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SHEA, HATCH CAMPS SPAR OVER CRIME BILL

As President Clinton signed the $30 billion crime bill Tuesday, U.S. Senate candidate Pat Shea promised to get some of the money for Utah law officers and Sen. Orrin Hatch and fellow GOP colleagues introduced a new crime bill to make up for what they called the Clinton bill's "shortcomings."

Shea, who trails Hatch in recent opinion polls, said Hatch turned his back on the crime bill because of partisan politics. Most Republicans - many like Hatch who originally supported the Senate version of the bill - voted against the final bill that squeaked through Congress.Hatch, standing beside other Republican senators who voted against the bill, said Clinton should have vetoed - not signed - the crime bill Tuesday. They propose 10 amendments that would cut $5 billion in "social spending" from the new law, require tougher sentences for various drug crimes and crimes committed with a firearm and require a fair share of the money go to rural states.

Now that $30 billion is available to fight crime, Utah communities have to apply for police grants. Shea said if elected, he'd allocate one or two full-time staff to help local police chiefs apply for the cash. Shea said Hatch hasn't helped Utah communities get the funds they could if their senator went to bat for them.

Shea urged Clinton and Congress to make the money for 100,000 new officers on-going, not make local police agencies pick up the funding within six years.

"Orrin Hatch keeps saying that the federal government isn't listening to rural states," said Shea. "But Utah isn't a rural state. We're the fifth most urban state in the nation. Our cities have the same youth crime problems as Los Angeles or New York."

While overall crime rates are down in Utah and across America, the incidence of juvenile crimes is way up. "Per capita, we're having the same number of youth commit crimes as Los Angeles," Shea said. Because of various ways of classifying crimes by youth, Salt Lake police statisticians couldn't immediately confirm Shea's claim.

Hatch campaign spokeswoman Heather Barney said Salt Lake police just received a crime-fighting federal grant. "And our Washington office worked with them to get it. We're always helping local communities; in fact our work in that area is well-known and appreciated."

Barney said Clinton's crime bill "has $11 billion in discretionary funds - monies to be handed out by Bill Clinton, his chief of staff or his attorney general. Much of that money will find its way to big electoral-college states (to help Clinton's 1996 re-election)."

Formulas written into the crime bill will keep smaller states, like Utah, from getting money. "That's what the senator means when he criticizes the bill for hurting rural states," she said.

"I will work to get that money to Utah communities to fight crime," said Shea. "I'm more interested in fighting crime than turning crime into a Democratic/Republican partisan fight," like Hatch has, said Shea. "Criminals don't ask you if you are a Republican or a Democrat before they assault you or steal from you. Criminals aren't prosecuted because they commit `Democratic' or `Republican' crimes."

The crime bill wasn't opposed because of "pork," it was opposed by Republicans because of election-year politics, said Shea.

"Orrin Hatch attends a BYU non-debate and says he supports midnight basketball - because it does keep juveniles off the streets and out of trouble - but only if midnight basketball is supported with private monies." That's nuts, said Shea. Only local, state and federal governments can provide monies for such activities - gang members aren't going to pay to play midnight basketball.

"The senator supports midnight basketball, and he supports many worthy crime-prevention programs," said Barney. "Midnight basketball leagues can and should be supported by local businesses. This bill was just too much prevention, not tough enough on crime."

That's why Hatch and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, Tuesday held a press conference to announce the filing of a new crime bill for the next Congress. However, even if Republicans gain control of both the House and Senate Nov. 8 and pass the Republicans' plan, Clinton could veto it and Democratic minorities could sustain that veto.