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Situational awareness - February 10, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


There are 23 working days remaining in the 2020 Utah Legislature

The New Hampshire primaries are tomorrow (2/11/2020) 

12 days to the Nevada Democratic caucuses (2/22/2022)

19 days to the South Carolina Democratic primary (2/29/2020)

22 days to the Utah presidential primaries (3/3/2020)

31 days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (3/12/2020)

141 days to the 2020 Utah primary elections (6/30/2020)

267 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

350 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

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

  • A new poll suggests Reps. Ben McAdams and Chris Stewart could have tough re-election bids ahead of them.
  • Jon Huntsman taps Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi as his running mate.
  • President Trump's budget proposal includes steep cuts in non-military spending.


Congratulations to Natalie Gordon! She was the third subscriber with the correct answer to Friday's question, "Which Utah county had a commissioner named Orange Peel?" 

The correct answer, of course, was Sanpete County.

As our winner, Natalie gets to ask this Friday's trivia question. 

Other readers among the first four with the correct answer were Douglas DeVore, Ken Wallentine and John Geilman.

Great job, everyone!

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Stewart_McAdams_01.jpgPoll suggests Reps. Chris Stewart and Ben McAdams could have tough re-election campaigns in November
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
GOP U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart might want to start spending more time and money working on his re-election bid this year.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Contraceptives_01.jpgProposal would allow minors to get contraceptives from doctors without notifying their parents in certain cases
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A Utah House Republican wants $2.5 million in family planning/contraception federal money, but getting it from his conservative GOP colleagues may be troublesome.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Guns_04.jpgProposed bill aims to block local governments from enacting gun-control measures
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Well, you figured this was going to happen: A bill has been introduced by a GOP legislator aimed at stopping Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson from requiring universal background checks on gun purchases in all county facilities.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgThe two dirtiest words in Utah politics are 'Mitt' and 'Romney' - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick wrap up a stunning week in Utah politics.
images/1000px_Mugs/Huntsman_Kaufusi_01.jpgHuntsman taps Kaufusi as his running mate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Jon Huntsman Jr. tapped Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi as his running mate on Friday.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_09.jpgRomney's job approval from Utah voters drops significantly during impeachment
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney's approval ratings have dropped 10 points overall, and most significantly among Republican voters in Utah, according to a new Utah Political Trends survey.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200205_Romney_Impeach.jpgRomney makes surprise visit to Utah, meets with GOP leadership to discuss his impeachment vote
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Fresh off his stunning vote to remove President Donald Trump from office, Sen. Mitt Romney took a red-eye flight to visit with Utah Republican legislative leaders and explain his decision.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_11.jpgLegislative lawyers warn a bill establishing recall elections for U.S. Senators is unconstitutional
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Legislative attorneys are warning a proposed bill to recall a U.S. Senator would probably be deemed unconstitutional by a court.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Do lawmakers want revenge on Romney?
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Over the next couple of weeks, Republicans in the Utah Legislature, and maybe GOP Gov. Gary Herbert, are going to have to decide just how much they want to beat up Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, over his vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Utah_Board_of_Education.jpgProposal would let voters decide if state school board members are elected or appointed
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 For the first time this year the 15-member Utah State School Board is going to be elected in a partisan manner -- Republicans and Democratic party officials, or party primary voters, will pick nominees, who face off in the November election.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Christine_Cooke.jpgGuest opinion: Eliminate civics exam? Only if we can spur interest in actual civics
By Christine Cook
Utah has work to do in civics education. Much like the rest of the nation.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200206_Ingraham_Fox.jpgVideo: Fox host Laura Ingraham threatens to move to Utah to run against Romney
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Fox News host Laura Ingraham blistered Sen. Mitt Romney Wednesday night for his vote to remove President Donald Trump from office. She called on Romney to resign, threatening to move to Utah and run against him in 2024 if he doesn't.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200206_Lee_Fox.jpgVideo: Lee says Romney's vote to convict Trump was wrong
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee says he disagrees with Sen. Mitt Romney's vote to convict President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial isn't playing well in Utah and among his fellow Republicans.
images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_06.jpgApproval ratings for Gov. Herbert and the Utah Legislature fall after the failure of tax reform
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Voter perceptions of Gov. Gary Herbert, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and the Utah State Legislature have taken a hit in the wake of the failed tax reform effort according to a new Utah Political Trends survey.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Trump's budget

President Donald Trump's $4.8 trillion budget proposal contains steep cuts in social safety net programs and foreign aid while increasing military spending. The fiscal blueprint raises military spending by 0.3% and cuts nondefense spending by 5%. It also fails to eliminate the budget deficit [Wall Street Journal].

Trump's budget seeks deep and unrealistic cuts to most federal budgets. For example, the proposal contains a 13 percent cut to the Interior Department and a 37% cut to the Commerce Department [Politico].


President Trump began exacting revenge against those who testified against him during the recently completed impeachment. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was escorted from the White House on Friday after he was ousted from the National Security Council [Washington Post].

Trump also fired Gordon Sondland as U.S. ambassador to the European Union [Politico].

Republican senators reached out to the White House to warn President Trump against firing Sonland, but Trump went ahead anyway [New York Times].

Wrapping up Iowa

The Iowa Democratic Party says Mayor Pete Buttigieg won the most delegates last week with Sen. Bernie Sanders coming in second [CNN].

Here's how the Iowa Caucuses turned into a disaster for Democrats [New York Times].

Expected big turnout in Iowa failed to materialize, which has Democrats worried ahead of November's election [New York Times].

The chaos from Iowa is giving Trump his "dream scenario" ahead of November according to people inside his re-election campaign [Politico].

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. A new poll shows Sanders is poised to win the most delegates, followed by Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren [CNN].


The Wuhan virus is showing no signs of slowing down. Chinese officials say they confirmed more than 3,000 new cases and 97 additional deaths. As of Sunday night, more than 40,000 people had been infected and 908 people died [CNBC].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 68: New privacy regulations kick in, businesses less than prepared
If you are in business in the year 2020, you almost certainly collect, store and use data.
Utah Thrives podcast: The future of citizenship in a changing media landscape
In this episode of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation bids farewell to Communications Director Dan Bammes, and we reflect on his long career in broadcast. We also discuss the evolution of journalism and what it may mean for engaged citizenship.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin Us on February 24 to learn about doing business in Europe
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with DLA Piper Global Law Firm, invites you to a lunch-time seminar on patents, commerical aspects, and doing your due diligence while doing business in Europe. Hear from attorneys Gregory Tulquois and Johan Renes. Lunch will be provided. 
Mayor Mendenhall announces weekly telecommuting for Mayor's Office, invites city departments to join for February's Clear The Air Challenge
As part of Salt Lake City's participation in the annual Clear The Air Challenge, and in an effort to help keep the City's winter inversion at bay, Mayor Mendenhall today announced that her Mayor's Office staff will be encouraged to telecommute at least once a week, as possible,  for the month of February.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report -- Salt Lake Tribune: Feds release final management plans for Utah's Bears Ears, Grand Staircase to outcry from environmentalists

More National Headlines


1763 - France ceded Canada to England under the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French and Indian War.

1846 - Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints the Mormons began an exodus west from Illinois.

1949 - Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" opened on Broadway. (Miller died on the same date in 2005 at age 89.)

1967 - The 25th Amendment to the Constitution, dealing with presidential disability and succession, went into effect.

1996 - IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in chess for the first time.

Wise Words


"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."Ernest Hemingway

Lighter Side

Post Acquittal

"He ranted and raved for more than an hour this afternoon, airing every grievance, grinding every ax - it was his Pettysburg Address."- JIMMY KIMMEL

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