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Situational awareness - April 16, 2019

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Elizabeth Warren is coming to Utah this week, which could pay off for her down the road.
  • Most Utahns say climate change is a threat, but there's no consensus on how serious that threat is.
  • White House officials are bracing for the release of the Mueller report on Thursday.

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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 106th day of the year. There are 259 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Elizabeth_Warren_01.jpgElizabeth Warren will campaign in Utah on Wednesday. The strategy could pay off for her in the future

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren brings her presidential campaign to Utah this week for a rally on Thursday night. It will be the most high-profile visit by a presidential contender since Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held a massive outdoor rally in Utah in 2016.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Global_Warming_01.jpgUtahns are divided over the seriousness of the threat posed by climate change

Utahns may not be climate change deniers, but they aren't that worried about it, either, a recent poll shows.
images/1000px_Mugs/Kerry_Gibson.jpgGovernor appoints Kerry Gibson as Commissioner for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Kerry Gibson to serve as commissioner for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, following LuAnn Adams' announcement that she will retire.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_01.jpgRomney, McSally, Sinema introduce legislation to settle water rights for Navajo Nation in Utah

U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019, legislation that would settle a decades-long negotiation among the Navajo Nation, federal government and the State of Utah over water rights for Utah Navajos. A summary of the legislation is available here.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgBuilding Utah: How to pitch your products to Walmart

If you are a supplier of new, shelf-ready, goods manufactured in the United States and you are looking to sell your products with Walmart, now is your time to apply. Walmart is holding its 6th Annual Open Call for U.S. Sourced Products. It's part of the company's commitment to purchase an additional $250 billion in products made, sourced or grown in the U.S. by 2023.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Thursday is Mueller time. A redacted version of the long-awaited Mueller report will be released to Congress and the public on Thursday -

  • Some of the more than one dozen current and former White House officials who cooperated with the Mueller investigation are worried the report will expose them as the source of damaging information about President Trump. They're concerned about how Trump and his allies may react -

Trump the divider. President Donald Trump has signaled he plans to rely on divisive messages that will rile up his base of voters as his 2020 re-election strategy -

  • Trump's campaign plans to target senior voters on Facebook. So far, the campaign has spent half of their Facebook ad budget to target voters over 65 -

Democrats subpoena Trump's banks. Two House committees issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions as part of investigations into President Donald Trump's finances -

Economic optimism. J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says the current economic expansion the U.S. is enjoying "could go on for years" -

More companies paying zero taxes under Trump. The Trump tax cuts doubled the number of big American companies with zero tax liability from 30 to 60 -

Immigration. The Trump administration is reviving a controversial policy that forces Central American asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their claim is considered by U.S. immigration officials -

  • Immigration officials deported the spouse of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan but left their 12-year-old daughter in Arizona. They abruptly reversed the decision on Monday, allowing the man to return to the U.S. -

That didn't take long. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is under an ethics investigation after complaints the former oil and gas lobbyist may have had conflicts of interest when he was the deputy secretary of the department -

Beto O'Rourke's taxes. The Democratic 2020 hopeful appears to have underpaid two years of taxes because of an error in the way they reported their medical expenses -

Good luck with that. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld announced he will challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020 -

Measles explosion. The number of measles cases in the U.S. is surging. So far, there are 555 confirmed cases. The number of infections is on pace to be the most in the country in a quarter-century -

  • The Washington Post tracked down "Patient Zero" in the current outbreak, a Michigan man who traveled to New York and infected 39 other people -


1818 - The U.S. Senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada.

1862 - The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia becomes law.

1881 - In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.

1908 - Natural Bridges National Monument is established in Utah.

1912 - Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel.

1947 - Bernard Baruch first applies the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated for protesting against segregation.

2007 - Virginia Tech shooting: A gunman kills 32 people and injures 17 before committing suicide on the Blacksburg campus.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/GOED_ProgramLogos_Color_EDCUtah.pngPlaid opens engineering hub in Salt Lake City
The Economic Development Corporation, Salt Lake City, and the Governor's Office of Economic Development are excited to announce that Plaid is opening an engineering hub in Salt Lake City.
Moab natural gas pipeline shut down, operator fined $100K after investigation by Utah Division of Public Utilities
Chris Parker, Director of the Utah Division of Public Utilities, announced that a Division investigation resulted in a Hazardous Facility Order issued against Pacific Energy & Mining (PEMC) April 10, 2019 by the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC).    
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.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Good Friends

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." Thomas Jefferson

Lighter Side

Dumping Drinks

"This week on an American Airlines flight to Dallas, the flight attendant accidentally spilled drinks on a passenger, and then she found out that he was the C.E.O. of American Airlines. When the rest of the plane heard, they also dumped their drinks on him." - JIMMY FALLON

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