FreedomWorks for America Responds to Utah Senate Primary

By Jacqueline Bodnar, 06/27/12


Russ Walker: The conservative grassroots set the agenda in the Utah Senate race

Salt Lake City, UT- Following news that six-term incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch secured the Utah Senate Republican primary victory over conservative challenger Dan Liljenquist, FreedomWorks for America National Political Director Russ Walker released the following statement:

“We are disappointed in tonight’s primary results, but Utah conservatives should be proud of what they accomplished. The limited-government movement is largely responsible for the 180-degree change in Senator Hatch’s votes and rhetoric over the past two years.”

“Thanks to a stalwart community of engaged grassroots activists, Senator Hatch was forced to start talking the Tea Party language and making the right votes. Senator Hatch now supports the Rand Paul budget, opposes the crippling EPA regulation Utility MACT, and voted against the Farm Bill. We know Utah voters will stay engaged and watch to make sure that Senator Hatch sticks to his campaign promises and makes the best votes for Utah.”

Senator Hatch has made an undeniable pivot in his Congressional voting record over the past few years. In 2007, the FreedomWorks scorecard rated Hatch’s voting record at a dismal 25%, compared to his vastly improved rating of 88% in 2011. The clear conclusion is that conservative grassroots activists and the Dan Liljenquist campaign forced Senator Hatch to support free-market, limited-government economic policy.

Prior to 2011, Senator Hatch voted consistently to expand the size and power of the federal government, including the precursors to ObamaCare (S. 1770 in 1993; S-CHIP in 1997), voting to establish the Department of Education, supporting TARP, the auto bailouts, and the bailouts of mortgage giant Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Senator Hatch also advocated for the appointments of liberal Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, and to confirm Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman, Eric Holder as Attorney General, and Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury.

In the four weeks leading up to the primary, FreedomWorks for America activists knocked on over 120,000 doors, made over 280,000 phone calls, and put up over 10,000 yard signs in support of Dan Liljenquist.

Walker continued, “Thanks to the tireless efforts of conservative activists and volunteers across the state, Dan Liljenquist was able to make history bringing Senator Hatch to a primary battle for the first time in his six-term career. This primary was a clash of principles, and it’s clear from Senator Hatch’s rediscovered conservative rhetoric that the ideas of the Tea Party came out on top.”

For more information on FreedomWorks for America or endorsed candidates in Utah, please visit