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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - March 19, 2014

Lawmakers passed the 3rd-most bills ever in 2014. Democrats hold their caucus meetings. Utah's tax burden is below the national average.


  • The Utah candidate filing period closes tomorrow at 5 pm
  • Utah Republicans hold their caucus meetings tomorrow evening
  • 37 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 97 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 230 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 313 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 593 days to the 2015 elections
  • 658 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 964 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • An analysis shows the 2014 Legislature passed the 3rd most bills ever [Utah Policy].
  • Utah's Democratssay turnout for their caucus meetings was down, but not as much as some expected [Deseret News, Daily Herald].
  • Sim Gill announces his bid for another term as Salt Lake County District Attorney [Deseret News].
  • Democrat Charles Stormont jumps into the race for Attorney General to challenge Republican Sean Reyes [Deseret News].
  • One of the candidates Utah Democrats were hoping could win a GOP-controlled legislative seat decides against a run at the last minute [Utah Policy].
  • Murray Mayor Dan Snarr is challenging for a seat on the Salt Lake County Council, but Utah Democrats wish he was running for the seat being vacated by Tim Cosgrove instead [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Ralph Okerlund, who collapsed from heart failure on the second-to-last day of the Legislature, heads home from the hospital [Tribune].
  • Clean air activists grade the performance of Utah lawmakers during the just-finished legislative session and find it wanting [Tribune, Standard-Examiner].
  • A study says Utah's taxes are the 14th lowest in the nation [Tribune].
  • A group of Utah ski industry isset to unveil a plan to connect seven resorts in Salt Lake and Summit counties [Tribune].
  • Utah farmers once again call for immigration reform [Tribune].
  • A new report finds tourism is a major economic driver in a number of rural counties in Utah [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • 1860 - William Jennings Bryan, three-time Democratic presidential nominee, was born in Salem, Ill.
  • 1891 - Earl Warren, the 14th chief justice of the United States, was born in Los Angeles.
  • 1917 - The Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour work day for railroads.
  • 1918 - Congress approved daylight-saving time.
  • 1920 - The U.S. Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles for a second time.
  • 1931 - Nevada legalized gambling.
  • 1962 - Bob Dylan's debut album was released.
  • 1995 - Michael Jordan returned to the NBA after an attempt to become a professional baseball player.
  • 2003 - An American-led coalition went to war against Iraq, beginning Operation Iraqi Freedom with a series of air-strikes on Baghdad.

Today At Utah Policy

2014 Session Passed 3rd-Highest Number of Bills Ever
Despite warnings by legislative leaders that too many bills are being introduced into the Utah Legislature....

Democrats Lose One of Their Top Political Recruits
Utah's Democrats are scrambling to find a candidate in one of their "targeted" races after their candidate unexpectedly decided against a run....

Utah's Democrats See Missed Opportunity in Snarr Candidacy
Former Murray Mayor Dan Snarr has decided to get back into politics by running for the County Council seat currently held by Aimee Winder Newton. But, some Democrats wish Snarr had instead filed to run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Tim Cosgrove....

2014 Candidate Tracker
Who's in and who's challenging? Keep up to date with the latest candidate filings....

A GOP Win in '14 Could Lead to Problems in '16
A top Republican strategist is warning the party that making gains in the 2014 midterm elections does not mean they should stand pat in 2016....

Caucus Meetings This Week Mark End of Political Era in Utah
Don't look for the 2014 Democratic and Republican party neighborhood caucuses to be anywhere nearly as large as 2012, leaders of both parties and experts tell UtahPolicy....

Analysis: Utah Fares Miserably Electing Women to Congress
An analysis finds, since 1989, Utah has elected just 2 women to Congress in 37 chances - putting the beehive state far behind the rest of the country....

Featured Items

NY Times Looks at Swallow Investigation
Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow sought to transform his office into a defender of payday loan companies, according to a special legislative report released last week....

Sex, Gender, and the Familiar Fight Over Religious Exemptions
As conservatives grapple with the reality of gay marriage and the Supreme Court weighs whether companies should be forced to offer birth control to employees, it's very clear: The conflict between religious freedom and gender/sexual equality has become "the most important ci...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Utah senator headed home from hospital after heart failure

Clean air activists give Utah politicians mixed grades

Ski industry to push for interconnected resorts

Utah farmers: Study shows immigration reform needed

Rolly: Here's a switch for Utah - a political forum lacking in Republicans

Utah has 14th lowest taxes, study says

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Other states show that moving a prison isn't the most effective thing to do

Editorial: In Russia and beyond, Obama administration must take foreign threats seriously

Sim Gill says he's seeking re-election as district attorney

Utah group launches campaign to promote same-sex marriage with personal stories

Count My Vote withdraws initiative petition for direct primary elections

Democratic lawyer, ranch manager to run for Utah attorney general

Utah Democrats' neighborhood caucuses 'surprisingly robust,' chairman says

Mitt Romney: 'Why are America's hands tied?'


Democrats small in numbers, strong in passion at caucus (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Residents halt trail bill (Standard-Examiner)

Davis commission races packed with candidates (Standard-Examiner)

Utah non-profits face new state auditing scrutiny (Standard-Examiner)

Clean air groups say Herbert, Legislature flunked (Standard-Examiner)

New and familiar faces file for candidacy this week (Park Record)

National Headlines

Mitt Romney: President Obama, Hillary Clinton 'failure' (Politico)

The rich strike back (Politico)

Ukraine PM: Conflict entering 'military stage' (The Hill)

Putin signs treaty to annex Crimea (The Hill)

Biden warns Russia of additional sanctions (The Hill)

Obama to Hispanics: We won't deport relatives because you enroll in ObamaCare (The Hill)

Republican chairman predicts 'tsunami' victory in November (Christian Science Monitor)

Bin Laden relative's trial will not hear from accused September 11 mastermind (Reuters)

Oklahoma Executions Delayed Amid Drug Shortage (NBC News)

Report: NSA can replay, retrieve 100% of foreign calls (USA Today)

Fast-food protests shift focus to 'wage theft' (Associated Press)

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