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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - September 19, 2013
Countdown: There are 48 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 132 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 407 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 844 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • The "Count My Vote" group launches a petition drive to change Utah's nominating system to direct primaries [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • A report says allowing the use of electronic signatures in petition gathering could be safe and secure [Tribune].
  • The U.S. House agrees to Sen. Mike Lee's strategy to tie any measure keeping the government operating to defunding Obamacare [Tribune].
  • Sen. Lee teams up with Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy to fight the growing problem of "patent trolls" [Deseret News].
  • Lawmakers may move Utah's political party conventions so they are not held over the Easter weekend in 2014 [Daily Herald].
  • Rep. Spencer Cox suggests the state require barkeepers to undergo CPR training following the death of a patron outside an American Fork bar last year [Deseret News].
  • A legislative committee mulls whether the state should pay teachers more to boost test scores in underachieving schools [Tribune].
  • Speculation is growing that Gov. Gary Herbert may look within his own office to find a replacement for Gov. Greg Bell [KSL].
  • Comedian Jeff Foxworthy will headline Herbert's annual fundraising gala on Friday evening [Tribune].
  • About 20% of Utah families deal with hunger because they don't have enough money to buy food [Tribune].
  • The LDS Church is urging the faithful in Hawaii to get involved in that state's fight over same-sex marriage by pushing for an exemption for religious organization [Tribune].
  • State investigators looking to crack own on the sale of false legal documents to immigrants stumble upon human and drug trafficking operations [Tribune].
  • Park City Mountain Resort gets a lifeline in their lawsuit against Talisker Land Holdings [Tribune].
  • Utah's former U.S. Attorney says Congress should end mandatory federal sentences in order to reduce prison overcrowding [Tribune].
  • A new report says prisoners in Utah are increasingly being sentenced to life behind bars [Tribune].

Today At Utah Policy

Bryan Schott's Political BS: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Something very curious happened after federal investigators announced they would not pursue charges against Attorney General John Swallow....

'Count My Vote' Group Pushes for Open Primary System
To the surprise of a number of their early backers, Wednesday Count My Vote leaders formally submitted a citizen initiative petition that would basically discard the current political party caucus/convention candidate nominating system in favor of an open party primary....

Rivalry Renewed - Chambers Mean Business as Utah-BYU Take to the Gridiron
Always an intense rivalry game, the stakes are even higher as the University of Utah travels to Provo this weekend for the Utes' final football game against BYU until 2016. The battle for bragging rights extends beyond the football field and into the business community....

Weekly Survey: Who Will Replace Greg Bell?
Speculation is running rampant about who could replace Lt. Gov. Greg Bell. Give us your best guess in our weekly survey....

Don't Get Too Excited About Spending Utah's Budget Surplus
All the numbers are in.And reports that Utah state government is doing well financially are absolutely true....

Featured Items

Outlandish Political Ad Puts All Others to Shame
A candidate for Mayor in Minneapolis has released what is possibly the greatest political ad of our time....

Lee Tax Reform Plan Generates Big Reaction
Sen. Mike Lee's family-friendly tax reform proposal, unveiled Tuesday, garners rave reviews from conservatives and libertarians who say it could help the GOP re-situate itself as the champion of the American middle class....

Hatch: Delay Obamacare Exchanges
In a Fox News op-ed, Sen. Orrin Hatch says Obamacare's health insurance exchanges aren't ready for prime time and shouldn't be allowed to go live on October 1st....

Utah's Future: Plan Far Ahead for Transportation Innovation
The Economist magazine recently published an interesting article about innovation in passenger train travel. While improvements in train technology don't make big news, over the long-term these developments may revolutionize rail travel and make it more competitive with high...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Prison question: Would a new one really be better?

Rolly: County GOP's picnic goes head to head with guv's gala

Seeking document mills leads to human trafficking operations

Count My Vote launches effort for direct Utah primaries

Utah joins nation in increased use of life sentences, report finds

Report: Secure electronic signatures on petitions are feasible

Should Utah pay teachers more to boost test scores?

Fed policies are choking oil and gas in Utah, report says

Utah's Tolman to Congress: End mandatory federal sentences

1 in 5 Utah families can't afford enough food, survey says

House adopts Lee's Obamacare strategy - Now what?

Deseret News

Op-ed: State school board needs election, not selection

Richard Davis: Raise the debt ceiling, then talk about spending less

Editorial: Utahns should wish Greg Bell well

Sen. Mike Lee teams up with powerful Democrat for sake of economy

Poverty in the United States remains high, median income stagnant

Groups lay out arguments against EPA over ozone problem in Uintah Basin

Utah lawmaker proposes CPR training for barkeepers

Dental benefits still not realized by Utah Medicaid participants

Lawmakers discuss role of teacher training in closing state's achievement gap

Service: Gunnison sage grouse listing, protection will cost millions to Utah, Colorado

Salt Lake County receives $2.5M grant to remove lead in old homes

Many children remain unnecessarily uninsured in Utah

Count My Vote launches initiative to change Utah's primary elections

More Utahns raising relatives' children due to parents' substance abuse

More divorced, widowed Americans choosing to stay single


Count My Vote kicks off initiative effort (Daily Herald)

Mayor's towing program asks for higher standard (Daily Herald)

Legislature looking to move party convention dates in 2014 (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Audit = good government (Standard-Examiner)

Audit of Utah Attorney General's Office shelved for now (Standard-Examiner)

Audit: State wastes millions on managing prison parolees (Standard-Examiner)

Audit says Utah prison overfeeding female inmates (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

House Republicans up ante in showdown over federal shutdown (The Hill)

Hagel Orders Reviews of Security Procedures and Clearances (New York Times)

Aaron Alexis' mother: 'My heart is broken' over Navy Yard shooting (CNN)

House GOP Ties Government Funding to Health Law (Wall Street Journal)

Political donations from vets scammer downplayed (Associated Press)

Court decides if gay juror can be taken off case (Associated Press)

Wendy Davis to possibly announce run for Texas governor (Los Angeles Times)

Receding Colorado floodwaters reveal devastation, danger (Fox News)

GOP Sen. Rand Paul, Democratic senators push for overhaul of mandatory minimum sentences (Associated Press)

Idaho Man Pleads Guilty in 2011 White House Shooting (Bloomberg)

Activists arrested after Obama nixes stopping deportations (NBC Latino)

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