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Situational awareness - May 10, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

A right-wing group is targeting Utah Republicans with mailers. Mia Love pushes for a vote on immigration issues. Trump's pick for CIA director runs into some trouble during her confirmation hearings. 

Happy Golden Spike Day! 149 years ago today, the golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, joining the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific lines to form America's first transcontinental railway.


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Subscribe to the award-winning "Bernick and Schott on politics" podcast, Utah's longest-running political podcast. Hosts Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick have more than 60 years of combined experience covering Utah politics. Plus, you'll get long-form interviews with Utah newsmakers. Subscribe (and leave a review) using iTunesGoogle Play, and Stitcher.


Mailers causing a stir

Some Republican candidates in Utah are upset about mailers from the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity slamming them for voting in favor of bills that raised taxes. Weirdly, some of the mailers are going to districts where the candidates don't have any Republican opposition [Utah Policy].

Love bucks GOP leadership on DACA protections

Rep. Mia Love joins an effort to force a vote on several immigration bills that GOP leadership in the House are blocking, including a measure to protect so-called Dreamers. Love's November opponent, Ben McAdams, says the move smacks of political grandstanding [Utah Policy].

Public lands bill

Rep. John Curtis and Sen. Orrin Hatch announce a new public lands bill to protect more than a million acres in Emery County. It also establishes the new Jurassic National Monument [Utah Policy].


Listen to our extended interview with Rep. John Curtis about his new public lands bill, his recent trip to the middle east, President Trump's decision to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and why he thinks it's a bad idea for Republicans to run away from tax reform as a political issue during the 2018 midterms [Utah Policy].




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Today At Utah Policy

Mailers from a Koch Brothers-funded group are rattling Utah GOP candidates

It's nice to have a lot of political money to spend. ...

Public lands bill protects 1 million acres of wilderness, establishes new Jurassic National Monument

Rep. John Curtis and Sen. Orrin Hatch are teaming up on a new public lands bill that protects more than 1 million acres in Emery County. ...

Podcast: Interview with Rep. John Curtis

Rep. John Curtis discusses the landmark public lands bill he unveiled on Wednesday. ...

Rep. Love joins GOP effort to force vote on DACA protections

Rep. Mia Love has signed on to an effort to force a House vote on a series of immigration bills, including a measure to protect the so-called Dreamers....

Building Utah: Utah water week

This week is Utah Water Week, an annual educational campaign designed to provide public awareness and involvement in water issues, both locally and globally....

Weekly survey: Is Utah's citizen initiative process fair?

It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the 113,000 signatures needed to place a citizen's initiative on the ballot, but those same initiatives can be defeated by opponents urging signers to remove their names from the petition. Do you think the current system ...

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Policy News

Office of the State Auditor announces internal control audits of three state agencies
 The Office of the State Auditor announced departmental audits for the Utah Labor Commission, the Utah Department of Commerce, and the Utah Department of Corrections.  All three audits focused on key internal controls within the agencies. ...

Sen. Lee applauds release of North Korea prisoners
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement Wednesday responding to news that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is returning from North Korea with three American detainees....

Office of the State Auditor releases internal control audit of the Administrative Office of the Courts
The Office of the State Auditor released its departmental audit of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The audit focuses on key internal controls within the agency. ...

Hatch calls for judicial nominees with 'character and ability'
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke to the Judicial Conference of the United States about the characteristics of a good judge....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist: The Salt Lake Tribune is neither anti-Mormon nor anti-Republican

Canyons School District follows nearby districts in raising teacher salaries and giving out one-time stipends

Diesel Brother and monster truck enthusiast Dave Sparks buys Utah's Fremont Island in Great Salt Lake

Newly introduced Utah public-lands bill that would protect 1 million acres is already drawing fire from conservation groups

Utah's Mia Love is challenging Republican leaders on immigration

Salt Lake City gives rail-car firm 20-year, $9.6 million development deal to create 1,000 jobs

Transit officials blame Operation Rio Grande for drop in ridership with the shift of homeless people from downtown Salt Lake City

Cottonwood Heights residents protest proposed budget cuts to firefighters, police

Salt Lake City parking fines down $1.2M for year, with 40,000 fewer tickets written

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Why Utah's Wasatch Front is on course to become the Bay Area

A. Scott Anderson: Reversing Dodd-Frank will benefit Utah's consumers and small businesses

Ralph Hancock: 200 years, apparently, wasn't long enough to decide Marx was wrong

Editorial: Churches offer assistance where government can't

Mayor has plan to get delayed South Salt Lake homeless shelter back on track

Complaint: Medical marijuana campaign tried to buy completed signature removal forms

Dugway challenge bolsters military's ability to protect against biological, chemical attacks

Lands bill would create Jurassic National Monument in Emery County

Love joins effort to force DACA vote in Congress

Romney calls upcoming Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un 'bold gamble'

Blanding artifacts raid raises questions, criticism years later


Weber Co.'s unaffiliated can vote GOP, Democratic, if they first affiliate (Standard-Examiner)

Ogden City hoping pay increases help persuade employees to stay (Standard-Examiner)

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National Headlines

Freed North Korea detainees head home for big welcome, featuring Trump (Associated Press)

US deportations to Mexico rise to start year (Associated Press)

Oil soars after Trump nixes Iran nuclear deal, stocks rally (Reuters)

Democrat Joe Manchin will vote to confirm Gina Haspel (Axios)

California grid operator sees tight power supplies for summer (Reuters)

1 mln people enter Colombia amid Venezuela crisis: Red Cross (AFP)

After alleged Iranian barrage, Israel launches massive counterattack in Syria (Times of Israel)

Monica Lewinsky says she was uninvited from event when Bill Clinton decided to attend (USA Today)

Renegade Republicans challenge Paul Ryan, file discharge petition to force immigration votes (Washington Post)

Chelsea Clinton Calls Former Press Secretary 'Vile' For Gross Tweet About Vanessa Trump (HuffPost)

Trump signs executive order to make it easier for military spouses to get jobs (CNN)

Wise Words


"Next to the love of God, the love of country is the best preventive of crime." George Borrow

Lighter Side


"A growing number of people are going to e-sport arenas to watch other people play video games. It combines the thrill of going to a live sporting event with the thrill of having an unemployed roommate." Jimmy Fallon

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