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For week ended October 10, 1999 Posted 17 Oct 1999

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Sen. Hatch Blasts S.F. Supervisors

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Sen. Hatch Blasts S.F. Supervisors
San Francisco Chronicle 5Oct99 N1
By Carla Marinucci, Ed Epstein: Chronicle Staff Writers


S.F. Supervisors
San Francisco CA Examiner 5Oct99 N1
Compiled by Rachel Gordon: Examiner staff

In other business Monday, the Board of Supervisors:

Senator and presidential candidate, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, spoke in San Francisco before an audience of about 40 at the Commonwealth Club of California. He depicted himself as a "compassionate conservative with guts" and the candidate with the deepest government and legislative experience and the one most qualified to make as many as five Supreme Court appointments required of the next president.

As he was speaking, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax-exempt status of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because some church leaders have urged members to financially support California's Knight Initiative.

Hatch said he strongly supports the initiative that would bar the state from recognizing gay or lesbian marriage and calls the action by the Board against the church as "bigoted and prejudiced." However, Sen. Hatch also said he believes that gays and lesbians deserve respect and may "need some sort of recognition for a monogamous relationship." However, he wanted to make sure that legal recognition was not confused with, put on par with, or undermine the traditional family.

Sen. Hatch continued to deride the board's resolution, saying, that it "flies in the face of free-speech rights almost as much as anything I've ever seen. If that type of philosophy became the norm, that almost means nobody affiliated with any religion would have a right to talk freely."

Hatch acknowledged his meager fund raising has been far outpaced by Bush's $56 million so far, but he said he'll continue on with what he calls an "anti- fat cat" campaign, which is an effort to get $36 checks from 1million voters. So far, he said, he's raised about $500,000 that way, out of a total of $1.4 million. "Some people don't even know I'm in the race," he said. "But this is a marathon, not a sprint. And I'm a darned good marathon runner."

He insists his late-blooming, underfunded candidacy has a chance should crisis arise with front-runner George W. Bush. He described the Texas governor as an attractive though relatively inexperienced politician who "faces a steep learning curve" in the nation's highest office.

Sen. Hatch openly acknowledges that his religious faith has been an abiding part of his political and personal life, but sadly realizes that many Americans have misunderstood the church since its founding, even other Christians.

Commenting on the Gallup Poll that showed that 17 percent of the American people would not vote for a Mormon for president, Sen. Hatch said, "I felt that that kind of bigotry and intolerance went out when John F. Kennedy was elected the first Catholic president." He won the praise last week of the Christian Coalition last week when he addressed their conference on this issue.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information