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Situational awareness - January 5, 2018

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Utah Republicans were worried that Orrin Hatch might lose a primary election to a far-right challenger, so they were actively recruiting more mainstream candidates to run against him. Mitt Romney speaks with President Trump, adding fuel to the fire that he's about to launch a Senate bid. Jeff Sessions is planning an assault on states that have legalized marijuana.

Tick Tock:

Utah news highlights

Inside Orrin Hatch's decision to retire

We spoke to several Utah Republicans about Hatch's decision to call it a career. We're told his eyesight is rapidly deteriorating, and there was much concern that he would stumble or look feeble on the campaign trail. For his part, Hatch couldn't fathom losing an election after seven straight wins, but there was a real concern among Republicans. Gov. Gary Herbert was so convinced that Hatch couldn't win this year that he was encouraging Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and former aide Derek Miller to run against Hatch if he decided not to retire [Utah Policy].

Romney appears to be getting closer to running for Senate

Mitt Romney spoke with President Donald Trump on the phone Thursday evening as speculation is growing that Romney will soon launch a bid to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch in Washington [Politico].

Week in review

Hatch's decision to retire. How Mitt Romney entering the U.S. Senate race could boost Republicans down-ballot, and the book that's tearing Washington apart. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss in our week-in-review video [Utah Policy]. Here's the podcast version if you prefer that format [Utah Policy].

Why Utah needs Mitt Romney

Bob Bernick argues that Mitt Romney should run for U.S. Senate to put a reasonable Republican in that seat instead of a far-right "nutcake" [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines

National headlines

On this day in history


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Today At Utah Policy


Utah Republicans were convinced Orrin Hatch would lose if he ran again; the real inside story about Hatch's decision to retire

Longtime U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch may have decided for personal reasons not to run again this year, but several GOP operatives believe the veteran politician much respected in Washington, D.C., but in political trouble at home -- could have been beaten in Utah....

Who doesn't like Mitt Romney? - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 355

Sen. Orrin Hatch announced he would not seek an eighth term. When could Mitt Romney announce he's getting in the race?...

Bob Bernick's notebook: Why Romney needs to save Utah from a right-wing 'nutcake'

Well, I'm halfway there with my Christmas wish from Santa: Sen. Orrin Hatch is not running for re-election this year....

Salt Lake City 911 Director Scott Freitag fired from position following drunk driving arrest

Mayor Jackie Biskupski has fired Salt Lake City 911 (SLC911) Director Scott Freitag, effective immediately, following news of Freitag's arrest for drunk driving on January 3rd....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Congress

There's a U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2018 as well as all four U.S. House seats. Here's our list of rumored and declared candidates....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate

2018 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year, including an unexpected one because of a retirement. Here's our running list of candidates for those seats....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House

Next week candidates can start gathering signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who's in, who's out and who's challenging....

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 355

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott reflect on a momentous week in Utah politics....

Weekly survey: Will 2018 be a 'wave election'?

Political observers say 2018 could be a "wave election" for Democrats. What do you think is the most likely outcome of the 2018 midterms? Vote now....

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Policy News


Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes-- Tribune: Snow totals may be a sore subject, but at least there are these new national honors for Utah ski resorts--Tribune: Want to be happier in 2018? Contented Norwegians and a Utah expert offer advice.--Tribune: Utah champion skier Jen Hudak is not afraid ...

WTC Utah launches monthly podcasts
Stay connected with WTC Utah via our monthly podcasts....

Former DNC nominee and current Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg, will keynote the Utah Democratic Party's Annual Legislative Gala
The Utah Democratic Party is excited to kick off the legislative session with their annual Legislative Gala on January 19, 2018....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist: Holding on until the very last minute, Hatch is out. Who is in?

Editorial: Utah still needs a push on air quality

Feds say Utah has another serious air quality problem - ozone

Gehrke: Inside Orrin Hatch's difficult decision to step away from the Senate and what it means for Mitt Romney

Lawmakers may impose fees on Utah cities that lack affordable housing

Population is booming in Salt Lake, Utah county neighborhoods - with one exception

Republicans and Democrats mourn Matt Hillyard - a senator's son with Down syndrome who was a beloved fixture at the Utah Capitol

A group that supported Roy Moore is now raising thousands for Utah Rep. Mia Love to run for U.S. Senate - and stop Mitt Romney

Kaysville councilman says extortion accusations are 'just a ruse,' refuses to resign after being publicly condemned by fellow council members

Deseret News

Op-ed: Trump and the Iranian people

New York Times says Salt Lake City's airport will 'link the mountains and the coasts'

The Week writer says Utah doesn't need Romney. Here's why

The agony of John Curtis

Kaysville councilman says he won't resign after censure

Layton councilman, head of Salt Lake's 911, arrested in DUI case

Other

Capitol, Cache Valley fixture Matt Hillyard passes away (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Iran's regional enemies watch unrest, searching for leverage (ABC News)

Justice Department 'Looking Into' Hillary Clinton's Emails- Again (Daily Beast)

Comey's original Clinton memo released, cites possible violations (The Hill)

Job-cut announcements in 2017 see lowest level since 1990 (CNBC)

Dow Industrials Cross 25000 for First Time (Wall Street Journal)

FCC unveils final version of proposal to gut net neutrality (The Hill)

Breitbart Owners Debate Ousting Bannon Amid Trump Feud (Wall Street Journal)

Led by the Mercers, Bannon's Allies Abandon Him (New York Times)

A rare, random drawing helped Republicans win a tied Virginia election but it may not end there (Washington Post)

Trump Proposes New Health Plan Options for Small Businesses (New York Times)

Trump administration proposes massive increase in off-shore drilling (USA Today)

Wise Words

Experience

"Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you." Aldous Huxley

Lighter Side

UFO's

"It was revealed that the Pentagon had a top secret program to investigate UFO's and aliens. Which is why Trump announced plans to build a dome over the earth and make E.T. pay for it." Jimmy Fallon


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