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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Wednesday - December 3, 2014

Obama may tap Carter for Defense. Republicans squabble over "Count My Vote." Becker shuts down two proposed prison sites.


  • Days until the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 54
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 99
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 251
  • Days to the 2015 election - 335
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 411
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 706

Wednesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. President Obama reportedly has settled on Ashton Carter as the next Secretary of Defense to replace Chuck Hagel [New York Times].
  2. The Supreme Court will hear arguments today on whether employers must make accommodations for pregnant employees [U.S. News and World Report].
  3. Utah's Democrats switch their position on the "Count My Vote" compromise while some GOP lawmakers support the Republican lawsuit against the law [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  4. LaVarr Webb pens an open letter to Republicans who back the lawsuit against the CMV compromise law [Utah Policy].
  5. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker outlines a number of objections to a pair of potential sites for Utah's prison relocation within the city limits [Deseret News, Tribune].
  6. Rep. Jason Chaffetz tangles with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson over immigration [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  7. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox says getting lawmakers on board with Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah alternative to Medicaid expansion is going to be a difficult task [Tribune].
  8. A number of Utah politicos are urging Congress to pass Internet sales tax legislation [Deseret News].
  9. A judge says prosecutors must refile charges against John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff if the state wants to separate the criminal proceedings against the two men [Tribune].
  10. The Salt Lake City Main Library is looking at a pilot program that would keep the facility open around the clock [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1818 - Illinois became the 21st state.
  • 1967 - Surgeons in South Africa performed the first human heart transplant.
  • 1979 - Eleven people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum before a concert by The Who.
  • 1984 - More than 4,000 people died after a cloud of gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India.

Today At Utah Policy

SB54 Causing a Schism Among Republicans While Democrats Support the Compromise
It took them a while, but leaders of the Utah State Democratic Party formally endorsed SB54 and said the political compromise, reached in the 2014 Legislature, that allows for party candidates to bypass delegates and go directly to a party’s primary ballot sh...

Could Citrus Unlock Utah Oil Sands?
A Canadian company with a lease to develop Utah oil sands plans to use a new citrus-based solvent that "will cut the cost and reduce the energy needed to separate oil from sand, lowering the environmental impact," reports Reuters....

Becker Doesn't Want the Prison to Relocate to Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is objecting to two proposed sites for the relocation of the state prison within Salt Lake City's borders....

An Open Letter to Opponents of SB 54 publisher LaVarr Webb was asked by the Salt Lake County GOP to contribute to their annual Lincoln Day dinner. Webb penned the following response and shared it with the media....

Chaffetz Tangles with DHS Chief on Immigration Reform
Rep. Jason Chaffetz and other Republicans got into a bit of a verbal spat with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson over President Obama's executive action on immigration....

Ethics Website Launched
Utah citizens can now access ethics standards and complaint procedures for all four statewide ethics commissions at

Study Says Utah Might Profit from Management of Public Lands
A new study, released Monday, shows that the Utah State government can take over all federal BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands in Utah and manage those lands at a profit....

Becker in the Driver's Seat for 2015
Bad news Monday for former state Rep. Jackie Biskupski, current Sen. Jim Dabakis or any other Democrat who was looking to run for Salt Lake City mayor next year....

Utah GOP Files Lawsuit to Kill 'Count My Vote' Compromise
The Utah Republican party took to federal court to undo a compromise reached between Utah lawmakers and organizers of the "Count My Vote" initiative that provides for a second path to the primary ballot. ...
State Launches Electric Vehicle Website
The Governor’s Office of Energy Development announces today the official launch of, a website aimed at educating Utahns about the many benefits of electric vehicles and about how technological advances have brought a variety of vehicles ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Land transfer would tie Utah's future to oil

Utah's Chaffetz pounces on Homeland Security chief over immigration

Some GOP legislators backing party lawsuit

Getting Healthy Utah through Legislature won't be easy, Cox says

Lawmaker, advocates call for changes to teacher pay

Rolly: Deseret News rejects ads for Mormon polygamy books

Environmentalists, federal government partially prevail in 10th Circuit road ruling; setback for state of Utah

Mayor objects to new prison in SLC

Deseret News

Kim Burningham: All Utah schools need more support

Jay Evensen: Want to pay more for that online purchase?

Editorial: First-year law made electoral process more inclusive - why threaten it already?

Utah political leaders push Congress to pass Internet sales tax bill

Utah GOP fractured over Count My Vote lawsuit

Salt Lake City sites are 'wholly inappropriate' for new prison, mayor says


Municipal council approves $22 million in revenue bonds (Daily Herald)

Don Porter: Lowest voter turnout is something Utah can shoot for (Standard-Examiner)

ATK test rocket one step forward to landing humans on Mars (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Oil price swoon may be political boon for energy industry (Politico)

Rand Paul to seek Senate reelection (The Hill)

McConnell: Court best shot at O-Care 'do-over' (The Hill)

Reid signals support for House Republicans' funding plan (The Hill)

GOP readies Obama immigration response: No shutdown, but a nod to conservatives (Washington Post)

Ashton Carter Chosen As Nominee To Succeed Chuck Hagel As Defense Secretary: Reports (Huffington Post)

Obama to host new governors at White House Friday (Washington Times)

Ferguson Protester: Obama Trip 'Too Little, Too Late' Now (Huffington Post)

Senators renew push on military sexual assault cases (Reuters)

Where Rob Portman Stands in the Vice Presidential Race (Bloomberg)

New York prepares for protests as grand jury mulls police choke-hold death (Reuters)

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Wise Words

Ferguson Perspective
Hate cages all the good things about you. ~Terri Guillemets Quote Garden

Lighter Side

Security Failures
"The acting director of the Secret Service, Joseph Clancy, said they may make the fence around the White House taller because of the recent security failures. When asked if he had any other ideas, he said, 'Uh, make the sidewalk lower?'" Jimmy Fallon Political Humor