Cache Valley lawmakers say Sen. Romney’s name is ‘Mudd’

In 2020, Utah's Mitt Romney made history as the first U.S. senator to ever vote against a president from his own political party during the first impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Angering many, Romney sided with Democrats again during Trump's recent second impeachment.

LOGAN – To some Cache Valley legislators, the name of Utah’s junior senator in Washington, D.C. is Mudd, not Mitt.

“A lot of people aren’t happy with (U.S. Sen.) Mitt Romney, especially after his vote during President Trump’s second impeachment,” said Rep. Joel Ferry, R-District 1, during a virtual town hall Thursday hosted by the Cache County Republican Party.

“But there are some Utahns who probably agree with what he is doing,” Ferry acknowledged. “I don’t happen to be one of them.”

“I’ve had the same concern,” admitted freshman Rep. Mike Petersen, R-District 3. “I worry that Sen. Romney clearly doesn’t represent the views of all Utahns.

“As individuals, it’s incumbent on each of us, if we feel a certain way (about Sen. Romney), to voice our displeasure or satisfaction. I don’t think that’s going to happen as a state, so it will be up to us as individuals.”

State officials have definitely been more circumspect than Cache Valley lawmakers in remarks about Romney’s recent “votes of conscience” against Republican interests in Washington.

After casting his vote to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial on Feb. 13, senior Utah Sen. Mike Lee tactfully defended his colleague’s vote of guilty by saying that there was room for “diversity of opinion” in the Utah GOP.

The state GOP also attempted to gloss over its senator’s diverging impeachment votes by echoing Lee’s refrain, saying that “diversity of thought” is beneficial to the political process.

Romney made history by becoming the first U.S. senator in history to vote to convict a president from his own political party during Trump’s first impeachment trial in February 2020.

In the even-more controversial second impeachment trial, Romney joined six other Republicans who voted to convict Trump of inciting the crowd that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a statement released by his office after the second impeachment trial, Romney accused his former rival in the 2016 presidential campaign of attempting to corrupt the 2020 general election results, inciting insurrection against Congress and endangering the lives of senior elected officials.

Despite social media rumors of recall petitions, censure efforts and calls for Romney’s resignation, state Rep. Dan Johnson, R-District 4, said that Utahns’ actually have limited options to punish their junior senator.

At state level, we don’t have a recall law for the office of U.S. Senator,” Johnson explained. “So we’d have to pass a law in the Legislature to be able to do that.

“There was a bill that was run by former state Rep. Tim Quinn last year for that purpose, giving the state authority to recall a senator. There are people who feel really, really strongly about that (option). So, I was just curious what a bill to do that would look like.”

During the 2020 general session of the Legislature, Quinn denied that HB 217 was a reaction to Romney’s earlier vote in the first Trump impeachment. The proposal by the former District 54 representative was not enacted by the Legislature.

At the federal level, the Constitution says that the only options to remove a sitting senator from office are through impeachment or expulsion.

To impeach a senator, the U.S. House must pass articles of impeachment and two-thirds of the Senate’s members must vote to convict. The last time that a U.S. senator was impeached was in 1799, on a charge of treason.

Expulsion of a senator from office is more common, having been imposed 15 times since 1789, mostly for criminal offenses. Like impeachment, expulsion of a senator requires a two-thirds vote of his or her colleagues.

Given the fact that Democrats now hold majorities in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, there is no chance that Romney could face either impeachment or expulsion proceeding over his votes against Trump.

For better or worst, Ferry said, Romney will undoubtedly remain in office until he faces reelection in about three and one-half years.

“If enough Utahns don’t agree with his actions then,” Ferry added, “Sen. Romney should be voted out of office.”

In the meantime, Utahns who are upset over Romney’s actions are left with only the traditional option of reaching out to his office.

“Anyone can write a letter and share their displeasure,” Johnson emphasized. “I believe that people’s voices really matter. Sen. Romney reads his e-mails. He has staffers who read letters…so I think you just have to reach out to him.”

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14 Comments

  • KA February 20, 2021 at 12:25 pm Reply

    Better drink that orange Kool-Aid or you’re out of the cult.

  • Pyrrholyte February 20, 2021 at 4:19 pm Reply

    KA, suppose you were standing trial. Would you want members of the jury to cast “votes of conscience” or votes based on the facts?

  • Barnabus February 20, 2021 at 4:19 pm Reply

    Neither does Mike Lee, I have a lot of respect for Sen. Romney. He at least did not get on his knees and worship his new master like Sen. Lee.
    I quit the republican party, because it is now the kooky conspiracy party. This state is turning blue and while I don’t like it. I am going to enjoy watching some of the back woods kooks loose their minds. Majority rules, enjoy it while it last.

  • MGD February 20, 2021 at 8:16 pm Reply

    1. Utah does need a recall law. I would love to see Sean Reyes recalled as AG.
    2. No politician can represent all of the views of his/her constituents. Romney many not represent the views of most citizens of Cache County, but he probably represents the views of many in Salt Lake County, Summit County and a substantial portion of Utahns around the state. Probably not a majority, but what of it. We elected him to represent us AND to vote his conscience. He voted his conscience. Get over it.

    • Pyrrholyte February 21, 2021 at 9:13 pm Reply

      What does “voting his conscience” mean? Should a jury “vote their conscience” or vote based on the facts?

      • Bo February 24, 2021 at 8:25 am Reply

        Both.

        • Pyrrholyte February 24, 2021 at 8:02 pm Reply

          I find it telling you chose not to answer the first question and provided a one-word answer for the second; to which the entirety of US legal precedence and standards disagrees.

        • Pyrrholyte February 24, 2021 at 8:14 pm Reply

          For the record, one can agree with the vote, but disagree with reasoning because it could set a dangerous precedence for the future.

  • Jeffrey Turley February 20, 2021 at 9:39 pm Reply

    It’s a sad day when your politicians think that the way they think is the only way to think. That’s a dangerous path to walk down. That’s the thinking causing the great divide in this country. Differences in opinion, especially when it come to Voting your conscience is a healthy thing. I am disgusted and embarrassed that so many of our local legislatures fall in to the category of if you don’t think like them, then your a far left extremist which is so far from reality it’s scary. I respect Mr Romney more now than I did before because he voted the way he felt best, not as a puppet to a party. Thank you Mr. Romney, grow up local legislators who think their extreme views are the only views and if you don’t agree with them they want to kick you out of office. They are following the same path as the “Cancel Culture” is doing all over this country. Quit your whining and get to work doing good things for your constituents, all of them, not the hand full of extremists. There is too much work to be done. I am grateful that my representative, Casey Snyder wasn’t mentioned in this article, he has more class than that.

  • Kathy Roberts February 20, 2021 at 10:12 pm Reply

    Mike Lee most definitely does not support the views of all Utah residence. What’s the difference? Voting to acquit most definitely was not a vote for the facts. It was a vote ignoring the facts.

  • Tj February 20, 2021 at 10:37 pm Reply

    Maybe it’s time to bite out some Cache Valley Lawmakers.

  • Glen J Thornley February 21, 2021 at 10:40 am Reply

    I would have to be convinced that Mr. Romney is really a Utah’n. In my opinion he has used us for political gain. Moreover, he has used our religion to foster a following. Of course there are many left wing people in our state but the vast majority are God fearing, patriotic. practical thinking, and even loving people regardless of their political perspective. I am frankly surprised that there hasn’t been a recall effort such as with the governors of California and New York. If the local media would show interest, there would be a landslide of support for the effort.

    • Don February 23, 2021 at 11:26 am Reply

      The God-fearing people of Utah who resoundingly put Donald Trump down into third place during the Republican Primary where he belonged due to his lack of morals, racist views, and other extremist ideologies?

      Or the God-fearing people of Utah who changed their mind about Donald Trump after he was elected and embraced his lack of morals, racist views, and other extremist ideologies?

  • P. Brown February 21, 2021 at 11:02 am Reply

    I am so proud of Senator Romney. The fact that a politician speaks the truth and is punished and criticized by his party is disgusting. Why the Republican party couldn’t speak the truth about Trump, who has no moral compass that this state is known for and goes against the standards and beliefs of the major religion in this state, is totally wrong. Wake up folks! He is only concerned about Donald Trump! He doesn’t care about this state, he only wants the money and support of the party.

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