Friday, January 11, 2019

On Trump, Mitt Romney needs to represent Utah, not Massachusetts

Below are some excerpts from a great Op-Ed by William Perry Pendley, recently printed in the Washington Examiner.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who was born in Michigan, became governor of Massachusetts, and ran for president of the United States in 2012, may consider himself a national figure. Given his years as a missionary in France, his success spearheading the 2002 Winter Olympics, and his ability to jet-set the world, perhaps he could be considered an international figure. Nonetheless, he is the junior senator from the Beehive State in the Rocky Mountain West. Unfortunately, his infamous op-ed in the Washington Post belies recognition on his part that he has a new constituency whose world view differs from his.

Allow me to speak for some of them — many of whom have been, if not my clients, then like those I have represented in court over the decades.

Romney argues that "policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency." Nope, not for those of us in the West who have suffered for decades from the “wars on the West” waged by Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama — unfortunately always left unresolved by their Republican successors, Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. For us in the West, words are meaningless; action in the form of “policies and appointments” is all that matters. 

Pendley then describes how Clinton hid out in Arizona while proclaiming a 1.9 million acre National Monument in Utah, and how candidate George W. Bush, "campaigned against Clinton’s job-killing decree, but his administration defended its legality in court and left it unchanged."  It took a Donald Trump to step forward and order a review of these proclamations.

Pendley also educates on the geographical makeup of the Supreme Court:

...Prior to Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, the highest court in the land was a “bi-coastal SCOTUS,” with six justices from New York or New Jersey (three from New York City), one from rural, coastal Georgia, and two from northern California (Sacramento and San Francisco). Little wonder Westerners pondered whether they could get a hearing (the court grants certiorari in only 1 percent of the petitions it receives), let alone a fair one on the obscure issues they face, such as the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Mining Law of 1872, or the Endangered Species Act.
Then, Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, a highly regarded appellate judge, fourth-generation Coloradoan, and son of President Ronald Reagan’s first Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Gorsuch immediately ordered his clerks to read all petitions to ensure that cases important to him and the West will be reviewed.

 Lot's of interesting stuff here, including what Trump had to say about a rancher client of Pendley's, who "was fined $37,000 a day by the EPA for digging a small watering hole for his cattle on his own land."

In my view, although Hatch could stray from the fold on occasion, with Hatch and Mike Lee Utah had two strong conservatives representing the West's interests. With the election of Romney, that no longer appears to be the case.

I will also reiterate here what I've written before, if it wasn't for the legislative fortitude of Mike Lee New Mexico would have had 12 new Wilderness areas from a bill that had never passed the House or Senate. 

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