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Situational awareness - March 14, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Welcome to Utah's must-read daily political news roundup. 

Our "Political Power" bracket rolls on. LaVar Christensen won't run for another term in the House. The special election in Pennsylvania is still a nailbiter.

Tick Tock:

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Here's what's driving the day

"Political Power" bracket challenge day #2

We had a huge upset during day #1 of our bracket challenge. Your votes pushed Rep. Dan McCay to a stunning victory over Democrat Ben McAdams. We've got 8 more contests on tap today. Get to voting. Results coming later tonight [Utah Policy].

Here are the results from day #1 and our updated bracket [Utah Policy].

Stewart says the Russia investigation was not producing new information

Rep. Chris Stewart tells us the reason the House Intelligence Committee shut down the Russia investigation is the probe hadn't learned any new information in months. He also says the investigation was preventing the committee from focusing on other important issues [Utah Policy]. Here's a podcast of our interview with Rep. Stewart [Utah Policy].

No rematch in HD32

Rep. LaVar Christensen, who won his HD32 seat over Democrat Suzanne Harrison in 2016 by just 5 votes has decided to seek the SD11 seat being vacated by Sen. Howard Stephenson [Utah Policy].

Interesting tactic

A Democratic signature gathering group is using an app normally used by gay and bisexual men to find sexual partners to advertise a job seeking paid signature gatherers [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines

National headlines

On this day in history

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Today At Utah Policy

Vote now in the Utah "Political Power" tournament day 2

The next 8 head-to-head matchups in the UtahPolicy.com 2018 "Political Power" bracket are live. Cast your votes now!...

McCay upsets McAdams! Day one results in our "Political Power" bracket

Day one of voting in our "Political Power" challenge mostly held to form, but we had a couple of very close contests and a handful of upsets....

Democratic signature gathering group using gay social app to advertise

A group employed by two legislative Democrats to gather signatures to get them on the ballot is taking an unusual approach to finding people to collect those signatures - advertising job openings on a gay sex app....

Rep. LaVar Christensen files to run for Utah Senate seat

There will not be a rematch of one of the closest Utah House races in recent memory this year....

Stewart on ending the Russia investigation: 'It's been months since we've learned anything new'

Rep. Chris Stewart says the reason Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee decided to end their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is there's really nothing more to investigate....

Podcast: Interview with Rep. Chris Stewart

Rep. Chris Stewart says Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee decided to end their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election because they're not learning anything new....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Congress

There's a U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2018 as well as all four U.S. House seats. Here's our list of rumored and declared candidates....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate

2018 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year, including an unexpected one because of a retirement. Here's our running list of candidates for those seats....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House

Next week candidates can start gathering signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who's in, who's out and who's challenging....

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Policy News

Rises in housing and transportation prices continue to propel Wasatch Consumer Price Index upward
The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.5 percent from January to February on a non-seasonally adjusted basis....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Ute Tribe takes U.S. government to court over 'theft' of land and water in historic Uncompahgre

'This is a matter of rural prosperity': USDA plans Utah discussion on opioid epidemic in small communities

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman seeks to replace outgoing Rep. Mike Noel, says 'rural Utah is under attack'

Utah GOP chairman will ignore 'illegal' new bylaw - which may help keep Republicans on the ballot

In Utah, unpopular proposals aren't voted down - lawmakers just let them die

County Council sides with Salt Lake City, will ask governor to veto inland port plan

Deseret News

Op-ed: After 30 years, how is Truth in Taxation working?

Editorial: What to scrutinize before regulating Google and Facebook

Public lands rebel says he's running for state Legislature to represent rural Utah

Utah County commissioner slips out back as group calls for resignation

BLM: Natural gas project could generate $1 billion in state royalties

Gov. Herbert, S.L. Mayor Biskupski to meet Wednesday on inland port bill

Sen. Orrin Hatch, Parkland shooting victim father tout school violence prevention bill

Utah GOP infighting flares up over rejection of party bylaw change


Utah County Commission delays approval of $100K for Freedom Festival after LGBT group exclusion (Daily Herald)

Layton GOPer plans to challenge Rep. Rob Bishop in bid for U.S. House seat (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

The sad plight of Hillary Clinton (Washington Examiner)

Dems are angry over Hillary Clinton's latest comments (The Hill)

Trump pushes for new 'space force' (AFP)

Defense Agency To Begin Moving Classified Data to Amazon's Secret Cloud After Protest (Nextgov)

'It was a different mind-set': How Trump soured on Tillerson as his top diplomat (Washington Post)

Trump finally comes to California - to see donors and border wall prototypes, keeping protesters at a distance (Los Angeles Times)

Texas Anti-Sanctuary Law Mostly Survives Appeal Court Fight (Bloomberg)

After Tillerson, embattled VA secretary could be next, Trump's advisers say (Washington Post)

Joy Behar apologizes to Christians for mental-health joke about VP Mike Pence (Los Angeles Times)

Y Combinator's Sam Altman drops $10,000 deposit on brain preservation service (Mashable)

Elderly in U.S. Are Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time (Wall Street Journal)

Wise Words

Popular Government

"A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both." James Madison

Lighter Side


"President Trump is flying to California next week for the first time since he took office. When asked if he'll visit LAX he said, "I'll visit my L.A. ex, my San Diego ex, my San Francisco ex. I have lots of exes all over the West Coast." Jimmy Fallon

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