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Situational awareness - November 15, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

What to watch today: A hearing on Mia Love's lawsuit to stop the counting of ballots in Salt Lake County is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Notable: The Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year for 2018 is "toxic."

Executive summary: Utah lawmakers expect big budget surpluses next year. Mia Love closes the gap on Ben McAdams. Trump makes a crazy claim about voter fraud in Florida.


  • 5 days until the final election results are certified by county clerks (11/20/2018)

  • 11 days until federal and multi-county races are certified by the State Board of Canvassers (11/26/2018)

  • 74 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)

  • 120 days until the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)

  • 201 days until the municipal election filing period opens (6/3/2019)

  • 205 days until the municipal election filing period ends (6/7/2019)

  • 272 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

  • 356 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

  • 446 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

  • 720 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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    Today At Utah Policy

    images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_20.jpgLawmakers anticipating big budget surpluses next year, but don't expect a spending spree

    When GOP Gov. Gary Herbert unveils his recommended next year's state budget Dec. 5, you'll see some really big revenue surpluses, Republican lawmakers were told Wednesday....
    images/Shutterstock_article_photos/vote_stickers.jpgMedical marijuana brought voters to the polls, but they didn't seem to care about much else

    It's as if several thousand Utahns only cared about voting for the medical marijuana initiative....
    images/articles/20181015_Love_McAdams_Debate.jpg4th District update: Love narrows gap with McAdams while he pledges not to support Pelosi

    Democrat Ben McAdams' lead over incumbent Republican Mia Love is just 873 votes after the latest numbers were released by Salt Lake County on Wednesday. The gap between the two candidates has narrowed significantly since last week....
    images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_21.jpgLawmakers plan more changes to medical marijuana bill ahead of December special session

    What is in a name?...
    images/Resized_Mugshots/Mia_Love_11.jpgMia Love, who is trailing Ben McAdams, files suit to stop ballot counting in Salt Lake County

    Republican incumbent Mia Love has filed suit against Salt Lake County seeking to stop the counting of ballots in her extremely close re-election bid against Democrat Ben McAdams....
    images/Resized_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngOverall CPI is flat month-to-month but housing and transportation continue to drive year-over-year increases

    The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained essentially unchanged from September to October on a non-seasonally adjusted basis....
    images/Shutterstock_Mugshots/Donald_Trump_10.jpgWeekly survey: Trump's 2020 prospects following the 2018 midterms

    Last week's midterms saw Democrats win control of the House for the first time since 2010 while Republicans have increased their majority in the Senate. What do you think that means for President Trump's chances at re-election in 2020? Let us know in our weekly survey....

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    Deseret News

    Op-ed: Politicians need to be aware that voters are watching

    Ralph Hancock: Trump's 'nationalism' pitted against Macron's 'patriotism'

    Utah lawmaker announces bill designed to reduce drug costs

    Utah lawmaker aims to clarify when colleges can involve police after reports of sexual assault

    Proposed law aims to take cellphones out of Utah drivers' hands

    'True statesman' Jim Hansen, longtime Utah congressman, dies at age 86

    Legislative panel rejects new version of gender-change bill

    Rep. Mia Love's campaign files lawsuit to halt ballot counting in Salt Lake County

    What's the cost of enhancing school safety in Utah? Proposal seeks more than $195 million

    2002 Olympic legacy remains 'palpable' in Utah, USOC chief says

    Support for Utah's Proposition 4, an anti-gerrymandering measure, takes lead in latest vote tally

    Drought stricken Utah explores water banking

    Salt Lake Tribune

    Editorial: At least Utah's election woes are not on purpose

    Oakland cancels Bay Area port project that would ship Utah coal

    Gehrke: Why are we waiting so long for Utah's election results? Counting ballots is more complicated than you might think.

    Salary panel recommends pay bump for judges, cost-of-living adjustments for governor and other elected leaders

    Jim Hansen, who served longer in the U.S. House than any Utahn, dies at age 86

    Rep. Mia Love sues Salt Lake County to suspend vote counting even as Ben McAdams' lead narrows

    71 people died in Utah jails in the past five years, most within a week of when they got locked up

    Ben McAdams' lead in the 4th District is now less than 900 after updated vote count in Salt Lake County

    Prop 4 is up again: Results for independent redistricting initiative continue to yo-yo.

    President Trump backs prison reform legislation co-written by Utah Sen. Mike Lee


    Mia Love sues Salt Lake County for the right to challenge signature verification on ballots (Daily Herald)

    Ogden mayor explains military exercise snafu to city council (Standard-Examiner)


    • "He's pissed--at damn near everyone." President Trump's mood has darkened significantly since Democrats won control of the House in last week's elections - https://cnn.it/2FpyY2Y 

    • President Trump alleged, without any information, voter fraud in Florida. Trump suggested that people were able to vote multiple times last week by changing their hat or shirt - http://bit.ly/2Fo7T0j

    • Must read! The New York Times published a huge investigation into how Facebook mounted a lobbying campaign to combat their critics and deflect blame from Russia's use of their platform to sow discord during the 2016 election - https://nyti.ms/2FnInrM 

    • White House lawyers argued the president could bar "all reporters" from the White House for any reason in their response to a lawsuit from CNN seeking to restore reporter Jim Acosta's press credentials. A judge will hold a hearing on the suit Thursday - https://politi.co/2FliRUk

    • White House officials want Republicans in Congress to jam Democrats on government funding this fall over funding for President Trump's border wall. The Trump administration wants a single funding bill that includes money for the wall, daring Democrats to vote against it - https://politi.co/2Fo8lvx 

    • Nancy Pelosi's quest to become speaker is running into some opposition among Democrats, but it remains to be seen if there's enough momentum to deny her enough votes to win - https://politi.co/2FpUogu

    • President Trump announces his support for a bipartisan prison reform measure - https://nyti.ms/2Frh8g3 

    • The recount continues in the Florida gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. Poll workers are feverishly trying to match signatures on ballots to determine if they are valid. A judge ordered the state to allow more time - https://nyti.ms/2FniMPH

    • Sen. Jeff Flake threatens to vote against President Trump's judicial nominees after the GOP blocked a vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller - https://cnn.it/2FoXXDG

    • Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel is leaving her post in the White House after picking a fight with First Lady Melania Trump - https://wapo.st/2Fm0Fty 

    • The Justice Department defended Matthew Whitaker's appointment as acting Attorney General by President Trump despite his lack of Senate confirmation - http://bit.ly/2Fla6JB

    • Democrats want information about acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's work with a scam patent company accused of bilking investors out of millions of dollars. The firm pushed dubious products including a special toilet for "well endowed" men - http://bit.ly/2Fonflq 

    • A new poll shows just 36% of Americans think President Donald Trump should be re-elected - http://bit.ly/2Flal7t

    • Michael Avenatti, who appears to be mounting a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of domestic violence - https://wapo.st/2FpSBrM 

    • Lawyers suing President Trump over his decision to end the DACA program are seeking unaired footage from his reality TV show "The Apprentice" to support their case that the move was racially motivated - https://nbcnews.to/2FxjGcq 

    • Boring but important. Economic experts warn the positive effects on the economy from the Trump tax cuts are likely to start running out next year, while the Federal Reserve is expected to keep raising interest rates. Both of those factors could significantly slow economic growth - https://politi.co/2Fom6KC

    • Saudi Arabian officials say they are seeking the death penalty for five people suspected of involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - https://nyti.ms/2FoXEJ2 

    • The death toll continues to rise in California's Camp Fire. 56 people have been confirmed dead and another 130 are missing - https://cnn.it/2FjiTvI 

    • Media watch. The Financial Times has developed a tool warning their writers if they quote too many men in an article. The idea is to seek out more expert women - http://bit.ly/2FriZS3

    • Climate change is progressing so rapidly, the wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are struggling to adapt - https://nyti.ms/2Fl9qUz


    • 1533 - Explorer Francisco Pizarro arrives in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.

    • 1777 - After 16 months of debate, the Continental Congres approves the Articles of Confederation.

    • 1791 - Georgetown University opened as the first Roman Catholic college in the United States.

    • 1864 - Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins Sherman's March to the Sea.

    • 1920 - The first assembly of the League of Nations was called to order in Geneva, Switzerland.

    • 1939 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.

    • 1969 - More than 500,000 people demonstrated in Washington against the Vietnam War.

    Policy News

    images/Logos/WTC--400x331.pngDon't forget to register for WTC Utah's luncheon with Congressman John Curtis
    The U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce, World Trade Center Utah and Zions Bank are delighted to host a luncheon with Congressman John Curtis. ...
    images/Logos/EDCUtah_454X417.pngSalt Lake City ranks #1 for office net absorption growth among CBRE's Tech-30
    Buoyed by robust tech-sector employment growth, Salt Lake City ranked first for office net absorption growth (growth in occupied office space) among the 30 leading tech markets, according to CBRE's annual Tech-30 report, which measures the tech industry's impact on office re...
    images/Logos/EDCUtah_454X417.pngUSA Climbing moving headquarters to Utah
    The State of Utah continues to build upon its strong Olympic Legacy with the announcement today that USA Climbing, the National Governing Body for the sport, is relocating its headquarters to Utah. The Utah Sports Commission partnered with USA Climbing to facilitate the orga...
    images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Gov_Logo_02.jpgUtah.Gov receives grade A rating in Digital States survey
    Utah.Gov, the official website of the State of Utah, received a grade A rating from the Center for Digital Government in the 2018 Digital States survey....

    More National Headlines

    Climate contrarian uncovers scientific error, upends major ocean warming study (San Diego Union-Tribune)

    Exclusive: 72 percent say media 'dividing Americans,' spreading 'hate' (Washington Examiner)

    NeverTrump's Billionaire Leftist Benefactors (American Greatness)

    Federal prosecutors reviewing altered election documents tied to Florida Democrats (Politico)

    Steny Hoyer backs Jim Clyburn amidst accusations of 'dog whistle' rhetoric (McClatchy)

    Betsy DeVos set to rewrite guidance on college sexual assault cases, giving new rights to accused (Washington Post)

    US military advantage has eroded, study says (Washington Post)

    California's New Governor Has a Problem: His Own Party (Politico)

    Top Pence aide resurfaces as leading candidate to replace Kelly (Politico)

    Michael Avenatti Arrested on Suspicion of Domestic Violence, LAPD Confirms (Associated Press)

    Fed chair on political criticism: 'We're just trying to do our jobs' (Axios)

    Wise Words

    Leadership Tip

    "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it." Andrew Carnegie


    Lighter Side

    Write a Book

    "Politics is not a bad profession; if you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book." Ronald Reagan


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