By Krystal Baker
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, can’t keep an appointment tonight — he has work to do.
Congress is still in session, and Hatch has been unable to come back to Utah to debate his opponent, Utah State Senate Minority Leader Scott Howell, a Democrat, Tuesday, Oct. 31, at KBYU studios.
According to Hatch’s Press Secretary, Heather Barney, the Senate has been going through a continual process petitioning to keep Congress in session in order to continue negotiation on legislative items that President Clinton has vetoed.
Barney said Hatch has cancelled the KBYU debate because he could not come back from Washington, D.C.
Challenger Scott Howell said not being able to take on Hatch face-to-face has hurt his campaign. Howell referred to The Hinckley debate, at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, as one debate Hatch has backed out of.
Paul Boehm, Howell’s communication director, said despite Congress being is session, Hatch could have found time to debate Howell.
Despite the cancellation of the debates, the major Utah television stations have found time to hold what KTVX Channel 4 called, “Conversations between the Candidates.”
One issue that the candidates did have time to debate on Channel 4 was the their solutions to the problems in the Middle East.
Howell praised President Clinton’s actions as a mediator between Barak and Arafat, and said that while the United States cannot be a policeman for the whole world, we can be effective, efficient mediators.
Hatch said he advocates different representation from the United States in Israel.
“I am hoping that George Bush will get elected president and I believe we will have some real heavy weights over in Israel. The President of the United States does have to get together both sides and does have to bang heads together, but it takes more than that,” Hatch said.
“It takes commandeering of the media throughout the world, you have to get the United Nations to back off of trying to favor one side over the other,” he said.
“I think we can get some better leadership,” Hatch said.
During the debate on KSL, Channel 5, on Oct. 27, the candidates debated the national debt and tax reduction.
Howell said that the national debt is his first priority. Hatch said that this is an area that both he and Howell agree.
Both candidates plan to decrease if not eliminate unneeded taxes such as the marriage and the death taxes.