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Friday, December 20, 2013

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - December 20, 2013


  • 38 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 186 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 319 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 683 days to the 2015 elections
  • 747 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1054 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah news highlights:
  • The Utah House investigation into former John Swallow details destruction of data and fabrication of evidence by the former Attorney General [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Could those revelations lead to charges against Swallow for obstruction of justice? [Tribune]
  • Jordan Garn argues Utah's Attorney General should be appointed, not elected [Utah Policy].
  • Should retiring Congressman Jim Matheson be the Democratic nominee for Attorney General in 2014? [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah County GOP Chairman Casey Voeks is raising a few eyebrows for taking a paid position as a campaign consultant with Attorney General hopeful Bret Rawson who was not on the list of three names forwarded to Governor Herbert as possible replacements [Tribune].
  • Acting Attorney General Brian Tarbet is joining the fight against patent trolls [Standard-Examiner].
  • The Provo City Council approves a measure to crack down on aggressive business practices by towing companies [Deseret News].
  • Cottonwood Heights residents are once again upset with the service provided by a private company the city contracted with for snow removal [KSL].
  • An Australian investment company could pump some much-needed capital into the troubled UTOPIA fiber optic network [Tribune].
  • A new survey says most Utahns are willing to take action to help reduce pollution and improve air quality in the state [Tribune].
  • Two clean air groups are continuing their efforts to block expansion of the Holly Refinery over pollution concerns [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah's economy is poised to see growth next year [Deseret News].
  • Eagle Mountain Mayor Heather Jackson is a candidate for Utah County commissioner in 2014 [Daily Herald].
On this day in history:
  • The United States purchased the Louisiana territory from France for $15 million in 1803
  • South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union in 1860
  • The United States invaded Panama to topple the government General Manuel Noriega in 1989
  • The Vermont Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 1999

Today At Utah Policy

Bernick And Schott on Politics: The Top-10 Utah Political News Stories of 2013 - #5
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell announces his resignation for financial reasons and is replaced by freshman Rep. Spencer Cox.Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott continue their countdown of the top-10 Utah political news stories from 2013....

Bob Bernick's Notebook: The Not-So-Shocking John Swallow Revelations
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that former AG John Swallow lied to the House special investigation committee, stalled its investigators after promising to cooperate, back-dated documents and destroyed emails and/or just "lost" various cell phones, laptops and tablets....

Mia Love Non-Committal on Whether She'd Support Boehner if Elected
Mia Love offered up a decidedly milquetoast answer if she would support John Boehner continuing as Speaker of the House if she is elected in 2014....

Bernick and Schott on Politics: The Top Utah Political Stories of 2013 - #6
Governor Gary Herbert vetoes the so-called "constitutional carry" bill which would have allowed Utahns to carry a concealed weapon anywhere without a permit.Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott continue their countdown of the top Utah political news stories from the past year....

Jon Huntsman Puts His D.C. Townhouse Up For Sale
Read into this what you will. Jon Huntsman is selling his Washington, D.C. townhouse for $4.2 million....

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....

Featured Items

Utah's Attorney General Should be Appointed, Not Elected
By now every lucid Utahn is well acquainted with the rapid fall from grace of John Swallow, the former Attorney General of Utah who recently resigned amid scandal and calls for criminal charges....

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes--Tribune:Ten great holiday family activities to get moving--Tribune: Mystery illness kills four bald eagles in Utah-- Tribune:Audubon Christmas Counts are for the birds-- Tribune:Utah, Chevron draft $5.35M settlement for Willard Bay spill-- For thelatest wildli...

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

Has Utah's UTOPIA network found a savior?

State has forecast for hot, and not-so-hot, jobs in Utah

Sales tax hike for mass transit proposed

County forming historic board for townships

Paul Rolly: GOP boss publicly neutral, but privately, well ...

Quotes from the special counsel in Swallow probe

So what charges could Swallow end up facing?

Survey: Nearly all Utahns willing to do something to improve the air

Obstruction of justice? Swallow fabricated documents, investigators say

Deseret News

Utah economy expected to grow in 2014, analysts say

Ex-Attorney General John Swallow deliberately destroyed data, made up documents, investigators say

Provo City Council votes to end 'predatory' towing


House committee releasing findings on Swallow (Daily Herald)

UTOPIA announces partnership with private capital company to build out infrastructure (Daily Herald)

Op-ed: Medicaid expansion is essentially forced charity (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: Matheson for attorney general? (Standard-Examiner)

Nothing jolly about Holly plan, environmental groups say (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Clinton: 2016 decision will come next year (The Hill)

McCain blames Obama for Russia's 'newfound assertiveness' (The Hill)

Cruz: 'Thought police' silencing 'Duck' star (The Hill)

Hopes fall for nominee deal (The Hill)

New Mexico Supreme Court: Same-sex marriage legal (Associated Press)

Chris Christie and N.J. Democrats reach agreement on DREAM Act (Star-Ledger)

Montana Gets Tougher for GOP (Wall Street Journal)

Charlie Rangel, 83, to run again (Politico)

Schweitzer takes aim at Clinton's Iraq vote (CNN)

Polls: Relief From Deportation More Important Than Citizenship to Many Immigrants (Associated Press)

Critics hit programs as poor try (New York Daily News)

NSA Spying Fallout: Brazil Chooses Swedish Fighter Jet, Not U.S.'s, In $4.5B Deal (Fox News)

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Lighter Side

Prison to Politics
"The world said goodbye . . . . to Nelson Mandela. And what a life he lived. He spent 27 years in prison and then ascended to become president of his country. He went from prison to politics. It was exactly the opposite of how we do it in this country." Jay Leno Political Humor

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