:
“it appears unlikely the senator will sponsor legislation to ensure legal residency for the Sahs, said spokeswoman Heather Barney. That, she said, is reserved for rare life-and-death situations.”
Cocaine carrying producer: 1, honest, hard working family: 0.
It would seem that with Rush Limbaugh’s battle with prescription drug dependency, maybe the GOP’s stance has shifted in their War on Drugs? Maybe Hatch is pro-cocaine now? Does this contribute to the culture of corruption? Or is it just a lack of culture? Or being afraid to touch immigration issues in an election year?
I wanted to wait until September before I mentioned my support of Ashdown, but I can wait no longer. Blurbomat is endorsing Pete Ashdown for the U.S. Senate this November. It’s time for some new ideas.
[Thanks to the main Mump for sending me the Ashdown link this morning.]