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Monday, August 26, 2013

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - August 26, 2013
Countdown: There are 72 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 156 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 431 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 868 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • Attorneys for embattled Attorney General John Swallow say they expect him to be cleared in a federal investigation [Tribune].
  • Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson says a recent report that the NSA monitored every call and text during the 2002 Olympics amounts to the "greatest scandal of the century" [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says Congress will likely call for hearings into NSA snooping [KUTV].
  • Sen. Pat Jones, who is retiring after the 2014 Legislature, is pushing her plan to raise money for Utah's schools by eliminating the state tax exemption for dependents [Deseret News].
  • Only 12 Utah welfare applicants tested positive for drug use in the past year, a program which carries a $30,000 price tag [KSL].
  • Paul Rolly runs down the checkered past of Salt Lake County GOP Chair Chad Bennion [Tribune].
  • The Salt Lake County Council will consider a change that would require the mayor to propose a tax increase prior to November ahead of any election [Tribune].
  • Utah is vying to become a test site for unmanned drones [Tribune].
  • A past controversy on the Sunset City Council is once again bubbling to the surface in that city's mayoral race [Standard-Examiner].
  • The number of complaints filed against Salt Lake City police officers has dropped to the lowest level since 2008 [Tribune].
  • Former Sen. Dan Liljenquist says pension reform is one of the most pressing issues facing state and local governments [Deseret News].
  • The expected drop in enrollment at Utah's colleges and universities due to a change in the age requirements for Mormon missionaries looks to be less severe than originally feared [Tribune].
  • The EPA sends Utah regulators back to the drawing board because a proposed pollution control plan does not contain adequate conflict of interest disclosures [Tribune].
  • There is concern that comments from the public during government meetings could cause some headaches for local governments [Tribune].
  • The Great Recession dropped Utah home ownership rates to an 18-year low [Tribune].
  • Suicide rates in Utah are on pace to increase this year over last [Deseret News].

Today At Utah Policy

Republicans Eye Debt Limit as Way to Delay Obamacare
It's looking like Congressional Republicans may use the debt limit as a bargaining chip in the fight over Obamacare....

Why NSA Snooping Is Bigger Deal in Germany
Germans like posting baby pictures, party snapshots and witty comments on Facebook just like anyone else. They just do not want to get caught doing it. Many of us use fake names for their profiles 2013 silly puns, movie characters or anagrams and "remixes" of their real name...

Bob Bernick's Notebook: Fun With Political Speculation
OK, here's the challenge:Let's say it is your job to write a weeklyFridaypolitical column for the state's leading online political newsletter. (UtahPolicy and me.)...

Featured Items

Should Salt Lake Bid for the 2016 GOP Convention?
Utah Republicans are mulling a bid to host the 2016 GOP convention. Our insiders and readers weigh in on whether this is a good idea....

SBIR-STTR Workshop: Helping Entrepreneurs Access Innovative Funding
Helping innovators and entrepreneurs advance their research and development is nothing new for the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative's SBIR-STTR Assistance Center. Now in its fifth-year, the SSAC is regarded as one of the most successful SBIR-STTR centers in th...

Poll: GOP Future Needs to Be More Diverse and Conservative
A Pew survey finds younger-aged Republicans think more minority and female candidates would help the party win elections.More than 2/3rds (68%) of Republicans and those who lean toward the GOP say they would like to see more minorities nominated, and about the same number (6...

Obama Impeachment Talk Divides Washington
Talk of impeaching President Obama is ramping up in Washington....

Utah's Native Americans
Last week, I participated in the 8th annual Governor's Native American Summit at Utah Valley University. Our compelling theme "Turning Vision into Action" focused on youth and education. It was a great event-positive, upbeat, and full of energy and hope for young Native Amer...

Governor's Office of Economic Development Announces Life Science Director
The Governor's Office of Economic Development is pleased to announce that after an extensive search, Kevin Jessing, has accepted the position of Life Science cluster director and has transitioned into his new role....

Lee: Shutdown Talk a 'Darned Lie'
Sen. Mike Lee rebuts the Democratic- and media-driven narrative that his effort to defund Obamacare amounts to a threat to shutdown the government....

Video: Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #156
The Utah GOP backs away from Chad Bennion's criticism of Sim Gill. There's an effort afoot to lure the 2016 GOP national convention to Utah.Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the week in Utah politics....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Why don't Utahns vote?

Op-ed: Utah and immigration reform

Editorial: Paying for water: Proper fees would discourage waste

Editorial: Insane time: Spying on Games, Utahns wrong

Rolly: Drinkers welcome at Republican town hall?

Former Salt Lake mayor: NSA snooping is the scandal of the century

Feds knock conflict disclosure on Utah air-quality board

North Salt Lake refinery will pay fine, spend $18M under deal with EPA

Utah wants to be test site for FAA-approved unmanned drones

Are public comment periods too risky for Utah's local governments?

Salt Lake County Council looking to make tax hikes more transparent

D.C. Notebook: Lee on Obama: 'We're stuck with him'

Salt Lake City sees decline in complaints about police

Deseret News

Op-ed: There's a good model city in Utah for the (New) Republican Party

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: What is Utah's 'secret sauce' for a good economy?

John Florez: Education for today's marketplace

Editorial: Permission, please

Robert Bennett: Getting a government of compromise

Utah is home to 4 of CNN's youngest cities in America

Utah senator wants money for schools - by eliminating family child tax exemption

Liljenquist suggests cures for states' pension woes

Miners say flawed system puts their lives at risk

Suicides in Utah increasing, but solutions are in sight


Friend or foe? Lindon trying to be more business friendly (Daily Herald)

Provo looks to new utility fee to help maintain roads (Daily Herald)

Sen. Lee tells Weber audience: Don't fund health care (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Navy ready to launch first strike on Syria (Telegraph)

Senior Administration Official: 'Very Little Doubt' Assad Regime Behind Alleged Chemical Attack (ABC News)

Edward Snowden's digital maneuvers still stumping U.S. government (CBS News)

Fallin: Obama Speaking on Killing Would Be a 'Nice Gesture' (National Review)

ObamaCare's architects reap windfall as Washington lobbyists (The Hill)

NY AG sues Trump, 'Trump University,' claims fraud (Associated Press)

Churches changing bylaws after gay marriage ruling (Associated Press)

New Obama policy warns agents not to detain illegal immigrant parents (Washington Times)

Business groups upbeat on fall deal to move immigration bill (The Hill)

Marine Corps to open infantry training to enlisted women (Marine Corps Times)

DNC Chair Won't Comment on Weiner: 'We Can't Be Weighing In On Every Single Race' (Weekly Standard)

Colin Powell: Trayvon Martin verdict 'questionable' (USA Today)

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Wise Words

"The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief." ~William Shakespeare,Othello

Lighter Side

Fatty Foods
"So former President George W. Bush had to go into the hospital, had a little heart surgery and he's OK, but he blames it all on the fatty foods served by White House butler Forest Whitaker." David Letterman Political Humor

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