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Situational awareness - April 26, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Some Republican delegates want lawmakers to overturn hate crimes legislation.
  • Lee and Romney get mostly positive job approval ratings from Utahns. 
  • Biden has a rough first day as a 2020 candidate.
  • Trump calls the Mueller probe an attempted "coup" against the government.

Friday trivia time!

This week's guest quizmaster is Dave Gessel who submits this question:

Who was the first Utah State Senate President to serve for more than one term?

Send your guesses to me via email at The first three readers to submit the correct answer will be recognized in Monday's newsletter.

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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 116th day of the year. There are 249 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

43 days until the Independent American Party Utah State Convention (6/8/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: The times they are a changin'

The Utah Republican Party has a challenge.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190402_SB103_Signing.jpgRepublican delegates are pushing a resolution calling for a repeal of Utah's newly-passed hate crimes law

Utah lawmakers finally passed the long-fought-for hate crimes law in the 2019 session. Delegates at next week's Utah Republican Party Convention will consider a resolution calling on them to repeal the measure.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgNew Utah Community Builder Award announced

The Salt Lake Chamber announced a new award that honors exceptional community leaders.
images/1000px_Mugs/Romney_Lee_05.jpgJob approval ratings for Romney, Lee solidly in positive territory according to new poll

Sen. Mitt Romney gets positive marks for his job performance from half of Utahns, while Sen. Mike Lee's approval rating is a little lower according to a new survey.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Ben_McAdams_23.JPGQ&A with Rep. Ben McAdams on Mueller, impeachment, Pelosi and progressives

It's been just over three months since Rep. Ben McAdams was sworn into Congress as a member of this year's freshman class.
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUtah wins a 2019 regional innovation cluster grant through the SBA

Utah was one of seven regional innovation cluster (RIC) initiatives awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) received the award to expand its efforts to foster small business growth within the advanced materials and manufacturing industry cluster in Utah.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives Podcast: Teacher pay

Why should a young person in Utah make the career decision to become a teacher? Why do potential teachers often choose another line of work? And how do Utah's pay scales for teachers compare to other Mountain states and the nation?
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190424_Lee_Fox.jpgLee: Mueller investigation 'went off the rails'

Sen. Mike Lee says special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election "went off the rails."
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Republican_flag.jpgUtah Republicans may have a brewing problem with younger voters

As the Utah Republican Party looks to rebuild itself from the electoral and financial challenges of the last two years, there is one group of Utahns who are clearly turning away from the archconservative-leaning party younger voters.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Joe Biden's rough first day. The former vice president announced his candidacy for president on Thursday. 

  • He reached out to Anita Hill to "express regret" for what she went through during the Clarence Thomas hearings nearly 30 years ago. She said she was not satisfied by Biden's apology -
  • Biden drew some fire from fellow Democrats for holding a fundraising event that included several lobbyists and big campaign donors -
  • Trump slammed Biden, calling him "Sleepy Joe" on Twitter. He also said he doubted Biden was smart enough to win the Democratic primary -

Trump calls the Mueller investigation an "attempted overthrow of the government." President Donald Trump called into Sean Hannity's cable show for a rambling interview. He railed against special counsel Robert Mueller's probe and said he was rooting for Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic presidential primary -

Trump repeatedly pushed for the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton. President Trump pushed then-Attorney General Jeff sessions to reverse his recusal from the Mueller probe and order legal action against Hillary Clinton -

  • Trump tried to curtail the Mueller investigation. The president tried to use longtime loyalist Corey Lewandowski to convince Sessions to limit the scope of the probe -

Wait...what?! North Korean officials issued a $2 million bill for the care of American Otto Warmbier and insisted U.S. officials sign a pledge to pay the bill before they were allowed to fly him home -

Buckle up. Attorney General William Barr will testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week -

Boring but very important. The White House is pushing Republicans in Congress to quickly raise the debt ceiling, but Democrats want to tie any hike in the nation's spending limit to an increase in government spending in the fall -

Gerrymandering in Michigan. A panel of federal judges ordered Michigan's Republican-controlled legislature to redraw nearly three dozen state and U.S. Congressional districts, ruling they were originally drawn to disadvantage Democratic voters -

Measles quarantine. More than 100 students and employees at two California universities were ordered to stay home in order to prevent the spread of the disease -

Judge blocks abortion "gag" rule. A federal judge in Oregon blocked the Trump administration from imposing new restrictions on the use of federal family planning funds. The rule would have barred programs from receiving the money from advising a patient about seeking an abortion -


1564 - Playwright William Shakespeare is baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown).

1607 - English colonists make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.

1865 - Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln, in Virginia.

1986 - A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster.

2007 - New Hampshire lawmakers approved a measure legalizing civil unions between same-sex couples.

Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
-- Salt Lake Tribune: Feds stack Bears Ears advisory group with critics of southern Utah monument 
images/1000px_Logos/GOED_ProgramLogos_Color_EDCUtah.pngEDCUtah Development Ready Communities program underway in 20 communities
The Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) announced that its member initiative called the Development Ready Communities (DRC) Program has more than 20 cities and counties now participating statewide. The five-stage program better prepares Utah communities to attract and grow competitive, high-value companies and to foster the expansion of local businesses.
CCAGW honors Sen. Mike Lee for being a 'Taxpayer Super Hero'
 The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) applauded Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) for his relentless and unwavering support of the fiscal interests of American taxpayers while serving in Congress. Sen. Lee is one of only four senators to earn a perfect score of 100 percent in CCAGW's 2018 Congressional Ratings, making him a "Taxpayer Super Hero." Since he was elected to the Senate in 2010, he has an exemplary lifetime rating of 96 percent. Sen. Lee was also a Taxpayer Super Hero in 2014.
Salt Lake City launches home buyer program for first-responders, teachers, and nurses
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski will join representatives from the Community Development Corporation of Utah to formally launch the Community HEROES Home Buyer Program, a down-payment assistance program for nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and 911-dispatchers who live and work in Salt Lake City.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Open Minded

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle

Lighter Side

Nobody Listening

"There are numerous examples of Trump's aides ignoring his wishes. The reason Donald Trump is still in the White House is because no one in the White House is listening to him." - JIMMY KIMMEL

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