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Situational awareness - April 15, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Get ready for the release of the Mueller report this week.
  • Warring factions compete for control of the Utah GOP.
  • It's tax day.
  • Trump rakes in the campaign cash.

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We always welcome your feedback, questions, story suggestions, news tips, etc... Send us an email at this link.

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 105th day of the year. There are 260 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Divided_GOP.jpgAnalysis: Efforts to lessen the power of dissident members on the Utah GOP's Central Committee have been mostly successful so far

Last week's GOP county convention elections provided significant victories, is told, for the "reasonable" Republicans running to blunt the influence of the so-called "Gang of 51" inside the state Republican Party.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190413_SLCO_GOP.jpg'Reasonable' Republicans make gains in Salt Lake, Davis Counties on Saturday

Social issues, socialism and warnings about a rising threat of Democratic tyranny took center stage at Saturday's Salt Lake County Republican convention, as elected officials railed against abortion and the "Green New Deal." Meanwhile, Davis County Republicans dealt a setback to several members of a hardline faction on the party's state central committee.
images/Shutterstock_Logos/GOP_Elephant_06.jpgSlew of Utah County Republicans running for State Central Committee . . . including Dave Bateman

The "rational" Republicans' statewide attempts to take back control of the state party's Central Committee continued Friday evening as the deadline passed for Utah County candidates.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Jon_Huntsman_04.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/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Washington is bracing for the imminent release of the Mueller report. It's been 3 weeks since Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of the almost 400-page document -

  • Sources close to President Donald Trump say he revived the idea of sending immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities to distract from the report -
  • The White House has not seen the report, but they have been briefed on what's in the document -

It's tax day. The Trump tax cuts remain unpopular as many Americans got a smaller-than-expected tax refund, or none at all -

  • If you were shocked by the size of this year's tax refund, next year could be worse unless you make changes now -

Big fundraising haul. President Trump's re-election campaign will report Monday they raised a whopping $30 million in the first fundraising quarter of the year -


  • The White House is considering rules to clamp down on countries whose nationals overstay their short-term visitor visas. They are also considering other rules to tighten student and investor visas -
  • Sunday night President Trump tweeted he has the "absolute legal right" to release immigrant detainees in so-called sanctuary cities -

Infrastructure deal? President Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi plan to meet in the near future to discuss a bipartisan infrastructure package -

Boring but important. There are increasing worries that the chill in U.S.-Russia relations could lead to the countries stumbling into armed conflict -

Kim wants a third summit. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he would be open to a third meeting with President Trump to discuss denuclearization. Trump tweeted Sunday night he was open to the idea -

Threats increasing toward Omar. Rep. Ilhan Omar says she has received an increase in death threats since President Trump shared a video on social media attacking her on Twitter -

Ocasio-Cortez obsession. In the six weeks from February 25 to April 7, freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez was mentioned 3,1818 on Fox News and Fox Business. Fox host Stuart Varney said "we have an AOC segment every single day, almost every single hour. She's good for our ratings." -

Pulitzer Prizes will be awarded Monday. Judges considered thousands of entries. Expect many of the winners to be about coverage of President Trump -


1861 - President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President.

1892 - The General Electric Company is formed.

1922 - Senator John B. Kendrick of Wyoming introduces a resolution calling for an investigation of a secret land deal, which leads to the discovery of the Teapot Dome scandal.

1923 - Insulin becomes generally available for use by people with diabetes.

1947 - Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball's color line.

1955 - McDonald's restaurant dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Policy News

Mayor Jenny Wilson to hold town hall meetings throughout Salt Lake County
To showcase the services Salt Lake County provides and to get valuable feedback from residents, County Mayor Jenny Wilson will hold town halls in five locations throughout the valley in April and May.
Utah consumer alert: Beware of phony Social Security number calls
Francine A. Giani, Executive Director of the Department of Commerce, announced that the Utah Division of Consumer Protection has received new reports of Utah consumers receiving live scam phone calls claiming they are facing legal action over their Social Security number and demanding the consumer confirm their number over the phone.  
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.

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." Henry David Thoreau

Lighter Side

Avenatti Racing

"How is this the first we're hearing of Michael Avenatti's racecar team? That's the dead giveaway that someone is bad news: The racecar track is where James Bond meets the villain for the first time as he's pulling off his helmet and his racing gloves." - SETH MEYERS

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