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Situational awareness - April 4, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Former Gov. Jon Huntsman may return to Utah to run for governor again.
  • Spencer Cox is floating naming Josh Romney as a possible running mate in 2020, but Romney poured cold water on that rumor.
  • Herbert vetoes $800,000 requested by a developer to build a sound wall along the Bangerter Highway.
  • Salt Lake City is one of six cities vying to host a 2020 presidential debate.
  • Mueller's team says their report is much more damaging to President Trump that Attorney General William Barr's summary says.

Political bracket "Final Four":

We're down to the semi-finals in our 2019 bracket face off. Check out the brackets here.

Conversation BubbleWhat do you think?

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 94th day of the year. There are 271 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Romney_Huntsman.jpgHuntsman and Romney and Hughes! Oh, my! 2020 gubernatorial race rumor roundup

It may only be April 2019, but over the last several weeks a number of rumors surfaced concerning the 2020 governor's race. is glad to bring those forward for your consideration:
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 political bracket face-off semifinals

It's time for the semi-finals in our 2019 political bracket face-off. There are just two matchups for you today, with the winners moving to Monday's finals.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/University_of_Utah_Sign.jpgSalt Lake City one of six cities vying to host a 2020 presidential debate

Salt Lake City is one of six cities named by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates as a possible host site for one of three presidential debates ahead of the 2020 general election.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgHerbert nixes money for sound wall along Bangerter Highway seen by some as a giveaway to a real estate developer

GOP Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday used his budget line-item veto power to cut out $800,000 in special spending on road sound walls along property owned by a former Utah House member.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 Political bracket face-off Final Four set

We are down to the "Final Four" in our 2019 bracket face-off. The winners from Wednesday's quarterfinals are below.
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUtah Technology Innovation Summit highlights role of innovation in addressing policy challenges now and in the future

More than 300 entrepreneurs, scientists, policymakers and thought leaders convened for the sold-out second annual Utah Technology Innovation Summit on Monday.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgPresident's message: We must not forget the principles of the Utah Compact

In November 2010, the debate over immigration policy was at the forefront of the national conversation. Arizona had passed a bill that was soon to be considered in the Utah Legislature. Unfortunately, the debate quickly turned vitriolic.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Outdoor_Recreation.jpgPodcast: Outdoor recreation is big business in Utah

 Managing Editor Bryan Schott is joined on the podcast by Val Hale, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tom Adams, Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/ straw poll: Who will be Utah's next governor?

Who do you think has the best chance to win the 2020 Utah gubernatorial race? Vote now in this week's straw poll.
images/1000px_Mugs/Thomas_Wright_02.jpgGovernor candidate + GOP unity? Here's a guy who might pursue both

Is it possible that the far-right and mainstream factions of the Utah Republican Party could come together to elect Republican candidates and work together in at least semi-unity?
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 political bracket face-off "Elite Eight"

We're down to the "Elite Eight" in our 2019 political bracket face-off. We have four matchups for you today, with the winners moving to the Final Four.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Ben_McAdams_20.JPGMcAdams joins GOP-led effort to force a vote on anti-abortion bill

Rep. Ben McAdams was one of three House Democrats who joined a GOP-led effort to force a vote on an anti-abortion bill.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgNot a good look - Bernick and Schott on politics

It's time to break down the latest Utah political news with veteran political journalists Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpgTuesday's political bracket face-off winners

Our "Elite Eight" is set after Tuesday's voting. Results are below:

salt lake chamber cyber security conference


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


You knew this was coming. Mueller's team says their report is much more damaging to Trump than Barr's summary. Investigators who worked on the Mueller probe are telling associates that Attorney General William Barr's summary of their 300+ page report mischaracterizes their conclusions, and the actual report is much more damaging to President Donald Trump -

  • Members of the team were disappointed Barr did not release summary information they had prepared as part of the report -

Jared Kushner's security clearance was denied last year because of worries about foreign influence, but he got one anyway. Testimony to the House Oversight Committee identified Kushner as the "Senior White House Official" who was granted the clearance by a political appointee after he was rejected for "significant disqualifying factors" -

House Democrats demand six years of Trump's tax returns. The House Ways and Means Committee, using a provision in the tax code, requested the I.R.S. to hand over six years of President Trump's personal and business tax returns. President Trump said he would fight the request because he claims he's under audit -

House Dems want to interview the Trump inauguration planner. The House Intelligence Committee is probing how the Trump inaugural committee raised and spent $100 million - 

Biden says he will be "more mindful" of personal space. Former Vice President Joe Biden says he will make changes in his personal conduct after several women came forward to say they felt uncomfortable after Biden was overly affectionate with them -

Republicans blow up Senate rules to speed up confirming Trump's nominees. Senate Republicans invoked the "nuclear" option on Wednesday, unilaterally changing the rules for President Trump's sub-Cabinet nominees and judicial appointments -

Security concerns at Mar-a-Lago. The arrest of a Chinese woman carrying a thumb drive loaded with malware has raised security concerns at President Trump's private resort in Florida. "You pay and you get in," is the security standard -


1812 - President James Madison enacts a ninety-day embargo on trade with the United Kingdom.

1818 - Congress adopts the flag of the United States with 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (then 20).

1841 - President William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia, becoming the first President of the United States to die while in office, and setting the record for the briefest administration, serving just one month in office. Vice President John Tyler succeeds Harrison as President.

1850 - Los Angeles is incorporated as a city.

1887 - Argonia, Kansas elects Susanna Madora Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.

1949 - Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

1975 - Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

1988 - Governor Evan Mecham of Arizona is convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office.

Policy News

League of Women Voters supports ranked choice voting
The League of Women Voters of Utah encourages municipalities to participate in the Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project approved by the Utah Legislature in 2018. The pilot project presents an opportunity for municipalities not only to save money by eliminating the need for a primary election, but also to elect officials with broad support from the electorate.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngApril 3 is the last day to apply for the Governor-led trade mission to Europe
On behalf of Governor Gary R. Herbert, World Trade Center Utah and the Governor's Office of Economic Development, we would like to invite you to join the State of Utah's trade mission to Switzerland, France and Italy in June 2019. This trade mission will also be incorporated with the Paris Air Show!
Utah Treasurer invites Utah women to attend first annual financial empowerment conference
Treasurer David Damschen announced that Utah's first annual women's financial empowerment conference will be held on April 22 at the Sheraton Salt Lake Hotel. Conference attendees will learn how to improve personal and family finances, maximize income, reduce debt, improve credit, start a business, save for retirement and develop a financial support network to build a more secure financial future. 

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Setting Goals

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." Tony Robbins

Lighter Side

Do Not Book

Over in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmelalso looked into the Trump TV memo. A "Do Not Book" list to cable news producers is "such a Trumpy thing to do", he said. "[Trump] thinks the worst thing you could do to someone is to keep them off television."

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