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Situational awareness - January 21, 2020

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Trump's impeachment trial begins Tuesday.
  • Romney vows to be impartial during the impeachment trial.
  • Bloomberg campaigns in Utah.


We gotta brush up on our civics.

Not many readers could identify the seven Utah interlocal entities established in the early 1970s to provide a common forum to identify, discuss, study and resolve area-wide problems. 

Collectively, they're known as Utah's Association of Government (AOG).

Congratulations to our trivia winner Andrew Gruber who gets the honor of asking this Friday's question.


Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 6 (1/27/2020)

Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 13 (2/3/2020)

Days to the New Hampshire primaries: 21 (2/11/2020) 

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 42 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 51 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 161 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 287 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_08.jpgRomney pledges 'open mind' on impeachment
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney said Monday he would have an "open mind" ahead of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, which begins on Tuesday. He also said any decision on whether to call witnesses should wait until after opening arguments. 
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200120_Bloomberg_podcast.jpgPodcast: Q&A with Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Democrat Michael Bloomberg campaigned in Utah this past weekend, making his pitch to Utah Democrats ahead of the March Super Tuesday primary election.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mike_Bloomberg_02.jpg'I am running to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.' Democrat Mike Bloomberg campaigns in Salt Lake City
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg brought his Super Tuesday-centric campaign to Salt Lake City on Saturday, speaking to a small, but standing-room-only, crowd in downtown Salt Lake City.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgLegislative Drano! - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott give you an update on the top Utah political news stories from the past few days.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200116_Bishop_Wright.jpgThomas Wright picks Rob Bishop as his 2020 running mate
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 At first glance, GOP gubernatorial candidate Thomas Wright's pick of retiring U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop to be his lieutenant governor running mate -- announced Thursday -- may appear odd.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgWhy polling is helpful -- even if you dislike the results
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
As readers know, at UtahPolicy.com we conduct regular survey research with Y2Analytics on public policy topics, political races and politician popularity.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200116_Stewart_Fox.jpgStewart says Democrats are 'giddy' over impeaching president Trump
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Chris Stewart slammed Democrats on Thursday for being "giddy" over the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
images/1000px_Mugs/Michael_Bloomberg_01.jpgDemocratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg to campaign in Utah on Saturday
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg will make a campaign stop in Utah on Saturday.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_02.jpg'Secret' bills abound on Utah's Capitol Hill ahead of 2020 session
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 So, officially who is the most secretive Utah state legislator? At least as bill introductions are concerned.(How's that for a teaser story opening?)

sl chamber bill nixon


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Impeachment trial

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins today as Senators debate the rules for the proceedings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled proposed rules that would speed up the trial and would not admit evidence from the House without a separate vote [New York Times].

Trump's lawyers and his allies in the Senate are working to ensure former national security adviser John Bolton does not testify in public [Washington Post].

The White House is calling for a quick acquittal in the trial, calling the process "rigged" against President Trump [Washington Post].

Just over half of Americans say the Senate should vote to remove Trump from office [CNN].

Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign is warning the media against spreading "malicious and conclusively debunked" theories about the Bidens by Trump's allies [NBC News].


President Trump took credit for the stock market and a booming economy during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday morning [Washington Post].

The International Monetary Fund predicts sluggish global growth for 2020 and 2021 [Reuters].

Environmental dangers dominated the World Economic Forum's survey of the biggest global risks in 2020. The top five threats all dealt with climate change or the effects of climate change in some form [Bloomberg].

Mystery virus

A new coronavirus that emerged in China has affected more than 200 people according to Chinese authorities. Experts estimate the number could be closer to 1,700 [BBC].

Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether states can exclude religious schools from government funding available to other public schools [Washington Post].


The top Russia expert on President Trump's National Security Council was escorted off the White House grounds late last week. Earlier, he was placed on administrative leave pending a security-related investigation [Bloomberg].


The National Archives is apologizing for blurring out signs critical of President Trump in photos of the 2017 Women's March [New York Times].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber 2020 legislative priorities announced at Utah Economic Outlook & Public Policy Summit
The Salt Lake Chamber introduced its priorities for the 2020 Legislative Session at the Utah Economic Outlook & Public Policy Summit, held in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngWorld Trade Center Utah facilitates global expansion through STEP Grant funding
World Trade Center Utah is seeking companies in the state of Utah ready to begin exporting or increase their sales outside of the United States. By applying for funding offered through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant, businesses can network with industry giants both domestic and abroad, use research databases and experts to focus their international development and present their company as a viable source of investment and partnership. Applications for the STEP Grant are due by January 24, 2020, and can be accessed at wtcutah.com/growwithgrants.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 66: Iran cyberattack threat and the year of ransomware
The U.S. takes military action against Iran and suddenly cybersecurity advocates don't seem like they're crying wolf. 
Rep. Patrice Arent announces retirement at end of 2020
Representative Patrice Arent (D - House District 36) has issued the following statement:
Mayor Mendenhall announces plan for temporary winter shelter
After weeks of work in coordination with the Salt Lake City Council, service providers, Salt Lake County, and State partners, Mayor Erin Mendenhall today announced the temporary expansion of up to 145 beds available to unsheltered individuals in Salt Lake City.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin WTC Utah on Jan 24 for a business luncheon with the Consul General of Switzerland in San Francisco
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake Chamber, invites you to a luncheon welcoming The Honorable Benedikt Wechsler, Consul General of the Confederation of Helvetica (Switzerland) in San Francisco.

More National Headlines


1861 - Five Southerners resigned from the U.S. Senate, including Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. He would later become the president of the Confederacy.

1977 - President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

1997 - Speaker Newt Gingrich was reprimanded and fined as the House voted for the first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.

2010 - The Supreme Court ruled on the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case which increased the power of big business and labor unions to influence government decisions by allowing them to spend money directly to sway elections for president and Congress.

Wise Words


"Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal."Aristotle

Lighter Side

Lev Parnas

"The only way this could be more damning for Trump is if there was some kind of phone transcript of him demanding an investigation of - oh."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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