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Situational awareness - April 12, 2019

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Have a great weekend.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • LaVarr Webb asks: If Jon Huntsman runs for governor, is it game over? What are the ramifications of a Huntsman candidacy?
  • Gov. Herbert vetoed bill giving convention delegates job of advancing candidates to the ballot to fill congressional vacancies.  Now talks are underway about a compromise (Deseret News).
  • With support of Utah's two senators, Trump nominee David Bernhardt will become secretary of the Interior (Deseret NewsSalt Lake Tribune).
  • Utah gets first look at self-driving shuttle (Salt Lake Tribune).
  • Julian Assange is arrested and faces charge in 2010 computer hack (The Hill) (New York Times).
  • Federalist Society speaker praises Orrin Hatch and says religious intolerance is 'insidious' and 'fashionable" (Salt Lake Tribune).

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 102nd day of the year. There are 263 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/mugs/Jon_Huntsman.jpgIs it game over if Jon Huntsman runs for governor?

I have no idea if former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., is really interested in running for governor again in 2020. I would be quite surprised if he is serious.One would think that having served as Utah governor for a full term and part of another, and having seen the bright lights of Beijing and Moscow -- the most prestigious and important ambassadorships in the world -- and after having run for the biggest job of all the U.S. presidency it would be a little weird for Huntsman to return to little old Utah and run for governor.  Been there, done that.
images/mugs/bernick-mug.jpgRep. Stewart places his political future in Trump's hands

Sometime next week we should all get a look at what U.S. Attorney General William Barr wants us to see from the special investigation by Robert Mueller into President Donald Trump's actions regarding Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election.How much we see of the Mueller investigation is up to Barr.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Former Obama attorney Gregory Craig indicted on charges of lying to Justice Department. (Politico) (New York Times).

After internal divisions, Pelosi and House Democrats seek to regroup. (New York Times).

As U.S. and China near trade deal, enforcement is key. (New York Times).

Trump says he's open to a third meeting with North Korea, and a smaller deal is possible. (New York Times).

White House discussed releasing immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities, but nothing came of it. (The Hill) (Washington Post).

One-time media star and Trump critic Michael Avenatti charged with stealing millions from clients. (Washington Post). 


1633 Inquisition of Galileo begins for holding the belief that the earth revolves around the sun. He is convicted of heresy.

1858 Alfred Cummings becomes Utah's first non-Mormon governor, signaling the end of the so-called "Utah War."

1861 The bloodiest four years in American history begins when Confederate shore batteries open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. Two days later, Pres. Lincoln issues a proclamation calling on soldiers to quell the Southern "insurrection."

1945 Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest serving president in American history, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage three months into his fourth term.

1954 Bill Haley and the Comets record "Rock Around the Clock."

1961 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human being to travel into space.

Policy News

CEO Success Stories with Aaron Skonnard of Pluralsight
In the latest episode of the Salt Lake Chamber podcast CEO Success Stories, Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, sits down with Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight, to hear about his leadership philosophy, best practices, lessons learned and his unwavering dedication to help drive Utah to become a nationally recognized technology hub.
U.S. Senate confirms David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior
Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney voted Thursday to confirm President Trump's pick for Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt.Romney issued the following statement: "I recently met with Mr. Bernhardt to discuss a wide range of issues impacting Utah, such as the need for greater state and local involvement in public lands issues.
images/Logos/New-GOED-Logo.pngAncestry will expand under agreement with GOED
The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) has announced an agreement with Ancestry under which the company will have an opportunity to expand its operations in Utah, adding up to 506 jobs, $12.2 million in new state revenue and up to $10.5 million in capital investment over the next nine years.
Four Utah members of Congress earn awards from ACU
The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its 48th Edition of its annual Ratings of Congressth Edition of its annual Ratings of Congress. Four members of Utah's delegations won awards for conservative voting.
images/Logos/nature-conservancy-logo.jpgDo a good deed for the Earth - and win a prize
In honor of Earth Month, The Nature Conservancy has launched the Win for Earth contest to celebrate small actions people can take every day to help the environment and live more sustainable lives, in partnership with Discovery and Visa.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: 'I can't let myself be cowed' - Eco-activist Rose Chilcoat sues San Juan County, rancher over cattle-gate dispute

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them." Benjamin Franklin

Lighter Side

Federal Reserve

"Most of Herman Cain's business experience comes from running a pizza chain. Evidently Trump thinks 'Fed' is short for 'fettuccine.'" - STEPHEN COLBERT

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