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Monday, December 19, 2016

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning Must Reads for Monday, December 19, 2016

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 354th day of the year. There are 12 days remaining in 2016.

Utahns say they're optimistic about Donald Trump's presidency. The Electoral College meets today to make it official for Trump. Officials say they've found nearly zero credible evidence of voter fraud during the 2016 election.

The clock:

  • The Electoral College meets to cast their votes for president and vice president today (12/19/2016)
  • 32 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 35 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 80 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 323 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 687 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Monday:

  1. Hoping for the best. Most Utahns say they are optimistic about the coming Donald Trump administration in Washington [Utah Policy].

  2. The next step in the election. 538 people meet today as the Electoral College to confirm Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States [The Hill]. Trump is virtually assured of a win during today's vote despite the best efforts of many to convince the electors to pick someone else instead [Wall Street Journal]. A new poll shows most Americans don't want the Electoral College to go rouge and select someone other than Trump [Politico]. Here's the state-by-state schedule for electoral voting. If all goes according to plan, Trump should cross the 270 vote threshold sometime around 1 pm Utah time [CBS News]. A small group of protestors rallied at the Utah State Capitol on Sunday to convince Utah's six electors not to vote for Trump [Deseret News].

  3. What voter fraud? A new analysis finds officials in 34 states say there was only one credible allegation of voter fraud out of 137 million ballots cast during the 2016 election [New York Times].

  4. Ratcheting down the tension. China has agreed to return a U.S. owned naval drone they seized in international waters, which had raised tensions between the two countries since the incident happened late last week [New York Times]. However, China is warning that Donald Trump's inexperience with international affairs could lead to a confrontation between the two countries [Bloomberg].

  5. Hacking latest. A bi-partisan group of Senators is continuing their call for an investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election [The Hill]. Donald Trump's team is seemingly backing off their skepticism of the intelligence showing Russia tried to influence the outcome [Wall Street Journal]. Former Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta says he's convinced the Trump campaign colluded with Russian hackers during the election [Politico]. Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Peter King says the CIA should be investigated for their "hit job" on Trump [Politico].

  6. Boring but importantDonald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner said the Trump campaign struck a deal with the Sinclair Broadcast Group (which owns KUTV Channel 2 in Utah) to get more favorable for Trump during the 2016 campaign [Politico].

  7. Utah could help kill Obamacare. If Donald Trump is going to follow through on his promise to repeal Obamacare, some members of Utah's congressional delegation will have a big part to play in that process [Deseret News].

  8. GOP lawsuit to continue. The Utah GOP will move forward with their legal crusade against SB54, but the judge overseeing the case is getting annoyed with the party continually missing deadlines and not following the rules [Tribune].

  9. Monumental implications. If President Barack Obama decides to create a new Bears Ears National Monument before he leaves office, it could mean some major changes for southern Utah [Deseret News].

  10. Air quality crackdown. The EPA says they are about to start classifying Utah's failure to improve air quality along the Wasatch Front as "serious" [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1777 - Gen. George Washington and the Continental Army began a winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pa.
  • 1974 - Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford.
  • 1998 - Bill Clinton became the second U.S. president to be impeached (Andrew Johnson was the first) by the House of Representatives, which approved articles charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice.
  • 2008 - Mark Felt, an FBI official who became known as The Washington Post journalists' shadowy source "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal, died at the age of 95.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns are Optimistic About Trump Administration

Utahns, by and large, are an optimistic bunch, and that hope even translates to the future administration of GOP President-elect Donald Trump, a new UtahPolicy poll finds....

Bernick and Schott on Politics: The Top-10 Utah Political Stories of 2016 - #7

Even though Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, it's safe to say he had some popularity problems in Utah....

Genius Panel: Christmas Wishes in the Public Policy Arena

This week’s question: What public policy presents would you like Santa to bring you (or Utah or the nation)?...

Podcast: The Top-10 Utah Political News Stories of 2016 - #7

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott continue our countdown of the top Utah political stories from the last year....

Political Insiders Divided on Russian Election Hacking

Both the FBI and the CIA have concluded Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election with the intention of helping Donald Trump win....

Policy News

Utah Juvenile Justice Working Group Releases Recommendations to Improve Juvenile Justice System and Promote Better Public Safety Outcomes
The Utah Juvenile Justice Working Group submitted to state leaders a comprehensive set of data-driven policy recommendations designed to increase public safety, effectively hold juvenile offenders accountable, and focus juvenile justice system resources on youth who pose the...

Sen. Lee Welcomes Jillian Wheeler to Communications Team
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) announced that Jillian Wheeler has accepted the position of press assistant in his Washington, D.C. office....

Hatch Statement on Meeting with CMS Administrator Nominee Seema Verma
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) met with the nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Seema Verma and issued the following statement:...

Utah Test and Training Range, Gold King Mine Spill, and Utah Art Museums: 3 Hatch Bills that Passed in the Closing Hours of the 114th Congress
Last Friday night, just prior to the close of the 114th Congress, three of Senator Hatch’s most critical bills passed unanimously and are now headed to the President’s desk....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Mountain Accord has been an open process with a good result

Paul Rolly: Mike Noel as BLM director? With this administration, why not?

Op-ed: Repeal medical device tax to help patients and Utah economy

Op-Ed: Amazon 'deal' undermines tax rate competition

Op-ed: Homeless centers are the start of better solution

Op-ed: Bears Ears Monument runs counter to American ideals

Op-ed: Without more crime control, homeless plan is a fantasy

Editorial: Winning pluralities are fully democratic

Editorial: Lake Powell agreement is necessarily 'adaptive'

GOP's Utah election appeal will proceed, but judges give a strong warning over missed deadlines

'Evan McMuffin': Trump gives former competitor and Utah native a new nickname

SLC's Central City neighborhood seeks more transparency, local oversight for homeless shelters

Feds unveil plan for balancing recreation, energy development near Moab

EPA plans to classify Utah air quality misses as 'serious'

Rolly: Shelter locations may change, but need for this week's fundraiser doesn't

Feds were in no hurry to investigate $2M check's alleged ties to Reid, new report shows

Utah's attorneys want no mention of Shurtleff dismissal in Swallow trial

City: Forget Rio Grande Street homeless chaos - new shelters model will avoid pitfalls

Deseret News

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Political stew boils over Trump's cabinet, homeless services and Russian hacking

Hal Boyd: Time to end NY Times columnist's cruelty toward Mitt Romney

Utah members of Congress to play key role in threatened Obamacare repeal

Utah jobless rate among lowest in nation at 3.1 percent

Inversions prompt EPA to bump Utah pollution status to 'serious'

Prosecutors want to keep DOJ, Shurtleff cases out of Swallow trial

Future of 'Silicon Slopes' extends beyond Point of the Mountain

Hatch convenes suicide-prevention conference

A Bears Ears primer: How Obama's pen could affect southern Utah

Local governments eager to see returns from deal

Utah energy sector could benefit under Trump

Group pushes for Trump electoral defeat at Salt Lake protest


Editorial: Thanks to Salt Lake City, Ogden can expect a flood of homeless people in 2 years (Standard-Examiner)

Box Elder School Board shoots down advanced math class, talks higher ed funding (Standard-Examiner)

Entrepreneurs, lawmaker talk food regulations (Logan Herald Journal)

Electoral College still supported in valley, state (Logan Herald Journal)

Kamas mayor recovering from bus crash (Park Record)

National Headlines

Despite Media Freak-Out, Data Shows Fake News Sites Have Tiny Audience (Daily Caller)

GOP electors cite rural voice in Electoral College (Associated Press)

Muted U.S. response to China's seizure of drone worries Asian allies (New York Times)

Kissinger calls Trump a 'phenomenon that foreign countries haven't seen' (The Hill)

In the Chappaqua woods, a search for Hillary Clinton (Washington Post)

Podesta refuses to say election was 'fair and free' (The Hill)

In last-shot bid, thousands urge electoral college to block Trump at Monday vote (Washington Post)

Electoral College in rare spotlight as it prepares to vote (Boston Globe)

Lynch says tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton was 'regrettable' (FOX News)

Trump's un-PC cabinet matches his campaign promises to a T (New York Post)

Iran Toughens Talk on US Jet Deal (Wall Street Journal)

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