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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - December 18, 2013


  • 40 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 188 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 321 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 685 days to the 2015 elections
  • 749 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1056 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah news highlights:
  • Rep. Jim Matheson drops a bomb on Utah politics, announcing he will not run for re-election in 2014 [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News, City Weekly].
  • Bob Bernick says Matheson's decision to step away from Congress makes a lot of sense [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch votes in favor of a two-year budget compromise while Sen. Mike Lee votes against the measure [Tribune].
  • An August 2012 fundraiser for former Attorney General John Swallow is raising a number of questions after a couple changed how much they donated to Swallow on financial disclosure forms [City Weekly].
  • Utah's economy got walloped by the recession, but the state has posted the third-best recovery in the nation [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Jeremy Peterson says Weber County's economy is so dependent on the federal government that gridlock in Washington is a very real threat [Standard-Examiner].
  • Sen. Todd Weiler claims a UTA bus sideswiped him on Tuesday but did not stop after the accident [Tribune].
  • Utah County Republican chairman Casey Voeks is heading up an effort to boycott the Megaplex Theaters for allowing Count My Vote signature gatherers to set up tables in their lobbies [Tribune].
  • Weber County Commissioners are split over a proposed resolution supporting the "Count My Vote" initiative [Standard-Examiner].
  • Lawmakers meet with the Layton City Council to hear that group's priorities for the upcoming legislative session [Standard-Examiner].
  • Clean air advocates are up in arms over an award given to an attorney with the Department of Environmental Quality who defended the DEQ against lawsuits over permits granted to oil refineries and a power plant [City Weekly].
  • The Salt Lake County Council will soon consider proposals to impose some restrictions on urban farming and food production [Tribune].
  • Utah's high school graduation rate jumps three points over the last year [Tribune].
  • A new report says Utah may not be prepared to combat a major disease outbreak [ABC 4].
  • Utah officials and Chevron draft a $5.35 million settlement for a fuel spill in Willard Bay [Tribune].

On this day in history:
  • New Jersey became the third state to ratify the Constitution in 1787
  • The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865
  • Adolf Hitler ordered secret preparations for Nazi Germany to invade the Soviet Union in 1940
  • The British Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder in 1969
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson announced the founding of Operation PUSH in 1971
  • The U.S. House debated articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush was officially elected president in the Electoral College balloting that had been delayed because of the disputed election in Florida in 2000
  • W. Mark Felt, the former FBI second in command, officially revealed himself as "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal in 2008
  • The final convoy of U.S. troops left Iraq, officially ending that war in 2011

Today At Utah Policy

Why Matheson's Retirement from Congress Makes Tons of Sense
While I was surprised when UtahPolicy managing editor Bryan Schott called me mid-dayTuesdayto say that Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, was not running for re-election in 2014, in some ways his self-imposed retirement makes sense....

Poll: Tea Party Favorability at All-Time Low
51% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, the first time that number has reached a majority....

Jowers: Lee Will Transform the Tea Party
Hinckley Institute of Politics director Kirk Jowers says Mike Lee has a chance to change the direction of the Tea Party and transform the Republican party as well....

Matheson Will Not Run in 2014
Rep. Jim Matheson dropped a bombshell on the Utah political landscape on Tuesday, announcing he will not run for re-election in 2014....

Poll: Republicans More Optimistic About 2014
Republicans are much more optimistic about their party's chances in the upcoming midterm elections than Democrats....

Utah Has 13th Lowest-Paid Teachers in the U.S.
A new analysis shows the average teacher in Utah gets paid $49,393. That's more than $5,000 below the national average and it ranks 13th-lowest in the country....

Bernick and Schott on Politics: The Top Utah Political Stories of 2013 - #8
Big layoffs at the Tribune. The Deseret News becomes the dominant partner in the joint operating agreement with the Trib. The big changes on Utah's media landscape are the #8 Utah political story of 2013....

Featured Items

How We Might Prove that Education Funding Really is Our Top Priority
Ask any legislator and the Governor what their top public policy priority is and you'll usually get the same answer, education....

The Obamacare Paper Pileup
WhenHealthCare.govand some state-run insurance marketplaces ran into trouble with their Web sites in October and November, they urged consumers to submit paper applications....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Sen. Lee is on the right side of NSA dispute

Utah senator tweeted that UTA bus sideswiped him

Rolly: GOP leader boycotts theaters over Count My Vote

Hatch and Lee split on budget deal vote

Utah's Rep. Jim Matheson says he won't run again in '14

Council prepped for 'food production' dispute

Salt Lake County mayor serves meals at senior center

Utah's high school graduation rate on the rise

Obamacare forces Congress to pay more for insurance

Deseret News

Editorial: Matheson will be missed

Richard Davis: Utah vacancies should be settled by special elections, not appointment

Rep. Jim Matheson says he won't run for re-election in 2014

Economy strong but face of Utah changing, lawmakers told

New regulation could put many nail salons out of business, lawmaker says

Utah's graduation rate jumps 3 percent with gains among minority groups

Rep. Jim Matheson says he won't run for re-election in 2014


County commission approves 2014 budget (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Budget extremists not credible (Standard-Examiner)

Ogden legislator says federal upheaval threatens local economy (Standard-Examiner)

Layton officials push 2014 state legislative agenda (Standard-Examiner)

Weber County Commissioners split opinions about Count My Vote (Standard-Examiner)

High school graduation rates rise across state (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Obama 'hijacks' tech executive meeting to make 'PR pitch' on Obamacare (Daily Mail)

Senate advances budget deal (The Hill)

Feinstein welcomes Supreme Court ruling on NSA metadata snooping (The Hill)

Obama huddles with tech execs (NBC News)

GOP already eyes next fiscal fight: debt ceiling (USA Today)

Should employers be barred from using credit reports in hiring? (CBS News)

Coburn shows what $28 billion in government waste looks like (CNN)

Judge's strike at U.S. surveillance won't be last word (USA Today)

Cantor to Get $135 Million From American Airlines Over 9/11 (Bloomberg)

Canadian court greenlights Ecuadoran lawsuit against Chevron (AFP)

Explain Yourself, Ben Bernanke (Bloomberg)

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