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Situational awareness - February 7, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

353 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 makes a surprise visit to Utah to explain his impeachment vote to Republicans.
  • Legislative lawyers warn a bill to recall U.S. Senators is probably unconstitutional.
  • Trump celebrates his acquittal by lashing out at his perceived enemies


Mike Mower offers up this zesty question to end your week:

Which Utah county had a county commissioner named Orange Peel?

The third reader to send in the correct answer gets the honor of asking next week's question. Send your guesses to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com

Good luck!

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

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

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Today At Utah Policy

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.
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.

sl chamber bill nixon


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



End of impeachment

President Donald Trump celebrated his acquittal in the impeachment trial by lashing out at Democrats and Mitt Romney during an hour-long stream of consciousness event at the White House [Washington Post].

Trump also slammed Democrats and Romney at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier on Thursday [CNN].

Iowa chaos

The Associated Press says they are unable to declare a winner in the Iowa Caucuses after irregularities in the vote count marred the results [The Hill].

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is calling for a recanvass of the Iowa results [Bloomberg].


Democratic candidates debate Friday night ahead of next week's New Hampshire primary [New York Times].

Former FBI director Chris Wray warned that Russia is engaged in "information warfare" heading into the 2020 election [AP].

Mike Bloomberg's campaign plagiarized portions of at least eight of his policy plans from other sources [Intercept].


The Chinese doctor who tried to raise the alarm about the virus during the first days of the outbreak died Thursday [Washington Post].


The Treasury Department handed over sensitive financial information about Hunter Biden to Republicans in Congress after refusing to give Democrats President Trump's tax returns [Huffington Post].


Scientists say bumblebees are dying across North America and Europe because of a warming climate [Washington Post].


Policy News

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
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


1795 - The 11th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. The Amendment restricts the ability of individuals to sue states in federal court.

1962 - The U.S. bans all Cuban imports and exports.

1964 - The Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time and immediately set off a frantic wave of "Beatlemania."

1973 - The U.S. Senate voted to set up a committee to investigate a break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate Complex.

1984 - U.S. astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart made the first untethered spacewalks.

2018 - White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter announced his resignation amid domestic abuse allegations from two of his ex-wives.

Wise Words


"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side

Bolton Regret

"Here's a better question: Who would be stupid enough to hire the person you just described? And, if it's not true, why is it a national security issue? This is quite an argument: 'Everybody told me not to hire John Bolton, so I did, and he sucks.'" - JIMMY KIMMEL

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