It is notable in a recent Standard-Examiner article that Sen. Hatch has backtracked on his comments to a CNN reporter about allegations against Trump that he now considers "irresponsible." The reporter said that federal prosecutors have made the case that Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make hush money payments to two women to quell possible campaign sex scandals. Sen. Hatch responded indirectly that he did not care about the rule of law -- that Trump is a good president. Sen. Hatch's apologetic-like statement that he spoke imprudently is welcome. Credit to him for downgrading national monuments in Utah is not welcome.

It would really be notable if Sen. Hatch also backtracked his action to downsize the Bears Ears and the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monuments in favor of the gas and oil industry and other special interests. His most dismaying action is that he involved The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' First Presidency to welcome President Trump to Utah on Dec. 4, 2017 for announcement of reduction in size of the Utah monuments. Church presidency has strong influence over how members feel and believe. Such influence was, in the minds of many people, most useful by Trump and Hatch in engendering quiet acceptance of downgrading the monuments. For ethical reasons the church should not be called upon for pretentious purposes.

It would also be notable if church members would evaluate the recreational, environmental, spiritual and economic values of both monuments for reversal of Sen. Hatch's favoritism toward special interest industry. Now is the time for such evaluation and follow-up contact with incoming Sen. Romney.

Hoyle L. Sorenson 


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