Utah: Mailers Hitting Both Sides in GOP Primary

Sen. Orrin Hatch has been supported by advocacy group Freedom Path in his quest for re-election in Utah. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two outside groups were filling Republicans’ mailboxes recently with contrasting views on candidates in Utah’s Senate race.

Several Republicans, including former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and state Rep. Chris Herrod, are challenging Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) from the right, while conservative groups FreedomWorks and Club for Growth are actively pursuing his defeat. Freedom Path, a 501(c)(4) issue advocacy organization that has aired two statewide TV ads promoting Hatch’s conservative credentials, is out with a direct-mail piece that informs voters about legislation that it says Liljenquist and Herrod supported last year that blocks access to public records.

The mailer makes no mention of Hatch or the Senate race, but the two happen to be challenging Hatch. “Politicians Dan Liljenquist and Chris Herrod,” the mailer reads. “Special Interests’ Dream. Utah Taxpayers’ Nightmare.”

FreedomWorks just spent $67,000 on a 44-page booklet that goes through Hatch’s record on topics ranging from earmarks to the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The group has spent more than $200,000 just in the past month on independent expenditures opposing Hatch’s re-election.

Hatch “has, for over 30 years, held himself out as a conservative,” the booklet reads. “Hatch’s record, however, belies any assertion that he is a true fiscal conservative.”