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SHEA TAKES AIM AT 10 STATEMENTS BY HATCH

Democrat Pat Shea says Sen. Orrin Hatch was wrong in 10 statements Hatch made in the first U.S. Senate race debate held a week ago.

Shea contends Hatch "waffled" on the statements and says Hatch should be held accountable - even if a week late.Hatch, an 18-year GOP incumbent, and Shea, a local attorney, met for the first debate Sept. 18 on KUTV Channel 2. As with any debate, misstatements are made, and each candidates wishes he'd had a quick comeback to prove his opponent wrong. Here are Shea's retorts on Hatch statements, with replies from Hatch campaign spokeswoman Heather Barney:

- Hatch said one reason he voted against Bill Clinton's crime bill is because of its local mandates. "Judging from his speeches, Sen. Hatch led the fight against (the bill) because it did not have enough mandates or federalized law enforcements," said Shea. "Hatch criticized the Local Partnership Act because it didn't contain enough restrictions on how states could spend federal money."

Barney said Hatch doesn't favor any unfunded mandate - he opposed much of the crime bill spending because it was open grants, most of the money going to big-city administrations. Hatch believes the Clinton administration used the money as political payoffs, with crime-fighting taking a back seat, Barney said.

- Hatch said if the striker replacement bill had passed - Hatch filibustered against it - local Utah businesses would become unionized. "Striker replacement would not affect Utah's right-to-work laws," said Shea.

True, said Barney, but because unionized workers couldn't be fired for striking, Hatch naturally figures that most Utah businesses would become unionized - what worker wouldn't want that kind of economic power?

- Hatch said GOP senators tried to double penalties for guns in the crime bill, but Democrats refused. "Hatch's proposal would not have necessarily doubled penalties for gun crimes," said Shea. "It would have federalized all violent or drug crimes committed with a gun." Twenty Democrats voted for Hatch's amendment, and it passed in the original Senate crime bill but was left out of the final House compromise bill.

Barney said Hatch would have introduced an amendment that would have doubled drug and gun-related crimes to 10 years minimum sentence, but Democrats refused to even allow GOP senators to offer any amendments.

- Hatch interrupted moderator Rod Decker when Decker said the economy is better today than in 1992 by saying it is not better, interest rates are up, etc. "In fact, the economy is better than in 1992," said Shea. Unemployment is down, inflation is at a 30-year low. Interest rates, while up recently, are on average still 4 percent lower than in the 1980s and consumer confidence is higher than its been in the past four years.

Barney said it's true the economy is growing, but that started in 1991, before Clinton took office. Many economists believe the economy is cooling, not growing as fast as it did the final year of the Bush administration, said Barney, and since the Clinton tax increases the economy's growth has definitely dipped.

- Hatch said the Clinton crime bill requires that hard-core drug users get help first with drug rehab money. "There is no distinction in the crime bill between hard core and other offenders," said Shea. In fact, the bill prohibits violent drug offenders from participating in the drug program.

Barney said Hatch wants the $1.4 billion in drug treatment money to go to youthful offenders, those who haven't been in prison. Yet $116 million is earmarked for prisoner drug rehabilitation - which Hatch says means prisoners with drug problems in prison will get treatment before inmates who don't use drugs in prison.

- Hatch said the crime bill includes $13 billion in deficit spending. "There is no deficit spending in the final crime bill; the entire bill will be paid for by the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund, which in turn is funded by savings from employee cuts," said Shea. While Hatch and others may doubt if the employee cuts will come, "Hatch was one of the major sponsors of the trust fund plan, which first allowed the crime bill to increase from $9 billion to $23 billion."

Barney said a Senate committee found that the larger Clinton bill goes beyond spending caps and that $13 billion is indeed unfunded, that employee cuts won't equal that amount.

- Hatch said as large as his Senate staff is, it is one-third of the staff size of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., "and I'm the offset to Ted Kennedy back there."

"All senators have the same allowance to hire staff. Hatch currently spends about the same amount as Kennedy on Senate staff," countered Shea.

Barney said, "This is just plain wrong." Senate staff levels are set by state population, plus Kennedy is chairman of the Labor Committee, and that committee staff acts as Kennedy's staff as well.

- Hatch said, "I'm not judging Anita Hill, because she made a very credible and a very interesting witness . . . "

Shea said, "In fact, Hatch directly attacked Hill's credibility by suggesting that she took her story from the `Exorcist' and that she conspired with liberal interest groups to block the nomination."

Barney points out that Hatch never questioned Anita Hill directly, he questioned U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas only. "Senator Hatch always acknowledged that Anita Hill was very articulate and intelligent," said Barney.

- Hatch said he wouldn't support Clinton's "one-size-fits-all socialized medicine approach . . . not federalize one-seventh of the American economy." But, saidShea, Hatch has on several occasions supported employer mandates - something he now opposes.

"In 1981, Hatch sponsored the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act, which would have forced all businesses with more than 15 employees to offer health care and prescribes the contents of the packages."

Barney said Hatch did co-sponsor the above bill in 1979 as a counterbalance to "Ted Kennedy's massive socialized medicine bill that year." However, Shea has misunderstood the Hatch bill; it didn't require employer mandates, just that employers must offer - not necessarily pay for - employee coverage. There was no mention of 15 employees at all and the bill cost only half-a-billion dollars and saved $2.5 billion.

- Hatch said the Dole/Hatch health-care plan - which was never really considered by the Senate - "costs much less than the Clinton program." But Shea said Hatch can't say that because no one really knows the cost of the Dole/Hatch program. The bill was never formally printed, and no complete cost analysis was ever done.

The bill was printed, said Barney, although because no member of Congress actually asked for the financial costs to be immediately compiled, they weren't. After the Congressional Budget Office finishes with Superfund estimates, the Mitchell and Dole health care bills' financial impacts will be completed and Hatch's claim that the GOP alternative cost less will bear out, said Barney.