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Situational awareness - February 6, 2020

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City


5 days to the New Hampshire primaries (2/11/2020) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Romney shocks the political world and votes to convict President Trump.
  • Approval for Gov. Herbert and Utah lawmakers drops following failed tax reform effort.
  • Utah lawmakers eyeing a tax cut this year, but aren't sure they can deliver.

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

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Today At Utah Policy

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.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200205_Romney_Impeach.jpgRomney says Trump should be convicted and removed from office in impeachment trial
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Sen. Mitt Romney stunned the political world on Wednesday when he broke with Senate Republicans announcing he would vote to remove President Donald Trump from office.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgEmergency podcast: Romney breaks with the GOP on impeachment
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney shocked the political world on Wednesday when he voted to convict President Donald Trump of Abuse of Power in the Senate impeachment trial.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgLawmakers want to deliver a tax cut to Utahns this year, but they're not sure they will
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 Will Utahns see some kind of state income tax cut this general session?
images/1000px_Logos/Lower_Drug_Prices_Logo_01.pngLower Drug Prices for Utah poll: Utahns say drug prices a top issue, support solutions to hold big pharma accountable
By News release
Lower Drug Prices for Utah (LDPUT) released a statement Thursday on a new survey conducted in the Beehive State that found an overwhelming majority of voters identify drug prices as a top issue confronting Utah, hold Big Pharma responsible for rising prices, support market-based solutions to hold drug companies accountable and want lawmakers to pass The Pharmaceutical Entity Transparency Act - a bill that is expected to be introduced this legislative session.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgTrump re-election: It's all up to me
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
With impeachment behind him, President Trump can turn to the 2020 presidential race. Here's a tip for Trump: Your re-election is entirely up to me.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Trump_Voter_01.jpgSupport for Trump's re-election in Utah rises despite impeachment
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Support for President Donald Trump's re-election has increased slightly, despite his impeachment by Democrats in Congress according to a new survey.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgRepublican lawmakers keenly aware of election year politics this session
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The House Republican caucus likes to invite various folks to speak before it, with members asking questions of the attendees afterward.
images/1000px_Mugs/Rob_Bishop_01.jpgBishop visits Utah lawmakers to report on DC
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
GOP U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop is leaving the House at the end of this year, and Tuesday he came to Capitol Hill to address his Republican colleagues -- and to pledge to them that he will never "badmouth" them.
images/1000px_Mugs/Joshua_Spivak_01.JPGGuest opinion: The high hurdles and long history of Utah's US Senator recall plan
By Joshua Spivak
Following Senator Mitt Romney's (R) expressing interest in hearing from witnesses at the Trump Impeachment Trial, Utah State Representative Tim Quinn (R) has proposed a law that would grant Utah voters the power to recall their US Senators, if they can gather signatures of 25 percent of "active voters."
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Pornography_phone_01.jpgLawmaker wants warning labels on pornography
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A Utah lawmaker has come up with a novel idea -- make all distributors of "pornography" put a warning label on it, and if they don't then they may face legal "exposure," (pun intended).
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgTrump hits a high-water mark - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss everything you need to know about Utah politics.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Trump acquitted

In a near party-line vote, the Senate acquitted President Donald Trump of two articles of impeachment. Sen. Mitt Romney was the only Republican to break ranks with his party, while every Democrat voted to convict [Washington Post].


With 97% of the vote from Tuesday's Iowa Caucuses in, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are nearly tied. Buttigieg is at 26.2%, while Sanders is at 26.1%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in third place with 18.2% and former Vice President Joe Biden is fourth at 15.8% [CNN].

Biden and Warren are shifting their strategies after the "gut punch" Iowa delivered to them [Washington Post].


Democrats say supporters of President Trump flooded a hotline used to report results during the Iowa Caucuses after the phone number was posted online, which made delays in reporting results worse [Bloomberg].


A study says snowfall totals in the U.S. have declined 46% since the 1970s due to rising global temperatures. Salt Lake City had an average annual snowfall of 72 inches in 1970 compared to 42 inches in 2019 [ABC News].

Fix the wall!

Long-term maintenance of President Trump's border wall could cost taxpayers billions of dollars [Washington Post].


The U.S. trade deficit shrank last year by about $10 billion because American factory activity slowed down and the effect of President Trump's tariffs [Reuters].

Americans are expressing record-high optimism on their personal financial situation. 59% say they are better off financially than last year, and 74% say they expect to be better off financially a year from now [Gallup].


Policy News

Salt Lake City and Utah Tax Help team up to provide tax preparation assistance to qualifying families
Salt Lake City and Utah Tax Help will begin providing low- and middle-income families free instruction on how to do their taxes at two Salt Lake City Library branches, and free tax preparation at UtahTaxHelp.com.

More National Headlines


1778 - In Paris, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Commerce are signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the United States.

1788 - Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to ratify the Constitution.

1862 - Forces under the command of Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew H. Foote give the Union its first victory of the Civil War, capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee.

1899 - The Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the U.S. and Spain ending the Spanish-American War, is ratified by the United States Senate.

1918 - British women over the age of 30 who meet minimum property qualifications, are given the right to vote by Parliament.

1919 - The American Legion is founded.

1952 - Princess Elizabeth became sovereign of Great Britain upon the death of her father, King George VI. She was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953.

1998 - Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Wise Words


"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."Aristotle

Lighter Side


"The White House issued a formal threat to Bolton to keep him from publishing his book. Wow, so rare for Trump to issue a formal threat.[Imitating Trump]'Dearest esteemed colleague, it is my sincerest recommendation that you keep one eye open while you sleep. Best regards to your family and your temporarily uncut brake cables, Donald J. Trump.'"- STEPHEN COLBERT

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