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The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to bschott@utahpolicy.com, or message us on Twitter.

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Situational awareness - February 14, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City and Happy Valentine's Day!


There are 19 working days remaining in the 2020 Utah Legislature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Herbert threatens to veto a bill to undermine SB54 changes.
  • Half of Utah voters say the state is on the wrong track.
  • Bill Barr says President Trump's tweets make it hard to do his job.


This week's question comes from Natalie Gordon, who delves into her family history:

Which one of Natalie's great-great-grandfathers served on the Provo City Council, was the first person in Utah County to operate a printing press, and was the Utah Territorial Superintendent of Schools? He also served as Provo Auditor and Recorder, Utah County Clerk, Chief Clerk of the Territorial Legislature, and the recorder at the St. George Temple.

If you think you can name Natalie's ancestor, send your guesses to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com.

The THIRD person with the correct answer gets to ask next week's question. 



UtahPolicy.com will not publish a daily newsletter on Monday, Feb. 17 because of the President's Day holiday. We will return to your inboxes, computers and devices on Tuesday the 18th.

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgHalf of Utah voters say the state is on the wrong track
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah voters are unhappy with their political leadership, most say the state is going in the wrong direction.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_33.jpgHerbert threatens to veto bill undoing changes to Utah's candidate nominating process
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A bill that would effectively undo Utah's dual-path nominating process for candidates is facing a likely veto from Gov. Gary Herbert if passes. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Mike_Bloomberg_02.jpgBloomberg is pouring cash into Utah ahead of Super Tuesday vote
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is dumping truckloads of money into the state ahead of the March Super Tuesday primary.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_35.jpgPoll shows more Utahns think Democrats in the Legislature care about them more than do Republicans
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 Here's another example showing Utahns are not really happy with the Republican-controlled state legislature. 
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion briefs: Who's the best LG prospect? . . . A federalism opportunity . . . No need to pander
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
An LG with star power. A couple of Utah gubernatorial candidates have announced their lieutenant governor selections. But no one has landed the best LG of all Natalie Gochnour.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgNot enough to go around. Lawmakers facing tight budget year
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lawmakers are crying poverty this year, and new revenue estimates coming next week aren't expected to bring much relief for budgeting efforts.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_32.jpgMost Utahns believe lobbyists have a great amount of influence on lawmakers
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utahns don't think much of the GOP-controlled Utah Legislature.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgThe never ending story - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the latest political headlines from the Beehive State.
images/1000px_Mugs/Chris_Stewart_02.jpgAdvisers pushing Trump to nominate Stewart for top intelligence post
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Chris Stewart has emerged as a top candidate to be the next director of national intelligence in the Trump administration.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt__Romney_06.jpgHouse Republicans quash measures to censure Romney and recall U.S. Senators
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah House leaders Tuesday put the kibosh on a proposal to censure Sen. Mitt Romney for voting to convict President Donald Trump last week. A bill to create a mechanism for recalling U.S. Senators is also dead after a closed meeting of House Republicans. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_30.jpgLegislature suspends Bernick media credential
By UtahPolicy.com staff
On Tuesday morning, the Utah Legislature took the action of suspending UtahPolicy.com Contributing Editor Bob Bernick's media credential.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Barr bothered by Trump's tweets

Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump's tweets about the Justice Department "make it impossible" for him to do his job. Barr also says Trump never asked him to intervene in a criminal case [ABC News].

Other prosecutors in the Justice Department have discussed leaving their jobs following Barr's intervention in the case involving longtime Trump ally Roger Stone [CNN].

War powers

The Senate voted to approve a resolution limiting President Trump's ability to use military power against Iran without their permission. The measure will likely face a veto by Trump [Bloomberg].

And Mexico will pay for it!

The Trump administration will divert another $3.8 billion from the Pentagon toward the construction of the wall on the southern border [New York Times].

What a time to be alive!

Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg and President Trump trade schoolyard insults on Twitter [Washington Post].


Former Trump aide Hope Hicks is returning to the White House as an adviser [Bloomberg].


President Trump will headline a $580,600-per-couple fundraiser in Palm Beach [Washington Post].


Michael Bloomberg's campaign was knocked off stride Thursday after comments he made in 2008, blaming economic redlining for the financial crash, resurfaced. His Democratic rivals pounced on the comments [AP].


The House passed a bill to repeal the 1982 deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment [Politico].

Climate change

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is facing a backlash from his own party after unveiling a modest GOP plan to combat climate change [Politico].

Temperatures in Antarctica soared to near 70 degrees on Thursday, the highest ever recorded on the continent [Washington Post].


Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune: Zion National Park shouldn't start a reservation system, say Utah's members of Congress--Salt Lake Tribune:Proposed state park would pay tribute to Utah's dinosaurs-- KSL.com: Need a winter hike? Try White Rock Bay to Elephant Head Overlook at Antelope Island--KSL.com:Cold winter hike offers breath of solitude and health benefits--KSL.com: Curtis, 2 Democrats introduce bill to nearly triple funding for recreational trails--KSL.com:Owe child support? No hunting and fishing, Utah bill saysConcerts-- Utah Youth Orchestras and Ensembles, Friday, 7 p.m., Tabernacle, Temple Square, 50 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, free-- "Giselle," Ballet West, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; also Saturday, 2 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, $15-$89-- Jazz Night at Elite Hall, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m., Elite Hall, 83 West Main Street, Hyrum, $10-$25-- "Living Legends," Friday and Saturday, de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center,Brigham Young University, Campus Drive & Heritage Drive, Provo, $8-$13-- "Love Stories in Song with John D. Smitherman & Rachel Cox," Kayenta Arts, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Ct, Ivins, $10-$30-- "Women Rock!" Utah Symphony, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, $10-$92
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_01.jpgConservative lawmakers sign brief supporting religious liberty
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and over two dozen other lawmakers signed an amicus brief Monday, supporting Our Lady of Guadalupe School and St. James Catholic School in their religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgExecutives optimistic on the future of Utah's economy
The CEOutlook Confidence Index increased from 53.3 in 2019-Q3 to 61.2 for 2019-Q4, as Utah executives report optimism towards the state's economy, according to the Salt Lake Chamber's 2019 fourth-quarter CEOutlook 2019 survey released today.

More National Headlines


1778 - The U.S. flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte renders a nine-gun salute to the USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.

1849 - James Polk becomes the first sitting U.S. President to have his photograph taken.

1859 - Oregon is admitted as the 33rd state.

1876 - Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for the telephone. It was officially issued on March 7, 1876.

1899 - Voting machines are approved by Congress for use in federal elections.

1903 - The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor is established. It would later be split into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor.

1912 - Arizona is admitted as the 48th state.

1920 - The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago.

1929 - The "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" too place in Chicago. Seven people, six of them rivals of Al Capone's gang, were murdered.

1980 - Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the "CBS Evening News."

2005 - YouTube is launched by a group of college students.

2018 - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting: 17 people are killed and 15 others are injured in one of the deadliest school massacres in history.

Wise Words


"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."Isaac Newton

Lighter Side

Do Anything

"Trump showed off a copy of USA Today, with the headline, 'Acquitted.' Trump was like,[as Trump]'Now I can do anything I want. I even stole this USA Today from a Holiday Inn.'"- JIMMY FALLON

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