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D.C. Notebook: Reid jokes about 'extremely liberal' Utah

Published October 19, 2013 7:03 pm

Our delegation • Stewart still stoked about writing career, Hatch praises DePaulis.
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid castigated Republicans over and over during the shutdown fight and was not hesitant to speak up when he found a GOP politician doing the same.

At one point, Reid took to the Senate floor to quote former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsmanm who told CNN that defaulting on government bills would be like a "thermonuclear" explosion.

But what was more interesting was how Reid introduced Huntsman.

"Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, [the former] governor of Utah, an extremely liberal state," Reid said.

Of course, Reid, of nearby Nevada, was being facetious. Or perhaps he was just dreaming.

Dialing-for-dollars • Sen. Orrin Hatch says he's not running for re-election, but he's still raking in the campaign cash. He raised $144,000 for his campaign account and another $60,000 for his political action committee in the past three months.

Spokesman Matthew Harakal said Hatch is still dialing-for-dollars to help his fellow Republicans.

"Senator Hatch believes it's critical for Republicans to take back the Senate in the 2014 elections so we can take down Obamacare, rein in federal spending and cut our national debt. So he's actively engaged in ensuring Republicans have the resources needed to make this a reality," Harakal said, noting the senator helped raise more than $2 million for the National Republican Senatorial Committee this year.

On top of that, Hatch sent a check for $55,000 to the NRSC out of his campaign account, and he handed out $85,000 in funds through Orrin­PAC to 15 candidates.

Some of the Republicans he has helped: Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

Praising DePaulis • While Congress was in disarray recently, Hatch took a break to insert some praise into the Congressional Record for Utah Department of Human Services chief and former Salt Lake City Mayor Palmer DePaulis.

"Throughout his long and distinguished career, Mr. DePaulis has worked to improve the lives of our most vulnerable and forgotten citizens," Hatch said. "Utahns and the nation owe him our gratitude and appreciation."

It was a nice break from the usual rhetoric coming out of the Capitol.

Best-seller • Looking back at the start of Rep. Chris Stewart's year, it's hard to figure how he ever found time to get some rest.

The new representative of Utah's 2nd district had to hire a staff, learn how to navigate Capitol Hill and start serving as a representative of the people at the same time he was writing a biography of famed Utah kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart.

The book, "My Story," was released Oct. 7 and was ranked number 2 on the New York Times best-seller list this week (53rd on Amazon's best seller ranking).

And it looks as if he's not ready to put his writing career aside any time soon.

Stewart tells us he'll start another book project soon, probably a non-fiction piece, but he didn't want to get into specifics.

He previously wrote a series of techno thrillers under the name The Great and Terrible, and with his brother, federal Judge Ted Stewart, a couple of inspirational books, including "Seven Miracles that Saved America."

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Burr and Canham report from Washington, D.C. They can be reached at tburr@sltrib.com or mcanham@sltrib.com or via Twitter @thomaswburr or @mattcanham.






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