UPDATED May 21, 2012 – Videos added
ST. GEORGE – Dan Liljenquist, running against Orrin Hatch in Utah’s Republican Primary, visited Southern Utah on Thursday and Friday. While here, Liljenquist made three public appearances in an attempt to get his message out. His first event was at the J.C. Snow Park in St. George where about 90 people came out to listen, then the Main Street Park in Cedar City where about 40 people came out to listen, and finally the Community Center in Hurricane where about 40 people came out to listen.
He took the time to introduce himself and told a little about his background. He got his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Economics. He then graduated from the University of Chicago’s Law School. He never practiced as a lawyer, instead he started his career working at Bain Consulting and ended up owning his own call center company.
He then ran for and won a spot in the Utah State Senate. While there he spent most of his effort working on pension and medicaid reform to help keep Utah from getting into an even worse financial situation. During his time in the Utah State Senate he was able to get both pension and medicaid reform passed.
He said he promises hit the federal budget just as hard as he did the state one. He said he promises to work on getting medicaid reformed at the federal level by passing more control to the states. He also said he promises to push for cut, cap and balance and to stand against the extra spending that has happened for so long.
He spent a little bit of time talking about some of the differences between himself and Orrin Hatch. He said he is opposed to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that Hatch voted for, he said that some groups are claiming that it gives the President the authority to detain without habeas corpus anyone he suspects is a terrorist. He also said that there are other groups that say that the NDAA does not give the President such authority for U.S. citizens. Liljenquist said, “if there’s any doubt, we need to change it before we pass it.” He told those in attendance that he would not have voted for it until that possibility was gone.
He also talked about some of the other wasteful spending that has taken place while Hatch has been in office. He specifically named the Troubled Asset Relief Program also know as TARP. Liljenquist reminded those in attendance in Hurricane that Hatch voted for TARP and many other areas of wasteful spending.
Liljenquist also spent time both in St. George and in Hurricane talking about how congress has slowly delegated more and more authority to the president and several different bodies who now write and put into law, through regulation and executive order, most of the new laws in our country. He talked about how the Founding Fathers didn’t mean for it to be this way and said that he would push to change it so that the regulations, even if they are put together by other organizations, would have to be passed by Congress. He gave an example of a regulatory body that got out of hand when he was in the state Senate.
Someone noted that the newest edition of the state building code was going to require that every house have sprinklers installed in the ceiling to put out fires. Liljenquist then said that in his own house, with his own family, that would lead to sprinklers going off frequently as he has six kids and it is common to have someone burn a bag of popcorn in the microwave and set off the smoke alarm.
While in St. George the would-be U.S. senator for Utah talked a lot about the state’s rights. He said that he supported Utah’s efforts to gain control of the public land. When asked about the Lake Powell pipeline he said that as a U.S. Senator he would fight to keep the federal government out of the argument. He said that it is a local issue and that the federal government should let us figure it out and do whatever is best for us.
Liljenquist said that he is going to be accessible to the public and even promised that this wouldn’t be his only trip down to Southern Utah before the Primary. He said that he is trying to help the citizens of Utah to know the differences between himself and Senator Hatch and that he challenged Senator Hatch to eight televised debates. When Hatch informed Liljenquist that he didn’t have time for that, Liljenquist said he has since offered several different options to get a televised debate in the state. An offer was even made to have Liljenquist travel to Washington D.C. to do a televised debate there, but thus far Hatch has only consented to do a single radio debate on the Doug Wright show.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.