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Situational awareness - February 20, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Back to work after a cold and snowy Presidents Day weekend. There are just 13 working days until the end of the 2018 Utah Legislature.

Trump endorses Romney. Utah Republicans are floating a "purity test" for candidates. Americans say President Trump and Congress aren't doing enough to prevent gun violence.

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Here's what's driving the day:

Burying the hatchet

President Donald Trump apparently lets bygones be bygones and tweeted out an endorsement of Mitt Romney's Senate run in Utah. Romney accepted the olive branch [Utah Policy].

Purity test?

Some hardliners on the Utah GOP Central Committee want to pass a rule that will allow them to decide which candidates can actually call themselves Republicans, and which cannot [Utah Policy].

The race for 113,000 signatures

Our "Political Insiders" say the "Count My Vote" and "Our Schools Now" ballot initiatives have the best chance to reach the 113,000 signature threshold to be included on the 2018 ballot [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

TrademissionsUtahPolicy 1 18

Today At Utah Policy

Trump endorses Romney

President Donald Trump has reversed course on Mitt Romney and offered a full-throated endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor's run for U.S. Senate in Utah....

U.S. presidential line-up not very diverse . . . like every other country

During intermission at a high school musical last week, I walked past a display of patriotic documents and pictures in the hallway: Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Gettysburg Address, and so forth. Accompanying were lots of pictures of our Founding Fathers....

Utah Republicans are considering a 'purity test' for potential GOP candidates

The radical right wing of the Utah Republican Party's Central Committee is at it again....

Which initiatives will get on the 2018 ballot? Our 'Political Insiders' make their predictions

The 2018 ballot in Utah could be one of the most policy-heavy choices for voters in years. There are six citizen ballot initiatives vying for a spot in November....

Romney Announces Candidacy: Did you hear a heavenly host of angels?

Well, Mitt Romney made it official Friday: He's running for the United States Senate from Utah this year.Here is his announcement video (which is also embedded at right).But maybe you don't have to view it.Didn't you hear a loud Heavenly Host of Angels singing the announceme...

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Bishop Solis: Dreamers bring diversity and hope to our nation

Op-ed: Utah should delay enforcement of lower BAC limits

Editorial: The Utah Legislature should re-evaluate its principles

Utah lawmakers, water experts put the brakes on proposals some fear would destabilize Utah's water supply

As elderly homeless numbers grow, lawmakers want to know if living center bills, discharges are driving the problem

Looking for a place to smoke? Try the Utah State Capitol, where tobacco bills have floundered this session.

A bill to spread halfway houses throughout Utah - at a cost of $27 million - is on its way to the Senate floor

Mitt Romney: On school shootings, immigration and when he'll challenge Trump. A Q&A with Utah's new Senate candidate.

Rep. Mike Noel says he'll seek a presidential pardon to clear the criminal record of San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman

Want to find out who are Utah's biggest corporate donors to politicians? Lawmakers quietly changed the law in 2015 to make that more difficult.

First he called them 'character assassins,' now Orrin Hatch is apologizing to the ex-wives of a White House aide accused of domestic violence

Utahns like the sound of voting to change the way voter boundaries are drawn - if they've formed any opinion on the topic

Cities say big-donor billboard firms push sneaky bill to allow bigger, lighted displays without local OK

Deseret News

Frank R. Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb: Attacks on Romney and sugar - which is worse?

Greg Bell: Is Utah still a low-wage state?

Op-ed: Utah legislative efforts might erase the gains from tax reform

Op-ed: Education to address the alarming rate of opioid deaths in Utah

Editorial: New infrastructure plan might benefit Utah, but it also will lead to huge deficits

Romney calls for states, not feds, to find solutions to school violence

Utah House passes bill commemorating the 50th anniversary of Fair Housing Act

Lawmaker mulls bill to address Utah ballot initiative 'concerns'

Salt Lake County GOP chairman resigns unexpectedly

Utah lawmaker brings back bill to end auto registration requirements

Utah House passes bill to import cost-saving pharmaceutical drugs from Canada

Utah House speaker: 'I'm not going to take my foot off the gas'

Committee recommends bill legalizing sale of hemp products for qualifying licensees

Trump endorses Romney's Senate run

National group's ad calls gun exceptions in .05 percent DUI legislation hypocritical


Editorial: Romney's run for U.S. Senate will either elevate or eliminate the playing field (Daily Herald)

After Senate announcement, Romney campaigns in Orem, Lehi on Friday (Daily Herald)

At Republican fundraiser, Romney encourages local action to prevent school shootings (Daily Herald)

By the time it's built out, BDO employee population will grow by 70 percent (Standard-Examiner)

2019 defense budget calls for F-35 uptick; Hill expects more work (Standard-Examiner)

Some Cache residents concerned about Utah homemade food bill (Logan Herald Journal)

Film industry leaders meet at Utah State Capitol to show support for tax incentive (Park Record)

National Headlines

CNN and MSNBC Helped Russia Sow Discord by Promoting Fake Anti-Trump Rally (NewsBusters)

Will Anthony Kennedy retire? (New York Times)

Florida school shooting: Trump 'supportive' of better gun background checks (BBC News)

Pennsylvania Gets a New District Map (Wall Street Journal)

Trump endorses Mitt Romney for Senate (CNN)

Trump to break bread with reporters at tony Gridiron Dinner (CNN)

Union Power, Email Privacy In The Balance At New Supreme Court Sitting (Daily Caller)

'Spin the bottle' and a kegerator: #MeToo movement lawmaker faces new sexual misconduct allegations (Politico)

John Kelly, Chinese officials caused commotion over nuclear football in Beijing, report says (FOX News)

N.Y. employee's job in limbo after seen berating Delta flight attendant in viral video (New York Daily News)

Washington DC has given Elon Musk a permit for his Hyperloop (BGR)

Wise Words


"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." Henry David Thoreau

Lighter Side


"Lincoln was known as honest, the great emancipator, the rail splitter, tight coop he had a lot of nicknames he was like the Diddy of 1863. Even had his own vodka." Jimmy Kimmel

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