Old-School Orrin

So, Orrin Hatch is out playing favorites again. Seems to be a passtime with "lifers" on the hill.

Salt lake Tribune reports this morning that Hatch plied some pressure in Dubai after a fellow "musician" was convicted of smuggling cocaine and ecstacy into that country. Hat-tip to Bob the Cookie Monster on the summary:

Some facts about the case:

1) Dallas Austin, an R&B producer from Atlanta, got caught smuggling cocaine and ecstacy from the United States into Dubai, which is located in the United Arab Emerates (UAE).

2) Austin employs entertainment lawyer Joel A Katz, who also represents Senator Orrin G Hatch (R-UT), who is a songwriter.

3) Sen Hatch hired Katz in late 2004. Prior to hiring Katz, Hatch had made less than $25,000 in his 8 years making music, including some questionable sales. In 2005, Hatch made $40,000 from his music.

4) Austin was sentenced to prison for possession on July 4. Shortly after the conviction, Senator Hatch's office was contacted by Austin's lawyers asking for help.

5) In a statement released by the Senator Hatch's office, we learn that the Senator has "good relations with the ambassador and other good people in Dubai." That is believed to be the reason why Hatch was contacted, instead of Austin's own two Senators.

While I was reading that story this morning, my mind went to the story in last Saturday's Tribune of a much more deserving family who came here legally a little more than 10 years ago now, and applied for political asylum through the proper channels. Read the story here, and ask yourself, as I did, where Orrin was in support of one of his own state's hard-working families.

From the story:

"Although Ken got no response to his asylum request for almost a decade because of logjams in California, immigration officials quickly ruled against him on the same day as his July 2000 hearing - 31 days short of his 10th anniversary in this country.
"That was very unusual," Lawrence said.
If Ken had been in the United States a full 10 years before the hearing, he could have applied for legal residency on grounds that deportation would be a hardship on his son, an American citizen."

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