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Friday, January 13, 2017 will not publish our daily newsletter on Monday, January 16 due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

We will return to your email, computers, phones, tablets and social media networks on Tuesday, January 17 with the best political news and analysis in Utah.


Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning Must Reads for Friday, January 13

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 13th day of the year. There are 352 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns give former Governor Jon Huntsman high approval ratings. Speaker Greg Hughes plans to meet with Donald Trump's team in Washington next week. Sen. Orrin Hatch's chief of staff, Rob Porter, is taking a top White House position.

The clock:

  • 7 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 10 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 55 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 298 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 662 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1390 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Friday:

  1. Popularity contest. Utahns give former Governor Jon Huntsman higher approval ratings than both Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee [Utah Policy]. Bob Bernick argues Jon Huntsman would be a formidable opponent if he decides to challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2018 [Utah Policy].

  2. Meeting with Trump. House Speaker Greg Hughes will meet with Donald Trump's team next week when he travels to Washington for Trump's inauguration. Hughes says the meeting will likely focus more on policy than a possible job with the Trump White House [Utah Policy].

  3. Who, what, when, where, why? Watch Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott break down what happened in Utah politics this week in our video week-in-review. This week we discuss how education funding could be a significant battle during this year's legislature  [Utah Policy].

  4. Movin' on up! Rob Porter, chief of staff for Sen. Orrin Hatch, is expected to be named White House Staff Secretary. That position has a lot of clout as he decides what documents and memos will make it to Trump's desk when he assumes the presidency [Politico].

  5. Hillary's email controversy lives on. The Justice Department says they will launch an investigation into whether FBI Director James Comey violated government policies during the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server [Wall Street Journal].

  6. Chilling effect. Rep. Jason Chaffetz threatens to investigate the head of the Office of Government Ethics, who scoffed at President-elect Donald Trump's plan to sideline any conflicts with his business empire, for "blurring the line between public relations and official ethics guidance" [New York Times].

  7. Fixing Bears Ears. Sen. Orrin Hatch pleads with Rep. Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump's pick to head the Interior Department, to "clean up the mess" from President Obama's creation of the new Bears Ears National Monument [Tribune].

  8. Scoop! Mormon apostles Elder Todd Christofferson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson will attend Donald Trump's inauguration next week [Deseret News].

  9. Tax hike faceoff. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser pushes back against a proposed income tax hike to increase funding for Utah's public schools saying the plan could do big damage to the state's economy [Deseret News].

  10. Tension ratcheting up. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is downplaying tensions with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams over four new homeless shelters [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1794 - President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union.
  • 1968 - Johnny Cash records his infamous At Folsom Prison live record.
  • 1982 - Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River bridge in Washington, killing 78 people.
  • 2012 - The Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed.

Today At Utah Policy

Bob Bernick's Notebook: Huntsman vs. Hatch Could be a Tough Political Fight in 2018

Utahns could be in for a fascinating political year.No, not in 2017; but in 2018....

Utahns Give Huntsman Higher Approval Ratings than Both Hatch and Lee

Former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, has high approval ratings among Utahns, a new UtahPolicy poll shows....

That Means I'll Start Having to Wear Pants - Bernick and Schott on Politics #312

Utah voters could have an exciting political year in store in 2018....

Hughes to Meet with Trump Team in Washington Next Week

Next week, when Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes attends Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C., inaugural, Hughes will meet with transition officials, he told UtahPolicy Thursday afternoon....

Weekly Survey: What Will Republicans Do with Obamacare?

Congressional Republicans are debating what to do with the Affordable Care Act. Will they "repeal and replace" now, later, or will nothing happen? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on Politics #312

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run down the week in Utah politics....

Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes-- Tribune: Enjoy national parks for free on MLK Day -- Tribune: Yellowstone's Mammoth Dining Room honored -- Tribune: Annual St. George bird festival coming soon Weekend EventsNew Films-- The Autopsy of Jane Doe: Tribune review -- Elle: Tribune review -- Live b...

New Study Shows Utah Outranks the Nation in Family Prosperity
A joint project by Sutherland Institute and the American Conservative Union Foundation found Utah ranks first in the nation according to the Family Prosperity Index, or FPI. ...

Hatch Meets with Interior Secretary Nominee Ryan Zinke to Discuss Bears Ears, Recommends Mike Noel for BLM Director
Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior Republican in the United States Senate, issued the following statement following a meeting with Congressman Ryan Zinke, President-elect Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of the Interior:...

Lee Introduces Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement Thursday after introducing the “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act,” a bill which denies all federal funding for implementing the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Affi...

Wilford Clyde Named Vice Chair of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors
The Salt Lake Chamber has named Wilford Clyde, president of Clyde Companies, as the vice chair of its Board of Governors. He will serve alongside current chair, Keith McMullin, the current president and CEO of Deseret Management, Inc....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Utah is the right home for Outdoor Retailers

Biskupski downplays city-county rift on homeless issues, McAdams requests money from Legislature

Judge unseals affidavits used to justify arrest of former Utah A.G. deputy

Trump has business regulators and attorneys wondering what the regulatory climate will be

Utah law unclear on filling potentially vacant U.S. House seat, legislators working on fix

Rolly: Is Salt Lake County too big for its britches? Some talk about splitting it up

Swallow jurors won't hear that feds declined to charge him or how Shurtleff's case was dropped

Hatch prods Interior nominee to help 'repair damage' of national monuments

Deseret News

Op-ed: A critical response to the Deseret News from MormonLeaks

Hal Boyd: Calling out MormonLeaks' ironic (non)transparency crusade

Jay Evensen: Utah Foundation director steps down, talks about Utah's future

Editorial: Better understanding of sex education results hold promise and challenge

Utah Rep. Mia Love renews call for single-subject bills in Congress

Utah tops nation for family prosperity, report says

Judge bars Swallow from bringing up Shurtleff dismissal in upcoming trial

Religious freedom advocates are divided over how to address LGBT rights

McAdams, Biskupski meet to work through tensions; McAdams asking state for Medicaid dollars

Does Utah have more men or women?

Lawmaker calls income tax hike 'worst thing we can do' to bolster school funding

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation writes a check for Bears Ears 'engagement' fund

Salt Lake City leaders celebrate new housing, small business development in Rio Grande


Ogden wants full 24th Street interchange, plans to plead case to legislature (Standard-Examiner)

USU professor, state officials report Utah agriculture up since 2008 (Logan Herald Journal)

'Save the Constitution': Author warns local elected officials against constitutional convention (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Mattis cruises through confirmation hearing (The Hill)

Study: Economy Was Top Issue Among Millennial Voters (Roll Call)

Assange agrees to extradition if US releases whistleblower (AFP)

Obama administration ends special immigration policy for Cubans (Reuters)

Live from DC, it's the Ben Carson hearing (Washington Post)

The GOP wants to repeal Obamacare in a fast-paced 'rescue mission' - but in a step-by-step process. (Washingont Post)

Supreme Court Considers How Schools Support Students With Disabilities (NPR)

Anthony Scaramucci is hired for a top job in Trump's White House (Washington Post)

Friday holds an important test for the Trump rally (CNBC)

Why AT&T's top execs visited Trump Tower (Washington Post)

Big Pharma on the Hot Seat (New York Times)

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Wise Words

Greatest Power
"The greatest power is often simple patience." E. Joseph Cossman

Lighter Side

Trump Tweet
"On New Year's Eve Trump tweeted: "Happy new year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!" Enemies? The only people who admit to having "Enemies" are Donald Trump and 8th grade girls." James Corden

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