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Situational awareness - May 17, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

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 looks to make history with 2020 run.
  • Holland drops out of race for Utah Democratic Party Chair.
  • Trump doesn't want war with Iran.

Friday trivia!

Today's question comes from guest quizmaster Gordon Jones.

Who was the last non-LDS governor of Utah?

The first three readers to submit a correct answer will be recognized in Monday's newsletter. Every reader who sends in the right response will be entered in a drawing for one of our limited-edition laptop stickers. 

Send your guesses to me via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com

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 137th day of the year. There are 228 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Mugshots/Spencer_Cox_01.jpgCox's run for governor in 2020 could make Utah history

 Utah is one of six that has never elected a former or sitting Lieutenant Governor to the Governor's office. Current Lt
images/Resized_Logos/Democrat_Donkey.jpgWayne Holland withdraws from UDP chair race to focus on Biden for President campaign

Former three-term, Utah Democratic Party Chair and UDP National Committeeman, Wayne Holland, announced Thursday that he is withdrawing from the current race for chair to focus on full-time activities as an advocate for former Vice President Joe Biden in Utah and the Mountain West.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_02.jpgRep. Curtis: 'Equality is not a zero-sum game'

Representative John Curtis (R-UT), spoke on the House floor to reiterate his support for the LGBTQ community and express his concerns with the lack of balance in the "Equality Act" between the absolute rights of both LGBTQ individuals as human beings, and religious institutions protected by the first amendment.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_03.jpgCommittee approves Romney bill to settle water rights for Utah's Navajo Nation

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs voted unanimously to approve the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to settle a decades-long negotiation among the Navajo Nation, federal government, and the State of Utah over water rights for Utah Navajos.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgPoint of the Mountain State Land Authority selects executive director

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has announced that Alan Matheson, current executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, will conclude his service leading the department and accept a new position as executive director of the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgRep. Francis Gibson 'everything' is on the table as lawmakers prepare to tackle tax reform

Rep. Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, is adamant that lawmakers will get a tax reform package done before the 2020 legislative session.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_02.jpgLawmakers consider overhauling Utah elections to fix the 'plurality' issue caused by Utah's signature path

Could Utah elections move to a top-two or "jungle" primary format?
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgUtah's business community honors 2019 Business Champions

The Salt Lake Chamber presented the Business Champion Awards to legislators who stood for the interests of Utah businesses during the 2019 General Legislative Session. The Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors recognized the efforts of these lawmakers this morning at a breakfast in their honor.
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.

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Woah! Federal prosecutors say a person "connected to" Congress tried to influence former national security adviser Michael Flynn's willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation - https://politi.co/2Qbcm81

  • A federal judge ordered the public release of a phone call between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador. The judge also ordered the release of a transcript of a voice mail from President Trump's lawyer to Flynn's attorney reminding Flynn of Trump's fondness for him as Flynn was considering cooperating with federal prosecutors - https://wapo.st/2Q8wms0

Trump doesn't want war with Iran. The president is telling his advisors he doesn't want the campaign applying pressure on the country to explode into a conflict - https://nyti.ms/2Q8gxSa

President Trump is micromanaging construction of the border wall. President Donald Trump says the steel slats in the wall should be painted black with spikes at the top to discourage climbers. Trump frequently changes his mind about wall construction, which is confusing engineers - https://wapo.st/2QaKPnc


  • The Trump administration plans to release thousands of migrants in two Florida Democratic strongholds - https://wapo.st/2QeclAw
  • Federal officials are sending letters to employers warning that some of their employees do not match their Social Security numbers, which has businesses bracing for the loss of thousands of workers who lack legal status - https://nyti.ms/2QaAszP
  • The military plans to build 6 tent cities near the border to house migrants seeking entry into the U.S. - https://nbcnews.to/2Q8Dipb
  • The Trump administration unveiled its "merit-based" immigration plan on Thursday. The proposal is essentially DOA as Congressional Democrats offered no support - https://wapo.st/2Q7eQ7E
  • Congressional Democrats have agreed to send billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the southern border - https://politi.co/2Q8hVnJ

The investigations

  • House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says the committee will enforce a subpoena seeking the unredacted Mueller report - https://wapo.st/2QbDAvp
  • Russian hackers breached the computer system of a county elections department in the Florida Panhandle where voters turned out heavily for President Trump in 2016 - https://politi.co/2Q5vYKM

Walmart is warning China tariffs will hike prices for shoppers in the U.S. The world's largest retailer says prices will go up for shoppers, particularly in the furniture and clothing departments - https://reut.rs/2QhIUh3

April 2019 was the second hottest on record. The planet is on track for another top-3 warmest year on record - http://bit.ly/2Qa3ek0

Wait...what?! Sen. Ted Cruz is warning that President Trump's proposed "Space Force" is needed to combat "space pirates" - http://bit.ly/2QhHLWN

Taiwan legalizes same-sex marriage. The country is the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions - https://cnn.it/2Q5FD42


1792 - The New York Stock Exchange is formed under the Buttonwood Agreement.

1940 - Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.

1954 - The Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The decision held that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students are unconstitutional.

1973 - Televised hearings on Watergate begin in the U.S. Senate.

Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: 'Nothing left to steal': Utah's Danger Cave looted by thieves, who stole artifacts dating back 11,000 years
USU names new dean of Caine College of the Arts
Utah State University has selected Rachel Nardo as dean of the Caine College of the Arts.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngSpace available to register for Hong Kong / Japan trade mission
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 Hong Kong and Japan in September 2019.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Find and Be Yourself

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lighter Side

Impromptu Press Event

"President Trump held an impromptu press conference today and said he was very surprised that his son Don Jr. has been subpoenaed by the Senate, adding, 'Honestly, I thought he was already in jail.'" - SETH MEYERS

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