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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Tuesday - December 9, 2014

Torture report set to be released. Herbert reverses his position on SB 54 lawsuit. Lee names new chief of staff.


  • Days until the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 48
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 93
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 245
  • Days to the 2015 election - 329
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 405
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 700

Tuesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. A report on whether the U.S. government used torture on foreign detainees following the September 2001 terrorist attacks is set to be released today [New York Times].
  2. Gov. Gary Herbert reverses his position, says SB 54 is constitutional after a spokesperson tells the Utah GOP State Central Committee he supported the party's lawsuit against the law [Deseret News, Tribune].
  3. Sen. Mike Lee hires Neil Ashdown as his chief of staff. Ashdown previously served as chief of staff for former Gov. Jon Huntsman [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. The Florida-based group fighting against the Healthy Utah plan launches a similar attack in Wyoming [Utah Policy].
  5. Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who worked on Obamacare, is set to testify in front of a Congressional committee Tuesday [Politico].
  6. A group of GOP mega donors want to "clear the field" for one presidential candidate in 2016 [Bloomberg].
  7. The Utah government launches a new website for ethics complaints [Utah Policy].
  8. The speed limit officially rises to 70 mph along Utah's urban freeways [Tribune, Deseret News].
  9. Tooele County officials say they're open to having the new state prison there...kinda [Tribune].
  10. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James wore an "I can't breathe" t-shirt before Monday night's game in New York  in solidarity with protesters who are demonstrating against the killing of an unarmed black man who died after a police officer put him in a choke hold [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1958 - The anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.
  • 2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt in the Florida presidential vote recount.
  • 2008 - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested for scheming to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Blagojevich was later convicted of lying to the FBI.

Today At Utah Policy

Utah Government Launches New Ethics Website
Think you have cause to file an ethics complaint against a leading member of Utah State Government – someone elected to the executive, legislative or judicial branches?...

Group Opposed to Healthy Utah Launches Attacks on Wyoming Medicaid Expansion Alternative
The Florida-based group opposed to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah plan is airing radio ads in Wyoming attacking that state's plan for an alternative to Medicaid expansion....

Hatch Slams Obama's 'Shocking Arrogance'
Sen. Orrin Hatch saysBarackObama is deliberately provoking Congresswith his illegal executive order on immigration....

GOP Majority in Congress Biggest Since 1947
The GOP now controlls 246 seats in Congress, giving them the biggest Republican majority since Harry S. Truman was in office....

Lee Shuffles Staff; Names Ashdown Chief of Staff
Sen. Mike Lee has named Neil Ashdown as his new chief of staff....

Give Us Your Nominations for the Top Utah Political Stories of 2014
As 2014 winds down, we're compiling a list of the top Utah political stories of the year. Give us your nominations....

Mitt Romney's 2012 Campaign Was a Textbook Example of How Not to Do Social Media
It took 22 people to approve social media posts for Mitt Romney's campaign in 2012....

Is the Utah GOP Playing Games with SB 54?
Last week, Utah GOP chairman James Evans told the media that he won’t ask the Republican-controlled Legislature to make any changes to the primary ballot compromise law, SB54....
'There's Utah, and Then There's Everyone Else'
In November, Utah took its place, once again, as Forbes' best state for business, a ranking the Beehive State held for three straight years from 2010-2012. Utah's business climate is increasingly revered by businesses looking for a stable environment in which to...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Highways need more money, better planning

Mike Lee hires Huntsman's ex-chief of staff

Tooele open to prison, but not near Motorsports Park

Gov clarifies, says Count My Vote reforms are constitutional

70 mph speed limit now official on Utah's urban interstates

Deseret News

Robert Bennett: Dependent on high oil prices, Russia is now in trouble

Ralph Hancock: Sublime spiritual principle: Christian origins of ethics of equality

Op-ed: Lawsuit against SB54 constitutional

Editorial: With oil prices dropping, Utah's taking control of federal lands isn't the best option available

Students practice computer coding at Capitol

Former Huntsman top aide named chief of staff to Sen. Lee

New 70 mph freeway speed limit signs go up along Wasatch Front

Vail to invest $50 million in upgrades at Park City, Canyons resorts

Gov. Gary Herbert: Count My Vote compromise constitutional, but GOP has right to sue


Speed limit increases are up on I-15 (Daily Herald)

Audit shows Kaysville over budget in two funds (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Will Jonathan Gruber Topple Obamacare? (Politico)

Massive funding bill kicks off 113th Congress' final chapter (Politico)

Will GOP donors clear field for Romney, Bush or Christie? (The Hill)

GOP lawmaker to grill CMS chief on surprise ObamaCare tax bills (The Hill)

For 2016, who will jump in first? (The Hill)

Prince William sits in Oval Office, chats about George (USA Today)

Obama's 'Ebola czar' to leave in March (USA Today)

New York prosecutor seeks to probe police killings of unarmed civilians (Reuters)

CIA torture report sparks controversy before release (USA Today)

DOJ rolls out expanded racial profiling rules (The Hill)

N.J. Republicans Seek End to Democrat-Led Bridge Probe (Bloomberg)

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Wise Words

The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it. ~Daniel WebsterQuote Garden

Lighter Side

"There are reports that President Obama has finally found a nominee to replace Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. His nominee is named Ashton Carter. Which sounds less like a defense secretary and more like the member of a boy band." Jimmy FallonPolitical Humor