Lincoln Day Program Features U.S. Senator
|Sen. Orrin Hatch speaks with constituents at a dinner last Friday night at the College of Eastern Utah.|
United States Sen. Orrin Hatch was the featured speaker at a Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner last Friday at College of Eastern Utah.
The Utah senator kept his appointment by flying into Price in spite of bad weather conditions in the Castle Valley region and gale-force winds.
Eighty Carbon County residents were on hand to greet Hatch and to hear the senator speak at the March 3 event.
Carbon County Republican Chairman Sam Chiara introduced the program at last Friday's event.
The program included brief speeches by Utah Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert, Rep. Brad King, Rep. Patrick Painter and Republican congressional hopefuls LaVar Christensen, Kris Lounsbury and Joe Tucker.
Herbert, King and Painter applauded Hatch for his work and accomplishments in helping the state and the area.
Christensen, Lounsbury and Tucker took a few moments to introduce themselves to attendees.
The three Republicans hope to run against Democrat Jim Matheson for the Utah 2nd Congressional District in the upcoming elections.
The field will be narrowed to one candidate in the primary election in May.
Before introducing Hatch, Chiara read a letter from Commissioner Steve Burge, who was unable to attend the event sponsored by the Carbon County Republican Party.
In the letter, Burge announced that the Utah Legislature had approved the purchase of buildings at the old Willow Creek mine site to be turned over to College of Eastern Utah.
The Willow Creek facilities will be converted into a Western States Mine Training Center that will benefit the college and the community.
Hatch, U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett, Utah Sen. Mike Dmitrich, King and Painter were recognized for their help and support in securing funding for the project.
Hatch began his remarks by pointing out that faith in God and country was the hallmark of Abraham Lincoln's presidency and how the virtues are needed in today's world.
The senator said 880 Utah National Guard soldiers have served in Iraq and 20 have been casualties.
He spoke of the sacrifices, honor and bravery of America's servicemen in general and of Utah military personnel in particular.
Fighting the terrorists in their own lands is the right thing to do, noted Hatch.
The senator indicated that he supports President George Bush and his war efforts.
Hatch said democracy is taking root in Iraq.
He pointed out that 70 percent of eligible Iraqis voted in the recent election in spite of death threats and acts of violence.
The nation took 10 years to draft the U.S. Constitution in a time of peace, noted Hatch.
But the Iraqi people have drafted their constitution in about two years during a time of war.
The senator spoke of the federal government's accomplishments in Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon.
He also discussed several domestic issues such as the appointment of federal judges.
In addition, Hatch gave a quick overview of the current energy situation in the United States.
A recent federal energy bill co-sponsored by the Utah senator will build new oil refineries and provide funding for synthetic fuels research.
The technology already exists to make diesel and jet fuel from Utah low-sulfur coal, pointed out Hatch.
The senator said expects that process to be heavily utilized in the future.
Hatch also said that a federal highway bill he sponsored will provide more money for Utah roads, and will help with efforts to upgrade highway 6.
Senator Hatch will be running for his Utah Senate seat again, and when asked if he will make another try for the Presidency, he only smiled and said "No."