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Monday, December 23, 2013
Utah Policy Holiday Publishing Schedule

Because of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, Utah Policy will not publish a daily newsletter on Wednesday (12/25), Thursday (12/26) and Friday (12/27).

We will publish on a reduced basis on Monday (12/30) and and Tuesday (12/31).

We will not publish a newsletter on New Year's Day.

Utah Policy will return to our full publishing schedule on January 2, 2014.

We hope you have a safe and happy holiday.

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - December 23, 2013

Utah's same sex marriage ban struck down. More Swallow revelations.


  • 35 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 183 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 316 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 680 days to the 2015 elections
  • 743 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1051 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah news highlights:
  • A federal judge creates legal chaos by ruling Utah's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional [Tribune].
  • In the wake of the ruling, hundreds of same-sex couples descend on the Salt Lake County Clerk's office to get marriage licenses [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Here's a profile of Judge Robert J. Shelby whose ruling made same-sex marriage legal in Utah [Tribune].
  • Dueling editorials about the ruling: The Salt Lake Tribune hails the decision while the Deseret News calls the ruling "judicial tyranny."
  • Utah was denied a stay in the judges ruling over the weekend, but will try again on Monday morning [Talking Points Memo,Tribune].
  • The Weber County Clerk's office announced they would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Saturday but had to scrap that plan due to logistical concerns [Tribune].
  • More revelations from the John Swallow probe show a number of political donations he took may have broken state law [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Some lawmakers want the House investigation into Swallow to continue after learning about the latest batch of shocking findings [Tribune].
  • Rep. Paul Ray proposes a bill to put sheriffs in charge of countywide emergencies [Tribune].
  • Ray says he's considering a run for Davis County Commission in 2014 [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah Republican leaders decide they won't bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention [Deseret News].
  • Will Jim Matheson leave politics, or is a run for a statewide office in his political future [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Matheson was holding fundraisers just days before his announcement he would not run for re-election in 2014 [Tribune].
  • Rep. Becky Edwards meets with officials for a North Salt Lake medical waste incinerator hoping to come up with a solution for the facility and its neighbors [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah officials hope to build on increased attendance at state parks that resulted from the 16-day government shutdown [KSL].
  • A Riverdale candidate who was disqualified after winning a seat on the city council for failing to file a campaign finance disclosure has filed suit challenging the decision [Standard-Examiner].
On this day in history:
  • George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army in 1783
  • Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area to create Washington, D.C. in 1788
  • The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was first published in 1823
  • President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the Federal Reserve System in 1913
  • The government announced the first suspected (later confirmed) case of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003

Today At Utah Policy

Bernick and Schott on Politics: The Top Utah Political Stories of 2013 - #4
Sen. Mike Lee helps to lead a 16-day shutdown of the federal government and his approval ratings back home go into the toilet because of it. Meanwhile, Gov. Gary Herbert "loans" the feds money to re-open Utah's national parks.Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott continue their count...

Why the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Shouldn't Matter
In a stunning development, Utah - Mormon enclave, bastion of Conservative values, Red State writ large - joined a growing number of states whose courts have struck down prohibitions against same-sex marriage. And I couldn't care less. ...

Study: Raising Minimum Wage Would Create Jobs
A new study from the Economic Policy Institute says hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would boost the economy so much that it would add 85,000 new jobs to the economy.The Huffington Post breaks down the analysis, which finds raising the minimum wage would pump about... to Accept Bitcoins Next Year
Chalk up another win for advocates of bitcoin. Online retailer says the company will accept bitcoins for payment in the second half of 2014....

Federal Judge Strikes Down Utah's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby has ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due process clauses....

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....

Featured Items

Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Jim Matheson's Political Future
Rep. Jim Matheson shocked the Utah political community by announcing he would not run for re-election in 2014. We asked our Political Insiders and readers if they thought Matheson was done with politics.Selected anonymous comments:"Herbert has an 80% approval rating. Lee has...

WSU Students Build a Firefighting UAV
In response to events like the tragic June 30 Yarnell, Ariz. wildfire which claimed the life of 19 firefighters, awareness of the need for improved communications in wilderness firefighting scenarios has been raised. The USTAR-supported Utah Center for Applied Innovation and...

Survey: Will the Amendment 3 Ruling Stand?
Do you think a federal judge's ruling striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage will stand or be overturned? Vote now....

Lee Bill Would Protect Churches from the Tyranny of Judicial Activism
TheBlazeTV interviews Sen. Mike Lee about his proposed Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which he introduced in Congress just one week before an activist judge overturned Utah's gay marriage ban....

Deadline? What Deadline? The Obamacare Sign-up Dates Keep Moving
You aren't alone if you're confused about the deadline to sign up for coverage on the health insurance marketplaces. The deadline is - and has been - in flux.When the process began in October, consumers using, the federal marketplace for 36 states, had until D...

Local Headlines

Deseret News

Editorial: Judicial tyranny

Editorial: Utah's economy has made an impressive recovery

Former Attorney General John Swallow hid donations from payday loan industry, investigators say

Survey shows Utah residents willing to do their part to improve air quality

Are Utahn's solar projects just pie in the sky? Claims raise questions in Millard County, elsewhere

University Mall project upsets neighbors, pleases mayor

Court ruling has created 'chaotic situation,' Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says

New solar projects in Utah, nation poised to come online

Salt Lake not bidding for 2016 GOP Convention

Appeals court denies stay on same-sex marriage ruling pending hearing Monday

Salt Lake Tribune

Rolly: Matheson still has a campaign war chest

Op-ed: Tobacco tax won't sustain early education

Editorial: Voters take some blame for Swallow legacy

Utah groups move to block Holly refinery expansion

After latest Swallow dirt, some Utah lawmakers want to keep digging

More Swallow revelations: pay to play, hidden donations

Bill to expand Utah sheriffs' power draw concerns

Salt Lake City wants a transit system that works for everyone

Scientists tackle Utah's particulate pollution puzzle

Utah tries again Monday to halt same-sex marriages


Swallow weaves complex web (Daily Herald)

Provo mayor says 2013 most productive year to date (Daily Herald)

Utah's teacher pay hits 33-year high (Daily Herald)

Utah bill promoting sheriffs' power draws grumbling from cities (Standard-Examiner)

Legislator downplays minor accident with UTA bus (Standard-Examiner)

Ray contemplates Davis County Commission run (Standard-Examiner)

Ballooning sheriff's costs shock smaller Weber cities (Standard-Examiner)

'Uniting the Wasatch' talks transportation, environmental solutions (Park Record)

National Headlines

Mixed Messages Add Anxiety as Deadline Nears in Health Act (New York Times)

Democrats seek to puncture Christie (The Hill)

Baucus exit jolts race for Senate (The Hill)

Is US losing global influence? (The Hill)

Manchin: Obamacare could face a 'meltdown' (MSNBC)

He might be back: Huckabee eyeing White House run (Associated Press)

Hill lawmakers battle over future of NSA spying, in wake of White House report (Fox News)

Obama Seen Rescued From 'Near-Death' Year by Growing Economy (Bloomberg)

Economic growth picks up the pace (McClatchy Newspapers)

New Rule May Exempt Many From Health Plan Penalty (HealthDay)

Dow, S&P 500 hit new records on strong GDP growth (AFP)

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Wise Words

"Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home." ~Carol Nelson Quote Garden

Lighter Side

NSA Spying
"An entrepreneur has made a device that can prevent the NSA from spying on you by blocking your laptop's camera. This new high-tech device is called a small piece of tape." Conan O'Brien Political Humor

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