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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Best of Utah 2016 logoSalt Lake City Weekly highlighted UtahPolicy.com Managing Editor Bryan Schott in their annual "Best of Utah" edition as "Best Political Schott in the Dark."

The editors said "If you have even one iota of interest in how this state and its cities are run, you should subscribe to or at least visit Utah Policy's site, where Schott curates local news and headlines five days a week in the Morning Must Reads. He also weighs in on the issues of the day with longtime political reporter Bob Bernick in more than 300 "Bernick and Schott on Politics" videos."

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning Must Reads for Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 348th day of the year. There are 18 days remaining in 2016.

Stewart casts doubt on claims Russia tried to help Donald Trump get elected. Trump taps Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state. Trump reportedly is set to nominate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for secretary of energy.

The clock:

  • Six days until the Electoral College meets to cast their votes for president and vice president (12/19/2016)
  • 38 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 41 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 86 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 329 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 693 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Tuesday:

  1. Trump vs. the CIA vs. Russia. Rep. Chris Stewart, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, says reports that the CIA concluded Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump are just wrong [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News]. Here's the video of our interview with Stewart [Utah Policy]. U.S. intelligence agencies say they based their assessment about Russia wanting to help Trump in part on evidence showing the election hacking efforts were mostly targeted at Democrats and Hillary Clinton [Washington Post]. Highly placed intelligence sources say they have "high confidence" the hacking activity during the election came from the G.R.U. - Russia's largest intelligence agency [CBS News]. Here's a primer on the whole Russian hacking issue [CNN]. Donald Trump has cast doubts on the CIA's conclusion that Russia tried to help him get elected, but the White House shot back at Trump's insinuation that the CIA's conclusion cannot be trusted [Wall Street Journal]. Congressional Republicans want to limit the scope of any investigations into the Russian hacking issue [The Hill].

  2. The Final Countdown. It's time for our annual countdown of the top-10 Utah political stories of the year. Here are some of the big stories from 2016 that didn't quite make our final list [Utah Policy].

  3. It's Tillerson. Donald Trump taps Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State nominee [Wall Street Journal]. Tillerson's road to Senate confirmation is not a smooth one [Politico].

  4. Bombshell! Donald Trump may already be making decisions that run contrary to American foreign policy in order to protect his business interests abroad [Newsweek]. 

  5. Perry to Energy Dept. Donald Trump reportedly intends to nominate former Texas Governor Rick Perry as secretary of energy [CBS News].

  6. Exit strategy. Donald Trump said late Monday night he would hand over control of his business empire to his adult sons before he takes office [Washington Post]. Trump cancels his first news conference since the election where he was expected to address how he would separate his business interests from his duties as president [Wall Street Journal]. A new poll shows voters doubt that Trump can keep his business interests separate [Politico].

  7. Religious liberty law redux. Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz plan on re-introducing a "religious freedom" law that would ban the federal government from imposing sanctions against individuals or corporations who have a religious or "moral" opposition to same-sex marriage [Talking Points Memo].

  8. Public funds for porn fight. The eagle-eyed Robert Gehrke points out that Gov. Gary Herbert's budget proposal includes $50,000 for anti-pornography efforts [Tribune].

  9. F-35 on the block? Donald Trump tweets that costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are "out of control." That could have big implications for Hill Air Force Base [Tribune]. Sen. Orrin Hatch plans to speak with Trump and make the case to save the F-35 [Deseret News].

  10. Love for GOP Leadership? As we told you last week, Rep. Mia Love appears to be laying the groundwork to run for the #4 leadership spot in the House GOP if Rep. McMorris Rodgers is tapped as interior secretary by Donald Trump [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1862 - Union troops suffered a major defeat in the Civil War battle of Fredericksburg. An estimated 12,000 northern soldiers were killed or wounded, about three times the toll suffered by Confederate forces.
  • 1918 - President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France to attend the post-World War I peace conference at Versailles, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.
  • 2001 - The Pentagon released a captured videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader said the deaths and destruction achieved by the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded his "most optimistic" expectations.
  • 2003 - Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, near his hometown of Tikrit.


Today At Utah Policy


Rep. Chris Stewart Says Allegations that Russia Hacked the Election are 'Nuts'

Rep. Chris Stewart says he's seen no "direct" evidence that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election for Donald Trump....

Rep. Chris Stewart on Allegations that Russia Influenced the 2016 Election (with video)

Rep. Chris Stewart speaks with Managing Editor Bryan Schott about allegations that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump....

Lee: Obama Listened to the Standing Rock Sioux; Now He Should Listen to the Local Utahns Who Oppose Bears Ears.

The Obama administration recently blockedthe Dakota Access Pipeline due to opposition from some members of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribe, who couldn't tolerate the harmless fact that the underground pipeline's route passes within a half-mile of their reservation's bor...

Podcast: Rep. Chris Stewart

Rep. Chris Stewart speaks with Managing Editor Bryan Schott....

The Top-10 Utah Political Stories of 2016 - The Ones that Didn't Make the Cut

This is the fifth year Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick have counted down the top-10 Utah political stories from the past year. We kick off our list with some of the stories that almost made the cut, but just missed....

Trump Won't Reverse Environmental Progress

The environmental community is understandably alarmed by the prospects of the imminent Trump presidency, and some of his Cabinet nominations have only increased the anxiety....

Podcast: The Top-10 Utah Political Stories of 2016: The Leftovers

We kick off our countdown of the top-10 Utah political news stories of 2016 with some of the stories that almost made the cut, but just missed....

Policy News


Starting 2017 With a Foot on the Gas
Closing out 2016 for EDCUtah means keeping the foot on the gas pedal for 2017 and jumping into January with a lineup of consecutive economic development events that start Jan. 10 with EDCUtah’s annual meeting and don’t let up until after Jan. 29whe...

Nominees Announced for 1st District Juvenile Court Vacancy
The 1st District Judicial Nominating Commission has selected nominees for a vacancy on the 1st District Juvenile Court. ...

Sen. Lee Issues Statement on National Defense Authorization Act
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement explaining his vote against the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act:...

Press Release: Change Brewing with Leader of Redevelopment Agency
After six years with Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency—including the past eight months as chief administrative officer—Justin Belliveau has announced he will be leaving at the end of the year to build a business from scratch: A craft beer brewery, which...

PRCE and Days of '47 Join Forces on $2 Million Cowboy Games Rodeo
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Days of ’47 Rodeo are excited to announce the Days of ’47 Komatsu Equipment Cowboy Games, coming in the summer of 2017 to Salt Lake City....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: One rough year is no reason to end mail-in elections in Utah

Trump's tweets that F-35 program is costly has implications for Utah and Lockheed

CIA found Russia tried to hack election to help Trump? That's BS, says Utah congressman

Salt Lake City officials to announce new sites for homeless shelters

Updated air quality guidelines encourage Utah schools to hold indoor recess at lower particulate levels

Utah's Guv seeks $50k from taxpayers for anti-pornography push

Deseret News

Editorial: Budget is good balance of prudence and investment in education

Russian hacking not aimed at helping Trump win, Rep. Chris Stewart says

UTA planning nearly $10 million in improvements for 2017

Rep. Mia Love could run for House leadership position

Utah County, 'ring counties' surpass Salt Lake in population growth

Road Home shelter to close when homeless resource centers open

National Headlines

Recount efforts end: Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania (Associated Press)

Expected Tillerson pick latest blow for Dems' ExxonMobil shame campaign (FOX News)

Clinton campaign backs call for intelligence briefing before Electoral College vote (Politico)

McConnell, Warning of 'Dangerous' Debt, Wants Tax Cut Offsets (Bloomberg)

McConnell, Ryan Back CIA After Trump Attacks Hacking Probe (Bloomberg)

Obama to open post-presidency office in World Wildlife Fund headquarters (Washington Post)

The hidden powers Andy Puzder would hold at the Department of Labor (Politico)

Traders scheme to cash in on Trump tweets (Politico)

Trump Said to Postpone Announcement on Future of Businesses (Bloomberg)

Trump Names Goldman President Gary Cohn Director of National Economic Council (Wall Street Journal)

Exxon CEO Has the Skills for a Better Russia Policy (Bloomberg)

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Wise Words

A Good Deed
"Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense." Amelia Earhart

Lighter Side

That's All
"Donald Trump has been named Time magazine's Person of the Year. When he found out, Trump said, 'That's all I ever really wanted,' and then he quit public life, never to be heard from again." Conan O'Brien

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