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Situational awareness - April 8, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Some big political names are vying for slots on the Utah GOP's State Central Committee.
  • Romney calls Democrats' pursuit of Trump's tax returns "moronic."
  • Nielsen out at Homeland Security.

Political Trivia winners:

Quite a few readers knew former Rep. Douglas Stringfellow was forced to resign from Congress for lying about his war record.

The first three readers to submit a correct answer were:

  • Ronald Fox
  • Rich Kendell
  • David Hansen

Lee Davidson, our colleague from the Salt Lake Tribune sends along a footnote about Stringfellow:

"An autobiography his family kept boxed up for decades showed he really believed the false stories about his war record. Experts say it may have been a case of misremembering caused by PTSD." (Link to story)

If you would like the opportunity to be our guest quizmaster, send your political trivia questions to me via email at

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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 98th day of the year. There are 267 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Shutterstock_Logos/GOP_Elephant_01.jpgSome big GOP names vying for slots on the party's State Central Committee

 Some interesting names are popping up on the list of Salt Lake County Republicans who want to be on the Utah Republican Party's State Central Committee and thus lead the healing of the internal strife over SB54.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 bracket face-off finals - Schultz vs. Hughes

We're down to the finals for our 2019 bracket face-off. House Majority Whip Mike Schultz vs. former Speaker Greg Hughes.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgThe once and future governor - Bernick and Schott on politics

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman is talking with people about possibly returning to Utah to run for...governor? 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190407_Romney_MTP_02.jpgRomney: Democrats 'moronic' for going after Trump's tax returns through subpoena

Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday on Meet the Press that the effort by Democrats in Congress to pry loose President Trump's tax returns through legislative action is "moronic."
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190407_Romney_MTP.jpgRomney: Lawmakers replacing Prop. 3 with smaller Medicaid expansion was "reasonable"

Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday he agreed with the move by Utah lawmakers to replace Prop. 3 with a stripped-down version of Medicaid expansion.
images/Logos/UTGOP_Logo_02.jpgHerbert and legislative leaders are actively recruiting candidates for State Central Committee

 The laws of nature say for every action, there is a reaction.And with the Utah Republican Party in internal strife, which is stopping adequate fundraising and achieving goals of actually electing more Republicans to office, what may be termed as "the adults in the room" are reacting.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: I'm not crying wolf

Will several thousand Republican county delegates this month change the tenor and functioning of the Utah State Republican Party?
images/1000px_Mugs/Hughes_Schultz.jpg2019 political bracket face-off finals: Hughes vs. Schultz

We're down to the finals in this year's political bracket challenge. Former Speaker Greg Hughes vs. House Majority Whip Mike Schultz.
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/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives podcast - The future of taxation in Utah

The 2019 legislative session ended without a significant restructuring of Utah's sales tax system. There's agreement on the general goals broadening the base of goods and services subject to the sales tax but the clock ran out on the session before the details could be negotiated.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Nielsen out at Homeland Security. Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, resigned on Sunday following a meeting with President Donald Trump -

  • White House advisor Stephen Miller is poised to take a more aggressive role in shaping the Trump administration's immigration policy -

Political battle over Mueller report. As Congress waits for Attorney General William Barr to release special counsel Robert Mueller's report, Washington is preparing for a political showdown this week. Barr is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill this week about the Justice Department's budget, but many expect the questioning to quickly turn into a grilling over the Mueller report -

Trump's tax returns. White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that Democrats in Congress would "never" see President Trump's tax returns -

Death threat against Rep. Ilhan Omar. A self-described supporter of President Trump was charged with threatening to murder freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar. Ilhan's supporters are connecting the death threat to anti-Muslim rhetoric used by Trump and Fox News -

Britain proposes new regulations on internet content. The proposals are designed to crack down on extremist content and the spread of false information -


1904 - Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan is renamed Times Square after The New York Times.

1913 - The 17th Amendment to the Constitution, requiring the direct election of Senators, becomes law.

1935 - Congress approves the Works Progress Administration, a central part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.

1952 - President Harry Truman calls for the seizure of all domestic steel mills in an attempt to avoid a general strike.

1992 - Former tennis great Arthur Ashe confirmed he has AIDS. He said he contracted the disease from a blood transfusion.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin us on April 15 in welcoming Ambassador George Maior of Romania for a diplomatic luncheon
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is delighted to host a diplomatic luncheon welcoming George Maior, Ambassador of Romania to the United States of America, with a delegation of Romanian businesses.
Sen. Lee asks president to sign Yemen War Powers resolution
 Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) joined Senator Sanders, Senator Paul, Congressman Ro Khanna, and others on a letter asking President Trump to sign a resolution pursuant to the War Powers Act calling for the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen after the House passed it earlier on Thursday. 
Curtis has 'grave concerns' with Yemen resolution
 Representative John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, voted against the S.J. Res. 7, a resolution that would use war power tools to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. 
Leaders for Clean Air receives $20,000 UCAIR grant to help Utah Workplaces install EV chargers
Leaders for Clean Air, a Salt Lake City non-profit, working in partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, with a mission to improve air quality by encouraging electric vehicle adoption along the Wasatch Front, announced today the award of a $20,000 grant from UCAIR.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Will winter snowpack be enough to replenish Lake Powell?

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." Winston Churchill

Lighter Side

Colbert Unhinged

"Now, Billy Barr said that Mueller cleared the Trump campaign of any coordination with Russia, and Barr himself concluded that the president did not obstruct justice. He did this by taking the almost 400-page Mueller report and summarizing it in just three and a half pages. That's like tuning in to see the new season of 'Game of Thrones' and it's just Barr holding a sign that says, 'Dragons did some stuff. The end.'" - STEPHEN COLBERT

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