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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - December 19, 2013


  • 39 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 187 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 320 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 684 days to the 2015 elections
  • 748 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1055 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah news highlights:
  • Phone records obtained by state investigators link former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to an alleged bribery probe that has swept up his former "fixer" Tim Lawson [Tribune].
  • The House panel investigating former Attorney General John Swallow plan to make public their findings starting Thursday [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers say there's little chance of a tax hike during the next legislative session, but legislation addressing air quality will likely be a top priority [Tribune].
  • Utah Democrats are scrambling to find a replacement for retiring Representative Jim Matheson [Daily Herald].
  • The 2014 Utah Transit Authority budget expands service hours without a fare increase [Tribune].
  • Rep. Joel Briscoe proposes allowing local governments to hike sales tax to pay for mass transit [Tribune].
  • A study says Utah needs to build 12 more state liquor stores along the Wasatch Front based on the Legislature's own formula for calculating the number of stores based on population [Tribune].
  • Proposed changes to the way the NSA operates will likely not affect the agency's data center in Bluffdale [Tribune].
  • Ads opposing a proposed statewide anti-discrimination law based on sexual orientation are set to air in Utah starting Sunday [Deseret News].
On this day in history:
  • Benjamin Franklin began publishing Poor Richard's Almanac in 1732
  • Gen. George Washington led his army to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1777
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was first published in 1843
  • Nelson Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the U.S. in 1974
  • Lawrence Walsh was appointed independent council in investigate the Iran-Contra affair in 1986
  • President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1988
  • President George W. Bush ordered an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry in 2008

Today At Utah Policy

Bryan Schott's Political BS: Matheson's Exit Complicates Things on Both Sides of the Aisle
Jim Matheson's announcement that he would not seek another term in Congress not only has big ramifications for Utah's Democrats, it impacts those Republicans seeking to replace him next year as well....

Bernick and Schott on Politics: The Top Utah Political Stories of 2013 - #7
The Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prompting a legal challenge to Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott continue their countdown of the top-10 Utah political news stories from 2013....

Foxley and Pignanelli Unleash Video on Unsuspecting Public
Doug Foxley and Frank Pignanelli embrace the cultural zeitgeist with their own take on one of 2013's most popular viral videos....

Matheson Retirement Moves Utah's 4th District to 'Safe Republican'
That was quick. Jim Matheson's decision to not run for re-election in 2014 immediately moves that race from a toss-up to a "safe Republican" district....

Chaffetz Joins Effort to Sue Obama Administration over Obamacare
Rep. Jason Chaffetz is one of 30 co-sponsors of a measure directing the House to sue the White House over the delay in implementing certain parts of Obamacare....

Watch the Moment Mitt Romney Knew He Was Going to Lose
The trailer for the Netflix documentary "Mitt" shows the presidential candidate nearly in tears when he realizes he is going to lose....

In a Do-Nothing Congress, Rob Bishop Got Stuff Done
A new analysis of the 113th Congress finds Rep. Rob Bishop on a very short list of members who were able to get legislation acted on....

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....

Featured Items

Weekly Survey: Jim Matheson's Political Future
Jim Matheson announced he is retiring from Congress at the end of 2014. What does his political future hold? Also, make your best prediction for what might happen in Utah politics next year....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Computer programming in high school? Not for everyone

UTA passes budget without plans for fare increase

Phone records link Shurtleff to bribery probe

House panel to reveal its findings in Swallow probe

Study calls for 12 more Utah state liquor stores

Legislature seeks to improve air quality, avoid tax hikes

Proposed NSA changes unlikely to affect Utah Data Center

Deseret News

Dan Liljenquist: Court ruling correctly questions NSA data gathering

Jay Evensen: Lotteries or charity- which offers the real hope of the Christmas season?

Scott Howell: Remember our holiday priorities

Editorial: Mega Millions aside, lotteries are bad public policy

New allegation: John Swallow asked for $120K from jailed businessman

Search warrant reveals possible charges against former Utah attorney general

Ad campaign targets proposed Utah nondiscrimination law


Provo mayor calls for employees to cut back driving (Daily Herald)

Mike Lee: Senate setting dangerous precedent on Defense Authorization Bill (Standard-Examiner)

Graduation rates rise. See how Top of Utah high school rank (Standard-Examiner)

Official: Unusual amount of policy violation complaints during 2013 elections (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Obama adviser sorry for comparing GOP to Jonestown cult (USA Today)

Reid: ObamaCare will help Dems hold the Senate in 2014 (The Hill)

Top 10 lobbying victories of 2013 (The Hill)

White House to release outside panel's report on U.S. surveillance practices Wednesday (Reuters)

Ex-BP engineer convicted of deleting text messages to obstruct oil spill probe (Fox News)

Most say Afghan war 'wrong': US poll (AAP)

Despite D.C. public school gains, system trails behind large-city average (Washington Post)

Ex-EPA official sentenced to 32 months for theft (Associated Press)

Whites Don't Like Obamacare, and Could Put Senate Democrats in Jeopardy (Daily Beast)

Obamacare enlists hipster to front the health care reform (New York Daily News)

Insurers wary of new Obamacare fix for January health plans (Reuters)

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Wise Words

"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone."
Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotations Page

Lighter Side

Computer Code
"President Obama released a video this week to encourage kids to learn how to write computer code. Then he said, 'Preferably, in the next two or three weeks. It would really help me out of a jam.'" Jimmy Fallon
Political Humor

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