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Monday, March 24, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - March 24, 2014

Our first batch of 2014 race ratings are out. Caucus attendance down from 2012, but still higher than average. Herbert signs hemp extract bill.


  • 32 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 92 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 225 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 308 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 588 days to the 2015 elections
  • 653 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 959 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • Here's how we see the 2014 elections shaping up:
  • Attendance at Utah's caucus meetings was down from 2012's record numbers, but still higher than usual [Tribune].
  • National Democrats are excited about Utah's pilot program allowing election day voter registration [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert signs a bill allowing the use of a cannabis extract to treat seizures [Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch pens an op-ed slamming the Affordable Care Act on the fourth anniversary of its passing [Deseret News].
  • The number of women who are retiring from the Utah Legislature this year could lead to a larger gender-gap on the Hill [Tribune].
  • The 2014 Utah Legislature by the numbers [Tribune].
  • Former Democratic Attorney General Paul Van Dam is challenging for a seat on the Washington County Commission [Southern Utah Independent].
  • Utah added more than 32,000 jobs last month [Tribune].
  • Drought conditions in southern Utah are worsening [Standard-Examiner].
On this day in history:
  • 1765 - Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide housing for British soldiers.
  • 1883 - Long-distance telephone service between Chicago and New York City was established.
  • 1955 - "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway.
  • 1989 - The Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
  • 1999 - NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia.
  • 2005 - The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from the parents of Terry Schiavo to have a feeding tube reinserted into the severely brain-damaged woman.
  • 2012 - Former Vice President Dick Cheney underwent a heart transplant.

Today At Utah Policy

2014 Election Race Ratings: Congress
With Jim Matheson not running, expect control of all four of Utah's seats in Congress to go to the GOP....

2014 Election Race Ratings: Attorney General
In the aftermath of the John Swallow scandal, Utah has an unexpected race for Attorney General this year....

2014 Election Race Ratings: Utah House
Here's our first look at the 2014 races for Utah House. All 75 seats are up for election this year. Our first round of ratings show Utah's Democrats could be on the defensive this year....

2014 Election Race Ratings: Utah Senate
Here's our first look at the 2014 races for Utah Senate.There are 14 seats up for election this year, but we don't see much,if any, change coming in 2014.Our rating scale:"Safe" seats mean there is no challenger from the opposing party."Solid" means the seat is likely to rem...

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

Bob Bernick's Notebook: Missed Opportunities
Ahh, the vagaries of legislative races in Utah....

Featured Items

Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Herbert's 'Healthy Utah' Proposal
Gov. Gary Herbert has begun negotiations with the federal government over his "Healthy Utah" alternative to Medicaid expansion. We asked our "Political Insiders" and readers how successful they think he will be....

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #181
Lots of retirements on the Hill, plus the legislature passes the third most bills in history.Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott break down the week in Utah politics....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Rolly: Swallow chasers refuse to clean their own House

Op-ed: Wasatch ski resorts should stay within their boundaries

Op-ed: LDS leaders should be allowed political opinions

Editorial: Bishop should not be a block to wilderness

Utah added 32,200 jobs in February

Utah caucus attendance down from 2012, but higher than average

Hey, congressman, can I borrow some sugar?

Gender gap likely to grow on Utah's Capitol Hill

Deseret News

Sen. Orrin Hatch: Affordable Care Act disastrous - We need real change

John Florez: Legislators abandon caring values

Editorial: The Obama administration's all-out assault on press freedom

Editorial: In Hobby Lobby case, freedom is under threat

Dozens of candidates file for political office in Utah

State School Board requests veto of curriculum review bill

Zions Bank falls short on Federal Reserve 'stress test'


Editorial: Herbert in the middle (Standard-Examiner)

Congressman Stewart's bill would rein in Endangered Species Act (Standard-Examiner)

Brown, Van Tassell and Powell will face challengers (Park Record)

Final filing day sees more new candidates (Park Record)

Congressional contests: McAleer versus Clemens, Bishop versus Chiu (Park Record)

National Headlines

Another Obama reset: Europe (Politico)

Obama's 'naivet' encouraged Putin, Romney says (The Hill)

Romney not eyeing another WH run (The Hill)

Ayotte: 'Bully' Putin needs an economic 'punch in the nose' (The Hill)

A struggle to resolve Ukraine impasse (The Hill)

High court to weigh limits of religious liberty in O-Care case (The Hill)

Yet another group selfie...this time, The Clintons join Jimmy Kimmel (Independent)

Nate Silver: GOP favored to win the Senate in 2014 (MSNBC)

Documents show NSA hacked Chinese company (CNN)

Health law birth control coverage before justices (Associated Press)

Jimmy Carter thinks he's being spied on, sends snail mail (MSNBC)

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Wise Words

Sum Total
"The strength of the United States is not the gold at Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction that we have, but the sum total of the education and the character of our people."
Claiborne Pell Quotations Page

Lighter Side

"The standoff in Ukraine keeps getting worse. But a new poll shows Vladimir Putin's approval rating has actually gone up 10 percent since he sent troops into Crimea. When he heard that, Obama just shrugged and sent troops to invade Canada." Jimmy Fallon Political Humor

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