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Pizza order for Sen. Orrin Hatch: Hold the anchovies and the Betsy DeVos nomination


How hard has it been for opponents of education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos to reach their senators with all the "vote no" calls flooding the lines?

So hard that Utah resident Julia Silge resorted to ordering a pizza to be delivered to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch after she couldn't raise anyone on the phone in the Republican senator's Salt Lake City office. His voicemail was full.

Silge included a note with the pie, “From a Salt Lake constituent in 84105: Please vote NO on Betsy DeVos. She is an inappropriate choice to lead our public schools.”

The delivery person tried to get the pizza to its intended recipient-- perhaps spurred by Silge's $10 tip -- but the pizza didn't make it past security.

According to the Washington Post:

A spokesman for Hatch's Washington office told The Post on Monday that they actually saw the pizza saga on social media as it was unfolding.

“We appreciate all creative efforts to reach Senator Hatch, particularly as we deal with a large volume of out-of-state callers that are preventing Utah constituents from reaching us,” Hatch's office said in an email statement. “Unfortunately, the pizza did not make it through security screening because the office had not ordered it. As a result, we did not see the message attached to the pizza.”

They have, however, since informed Hatch about Silge's concerns. “In the future, if constituents would like to tag us with a message when they send food to their local homeless shelter, we will be certain to share those thoughts with the Senator as well,” the statement added.

Silge chronicled her unique outreach to her senator on social media:

In a last-ditch effort tonight, Democratic senators have commandeered the Senate floor to use every second until the confirmation vote Tuesday afternoon to highlight the case against DeVos. They are hoping another "no" vote will materialize overnight. Now, the Senate stands split on DeVos at 50-50, which means Vice President Mike Pence would serve as the tie-breaker in her favor. With one more GOP defection, DeVos would be defeated.

Opponents are trying to change the minds of Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. So far, neither has indicated a willingness to break party ranks.

 


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Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.