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Situational awareness - May 15, 2019

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Welcome to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for our emails.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Cox running for governor in 2020
  • Lawmakers strike a "sweet deal" to rebuild the State Office Building.
  • Utah's budget could suffer if a recession hits. 
  • The Trump administration orders the partial closure of the embassy in Baghdad.

Conversation BubbleNews tips/story ideas

Kindly send suggestions, concerns and news tips to us via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com

The UtahPolicy.com 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 135th day of the year. There are 230 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_01.jpgUtah's budget could suffer some big deficits in a recession unless lawmakers can find a solution for tax reform

The economies of Utah and the United States are going great guns these days.But some kind of recession is coming sooner or later.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/State_Office_Building_01.jpgLegislative leaders cut a 'sweet deal' to rebuild State Office Building

The 60-year-old State Office Building, located just north of the Capitol itself, will be torn down, legislative leaders decided Tuesday.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190514_Stewart_CNN.jpgWatch: Stewart says Democrats are 'beating a dead horse' with Cohen investigation

Rep. Chris Stewart said Tuesday Democrats are "beating a dead horse" in their newly announced investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his associates helped the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen give false testimony to Congress.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgAll you have to do is say 'Hillary Clinton' 11 times a day - Bernick and Schott on politics

Spencer Cox is the first, but won't be the last, Republican candidate for governor in 2020. Will his entrance in the race keep others out? And what about Jon Huntsman?
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190514_Spencer_Cox.jpgSpencer Cox announces 2020 run for governor

In a move that was widely expected, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox announced his 2020 candidacy for Utah Governor Tuesday morning.
images/articles/Salt_Lake_Tribune_marquis.jpgHuntsman lays out how the Tribune's move to a non-profit may work

When UtahPolicy.com broke the story a week ago that The Salt Lake Tribune was going to be turned into a nonprofit newspaper by owner Paul Huntsman, speculation quickly broke out over how that billionaire/philanthropist family would financially support the newspaper in the future.
images/1000px_Logos/GOED_UES_051319_v1.jpgRegister to attend this week's Governor's Utah Economic Summit

The 13th Annual Governor's Utah Economic Summit, (UES) sponsored by the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, World Trade Center Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber will be held Friday, May 17, 2019, at the Grand America Hotel from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Salt_Lake_City_Hall.jpgUtahPolicy.com straw poll: Escamilla, Dabakis are the favorites in SLC mayoral race

 Our "Political Insiders" and readers think Sen. Luz Escamilla and former Sen. Jim Dabakis have the best chance of finishing in the top-two of the August Salt Lake City mayoral primary election and advancing to the November election.

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March to war. The U.S. ordered a partial evacuation of the American Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday. The Trump administration says the move was in response to a threat linked to Iran - https://nyti.ms/2Qagu8A

  • The Trump administration is discussing a range of options for using military force against Iran - https://wapo.st/2Q4DtBK
  • President Donald Trump slammed a news report his administration was considering sending 120,000 troops to the Middle East, saying "we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that" - http://bit.ly/2Q3FtKJ

The investigations

  • President Trump's lawyers argued in court on Tuesday that Congress does not have the authority to investigate a sitting president. It's part of the president's strategy to impede probes from the Democratic-controlled House - http://bit.ly/2Q8cw0e
  • The House Intelligence Committee is opening an investigation into whether President Trump's lawyers obstructed justice by helping Michael Cohen give false testimony to the panel - https://nyti.ms/2Q3EYjP
  • Donald Trump Jr. reached an agreement with the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify behind closed doors in June. The deal comes after Republican Chairman Richard Burr subpoenaed him to follow up on his earlier testimony - https://politi.co/2Q7gCWs
  • Democrats in Congress are getting serious about using an obscure congressional power that allows them to fine or jail members of the Trump administration who ignore subpoenas - http://bit.ly/2Q4u39v

The Alabama Senate passed the nation's most-restrictive abortion law. The bill bans nearly all abortions at every stage of pregnancy - https://nyti.ms/2Q7LRjV

  • The surge of abortion restrictions from state legislatures are part of an effort to get theSupreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade - http://bit.ly/2Q4CGRi

Boring but important. President Trump is reportedly open to a deal with Democrats to raise the debt limit before strict budget cuts kick in this fall - https://politi.co/2Q3PrM4


  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren rejected a proposed town hall on Fox News, calling the network a "hate for profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists" - https://cnn.it/2Q3Jv5H
  • President Trump said Tuesday he would not use information stolen by a foreign country in his re-election campaign - https://nbcnews.to/2Q3G2nP
  • Republican strategists wish President Trump would stop attacking former Vice President Joe Biden - https://nyti.ms/2Q76vkj
  • Here's how Democratic members of Congress who beat Republicans in 2018 plan to keep their seats in 2020 - https://nyti.ms/2Q4iXBf

Russian hackers accessed voter records in two Florida counties. The FBI confirmed the intrusion into voting registration records in 2016 - https://politi.co/2Q1GjHR


  • Jared Kushner briefed Republican Senators about his forthcoming immigration plan during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday but failed to answer critical questions about the proposal - https://wapo.st/2Q1Nobc
  • The TSA is sending hundreds of officials, including air marshals, to the border to help with efforts to deal with migrants coming to the U.S. TSA officials say the move comes with the acceptance of "some risk" of harming aviation security - https://cnn.it/2Q3HPJz

Trade war. Republican Senators are warning President Trump's trade war with China is hurting rural Americans - https://wapo.st/2QdT0Q1

  • Trump is telling close advisers that the trade war with China is popular with his base and will help him win re-election in 2020 - https://wapo.st/2Q1GEKD
  • Here's how the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods will affect your pocketbook - http://bit.ly/2Q770uH

Technology. San Francisco banned the use of facial recognition software by police and other agencies - https://nyti.ms/2Q3iyPE

Ebola. A "terrifying" outbreak of the virus has infected more than 1,600 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - http://bit.ly/2Q78ncB

Baby bust. The fertility rate in the U.S. hit a record low in 2018 as women are waiting longer to start families - http://bit.ly/2Q7fMJi


1536 - Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of treason, adultery, and incest; she is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.

1776 - The Fifth Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the Declaration of Independence.

1793 - Diego Marin Aguilera files a glider for "about 360 meters" at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted manned flights.

1817 - The first private mental health hospital, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason, opens in Philadelphia.

1869 - In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association.

1905 - Las Vegas is founded when 110 acres in what would later become downtown are auctioned off.

1911 - The Supreme Court, ruling in Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey vs. United States, ordered the dissolution of the company after determining it to be a monopoly.

1930 - Ellen Church became the first airline stewardess, flying on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

1940 - McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1969 - Justice Abe Fortas, under fire for a money deal with jailed financier Louis Wolfson, resigned from the Supreme Court.

1972 - In Laurel, Maryland, Arthur Bremer shoots and paralyzes Alabama Governor George Wallace while he's campaigning to become president. 

Policy News

Y2 Analytics hires Ivan DuBois as VP of Strategy
Y2 Analytics is taking its commitment to translating overwhelming data into actionable information to a new level by launching a strategic consulting service led by veteran political consultant Ivan DuBois as the VP of Strategy.
Salt Lake City Arts Council proudly presents 2019 Living Traditions Festival
Starting Friday, May 17th and running through Sunday, May 19th, the 2019 Living Traditions Festival officially celebrates its 34th year in the heart of downtown at Salt City's Library Square.
Cicero Group welcomes newest partner
Cicero Group is pleased to announce the addition of Scott Neuner as the firm's newest partner.
Utah joins lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 generic drug makers in conspiracy to fix market pricing for drugs
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined 44 states announcing a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers alleging a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices as well as reduce competition for more than 100 different generic drugs.

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein

Lighter Side

Red Sox

"Trump hosted only some of the Red Sox, because at least 10 players, all Latino or African-American, elected not to attend. Yeah. Apparently they didn't want to be in a place associated with racism, other than Fenway Park." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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