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Situational awareness - January 23, 2020

Good Thursday 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:

  • Democrats accuse Trump of trying to cheat in the 2020 election.
  • Huntsman and Cox are tied in a new poll.
  • Utah officially bans conversion therapy.


Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 4 (1/27/2020)

Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 11 (2/3/2020)

Days to the New Hampshire primaries: 19 (2/11/2020) 

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 40 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 49 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 159 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 285 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Cox_Huntsman_01.jpgPoll shows Huntsman and Cox tied in GOP governor's race
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Gov. Jon Huntsman has pulled into a virtual tie with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox among likely Republican primary voters according to a new poll.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_01.jpgAnalysis: A handful of Republican 'no' votes on tax reform paved the way for the referendum effort
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Sometimes history and political movements are changed by just a few votes.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200122_Wilson_Pod.jpgPodcast: House Speaker Brad Wilson previews the 2020 Utah Legislature
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The 2020 Utah Legislature begins on Monday.House Speaker Brad Wilson joins UtahPolicy.com Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick to discuss the pressing issues ahead of the session.
images/1000px_Mugs/Sean_Reyes_01.jpgReyes signs on to letter urging the Senate to reject impeachment
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is one of 21 Republican attorneys general who sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging them to reject the impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying it would establish "a dangerous historical precedent."
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200122_Lee_Fox.jpgLee says House impeachment managers were 'rude' and 'insulting'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee said he was disappointed in the behavior displayed by the House impeachment managers during the first day of President Donald Trump's trial in the Senate. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Wilf_Sommerkorn_01.jpgGuest opinion: The problem with citizen votes on land use decisions
By Wilf Sommerkorn
The 2018 election in Utah saw a couple of significant local referenda on the ballot that most will remember the rescinding of the Holladay City approval for the redevelopment of the old Cottonwood Mall site, and the acceptance of a rezone in Orem for an apartment development adjacent to Utah Valley University.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_14.jpgTax referendum could complicate efforts to set next year's budget
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
Utah GOP legislative leaders and their staffs are having a hard time figuring out what to do about budgeting in the general session with the citizen referendum on tax reform hanging over their heads.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgPolitical courage displayed in rapidly growing Utah County
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
Commissioners Tanner Ainge and Nathan Ivie are showing some real political courage in Utah County.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgH.G. Wells knew what he was talking about - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
We're T-minus 6 days until the start of the 2020 Utah Legislature. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott give you insight on the top Utah political news stories from the past few days.
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.

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Salt Lake Tribune



Democrats come out swinging

House impeachment managers made their case for President Donald Trump's removal during day two of the Senate impeachment trial. Rep. Adam Schiff accused Trump of trying "to cheat" in the 2020 election [New York Times].

Senate Republicans slammed the Democrats' case against Trump saying they are presenting no new evidence [Politico].

President Trump set a single-day record for tweeting during day two of the impeachment trial, firing off 141 messages [NY Post].

A new poll finds 51% of Americans say the Senate should vote to remove President Trump from office [Pew].


China quarantined multiple cities to prevent the spread of a coronavirus that has sickened hundreds of people [Washington Post].


President Trump plans to speak to the annual anti-abortion March for Life on Friday. He will be the first sitting president to attend the event [Bloomberg].

Inauguration investigation

The District of Columbia is suing President Trump's inaugural committee, accusing them of throwing parties using nonprofit funds and overpaying for event space at the Trump Hotel [ABC News].


President Trump claimed that U.S. economic growth would be closer to 4% if it weren't for rate hikes from the Federal Reserve [CNBC].


The Trump administration plans to strip away environmental protections for streams and wetlands, a move cheered by farmers and developers [New York Times].

Look out below!

Temperatures are so cold in Florida that iguanas are falling out of trees [Twitter].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngTrade wars or truce? Join WTC Utah for a seminar to learn more
Join the World Trade Center Utah and Harris Bricken to learn what to expect while doing business in China under phase 1 of the newly signed trade deals. Learn from international attorneys Dan Harris, Rob Lamb and Jonathan Bench as they discuss how the legal landscape is changing how business is done in China. Lunch will be provided.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngLearn about opportunities to grow your business in the Middle East
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, invites you to attend a seminar to learn about opportunities and challenges of doing business with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.
images/1000px_Logos/Cities_Work_Logo.jpgCities Work podcast: Accessing Utah's outdoor playground
You've heard of the Mighty 5, but realistically there are probably a mighty 5 million places to enjoy the Utah outdoors!
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.

More National Headlines


1845 - Congress decided that all national elections would take place on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

1964 - The 24th Amendment to the Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified.

1973 - President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War.

1980 - President Jimmy Carter reinstated the Selective Service System.

Wise Words

Choose Your Own Course

"The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap."Ayn Rand

Lighter Side


"The last time this happened, no one had phones. So this time, senators will not be allowed to use their phones during the trial, and they will have to stand when they cast votes, which is a big deal because, well, for a lot of these senators, this will be the first time they've ever stood for anything."- JIMMY KIMMEL

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