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Situational awareness - April 11, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Don't worry . . . spring actually will come . . . some day.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Barr says FBI spied on Trump campaign, and he will investigate whether it was justified.
  • Plurality of Utahns say #MeToo movement has gone too far.
  • Campaign tip: How to work a neighborhood.
  • Sen. Mike Lee calls Facebook, Twitter claims of political neutrality 'laughable' (Deseret News).
  • Keeping Utah's tech sector vibrant will require addressing issues like diversity, housing costs and traffic congestion (Deseret News).

The daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Our news is curated by Managing Editor Bryan Schott, along with help from Golden Webb. ((Click here to subscribe))


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Today is the 101st day of the year. There are 264 days remaining in 2019.

9 days to the Utah Libertarian Party state convention (4/20/2019)

23 days to the Utah State Republican Party Organizing Convention (5/4/2019)

23 days to the United Utah Party state convention (5/4/2019)

53 days until the municipal election filing period opens (6/3/2019)

57 days until the municipal election filing period ends (6/7/2019)

72 days to the Utah State Democratic Party Organizing Convention (6/22/2019)

76 days to the first Democratic presidential primary debates in Miami (6/26/2019)

110 days to the second Democratic presidential primary debates in Detroit (7/30/2019)

124 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

208 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

291 days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (1/27/2020)

299 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

327 days to the 2020 Utah presidential primary (3/3/2020)

568 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/mugs/bernick-mug.jpg46% of Utahns say #MeToo has gone too far

Will the #MeToo movement sink former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential hopes?Biden is a "hugger," and a number of women have said that his touching of them not in a sexual way still made them uncomfortable in public and private settings.A recent poll by Dan Jones & Associates finds that only one-fourth of Utahns believe the #MeToo movement has actually lessened sexual harassment against women in our society.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgCampaign tip: How to leverage the ground game to win votes

Municipal election campaigns are underway in Utah, and candidates are determining the best way to win votes. With all the high-tech means of connecting with voters, walking neighborhoods might seem old-fashioned and ineffective.But I don't believe that's the case.
images/Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo.jpgUtah teacher pay going up, but still lags nation

The average salary of a teacher in Utah's public schools is $47,604. That's significantly lower than the national average, according to a new Utah Foundation research report Apples to Apples? How Teacher Pay in Utah Stacks Up to the Competition. It's also the lowest average salary among the eight states in the Mountain West. However, as the new report explains, it's important to look beyond averages.
images/Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo.jpgTransportation leads price increases in Wasatch Front

The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.9% from February to March on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Year over year, the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index has grown 4.3%, while the national Consumer Price Index has increased 1.9% since March of last year.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgPolitical mischief - Bernick and Schott on politics

In this edition of Utah's longest-running political podcast, we break down the latest news, including:
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190409_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart: Democratic threats to subpoena Mueller report is 'political silliness'

Rep. Chris Stewart said Tuesday threats by Democrats in Congress to subpoena the final report from special counsel Robert Mueller is a political stunt.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_01.jpgRomney, Republicans urge Trump to drop Cain's nomination for Fed Board

Sen. Mitt Romney and other Senate Republicans are pushing President Donald Trump to not nominate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_03.jpgMcAdams introduces Balanced Budget Amendment

Congressman Ben McAdams has introduced a bill that proposes a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, saying it is time for a serious discussion about the federal government's alarming and irresponsible budget deficits.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_02.jpgSchatz, Lee, Durbin introduce bipartisan legislation to restore educational opportunities for those incarcerated and improve public safety

U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act, a bill that would restore Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals. The bipartisan legislation would cut the cycle of recidivism, save taxpayer money, and improve safety. 
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_01.jpgCurtis bills to strengthen US-Taiwan relations pass Foreign Affairs Committee

Representatives John Curtis (R-UT), released the following statement after joining his colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to introduce two pieces of bipartisan legislation. Both bills passed unanimously through committee this afternoon.  
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Building_Bridges_Postcard_01_Page_1.jpgSlate of GOP candidates in Davis County aiming to put an end to Republican party strife

While delegates in some Wasatch Front Republican Party county conventions may have to guess which candidates for their State Central Committee slots are Gang of 51 members and which seek to put the internal party strife behind them, not so in this Saturday's Davis County Convention.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Governor_Mansion.jpgStraw poll: Insiders say Cox is favorite to be Utah's next governor

Our "Political Insiders" and readers expect Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox to be elected governor in 2020 according to our latest straw poll.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


Barr's FBI spying claim amps up fight over Mueller probe. Democrats are upset that Barr said FBI under Obama administration spied on Trump campaign. He is pledging to investigate origins of Trump collusion inquiry (Politico) (The Hill).

European leaders offer Brexit delay, averting chaotic exit. British Prime Minister Theresa May had asked for an extension until the end of June, but E.U. leaders are tired of emergency Brexit summits and gave her until Halloween (Washington Post).

U.S Immigration system may have reached a breaking point. For years, there have been warnings that America's immigration system was going to fail. That time may be now (NY Times).

Israel's Netanyahu wins re-election, main challenger concedes defeat. Pres. Trump phones Netanyahu and offers congratulations (Reuters).

Sen. Mitt Romney joins a few Republicans opposed to nomination of Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve. Cain has been criticized as strictly a loyalist and political pick by Trump. (Tribune).  


1783 Congress proclaims a formal end to hostilities with Great britain.

1862 Charles Evans Hughes, 11th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is born.

1898 Pres. William McKinley ask Congress for declaration of war with Spain.

1961 Israel begins the trial of Adolf Eichman, accused of war crimes during WWII.

1968 Pres. Lyndon Johnson signs the 1968 Civil Rights Act.

1981 Pres. Ronald Reagan returns to the White House after recovering from assassination attempt.

Policy News

Press release: Burningham raises over $400,000 for 2020 governor's race
Jeff Burningham has announced that, in his first month of fundraising, he raised over $400K from 127 individual donors for his gubernatorial campaign committee. Burningham, a Provo business leader, announced in January that he is exploring a run for Governor of Utah in 2020.
images/articles/bee-with-pollen-white-blossom_orig.jpgUSTAR client company explores solutions to beekeeping threats
As honey bees are consummate pollinators, industrial beekeeping has become a key component of our modern agricultural economy. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that between $235 billion to $577 billion of the world's annual food production relies on pollinators, including honey bees. From chocolate to fruits and nuts, pollination plays a valuable role in agricultural economics and production. According to the same FAO study, the volume of agricultural production dependent on pollination has increased by 300 percent since 1965.
Riverton now hiring for officers and sergeants to staff new police department
Riverton City is now accepting applications for officer and sergeant positions to serve in the new Riverton Police Department. This comes following the Riverton City Council's decision in October 2018 to officially split ways with Unified Police Department, and subsequent hiring of Don Hutson to serve as the city's chief of police.
Salt Lake City ranks among nation's solar leaders
Salt Lake City ranked eleventh nationwide for solar energy capacity per capita, landing it among the nation's leaders for installing clean energy from the sun.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Real Liberty

"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments." Alexander Hamilton

Lighter Side


"A Dominican singer attempted to break a Guinness world record recently by performing for over 100 consecutive hours. 'Big deal, try performing for 14 years,' said Melania." - SETH MEYERS, referring to first lady Melania Trump

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