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Situational awareness - May 18, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


43 days to the 2020 Utah primary elections (6/30/2020)

169 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

247 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)

252 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Spencer Cox leads Jon Huntsman by 7 points ahead of the June GOP primary election.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says unemployment could hit 25 percent. 
  • Mitt Romney rips President Trump's late-night firing of a government watchdog.


Several of our subscribers correctly identified Kansas and Florida as two other states that are currently working on honoring famous women with statues in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Kansas is adding Amelia Earhart and Florida is sending a statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune to the collection.

Congratulations to Zachary Zundel, who also pointed out Arkansas is adding a statue of Daisy Bates and Nebraska plans to celebrate Willa Cather with statues of their own. 

He gets the honor of asking this Friday's question.

Thanks to everyone for playing.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200518_GOP_Poll_Small.pngPoll: Cox leads Huntsman by 7 points in GOP primary race
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
With three weeks to go before county clerks start mailing ballots to primary voters, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has a seven-point lead over former Gov. Jon Huntsman according to a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2 News survey.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_02.jpgAnalysis: Unaffiliated voters registering as Republicans could give Jon Huntsman a big advantage in the GOP primary for governor
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While former Gov. Jon Huntsman falls behind Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox among Republican Party voters likely to cast a ballot in the June 30 closed party primary, Huntsman leads Cox among political independents who might jump into the party so they can vote for their favorite gubernatorial candidate.
images/1000px_Mugs/Blake_Moore_01.jpgGuest opinion: Why I'm backing Blake Moore in CD1
By Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden
As a Utah State Senator, I am frequently asked if I am endorsing a candidate for a given political office. That is a serious responsibility, and I have been very selective in whom I support. With that in mind, I am thrilled to give my wholehearted endorsement to a remarkable candidate for Utah's First Congressional District, Blake D. Moore.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_10.jpgRomney condemns Trump's firing of government watchdogs, calling it a 'threat to democracy'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney rebuked President Donald Trump's firing of government watchdogs, calling it a "threat to accountable democracy."
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Desperately in need of a civics lesson'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick bring you their take on the top political news.
images/1000px_Mugs/20200514_Herbert_Presser.jpgUtah will lift more COVID-19 restrictions beginning Saturday
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert announced Thursday that, beginning Saturday morning, most of the state will move from moderate (orange) to low (yellow) risk from the COVID-19 outbreak.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_05.jpgMcAdams is a likely 'no' vote on massive coronavirus relief proposal
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
House Democrats unveiled a massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill earlier this week. The proposal includes nearly $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments and another round of direct stimulus payments to residents. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Changing affiliations
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A lot of independent voters in Utah are wondering if they should formally register as belonging to the Republican Party so they can get a GOP ballot in the June 30 primary election.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_11.jpgLegislative leaders confront grim budget picture because of COVID-19
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
No pay raises for state workers, public education teachers, or college professors; no funding increases for state programs; no growth in social services.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_09.jpgUtah will soon start doling out hundreds of millions in federal aid to Utah cities and counties
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah cities and counties will soon start getting $562 million, allocated by the state based on populations of each entity, that comes from the federal coronavirus relief act -- CARES -- a top state budget committee heard Wednesday.

sl chamber task force 10


 Deseret News

 Salt Lake Tribune



Slow recovery

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in an interview with 60 minutes unemployment could hit 25 percent before it begins to fall. He also warned the U.S. economy could contract by 20 percent [Politico].

Powell also said the economic recovery from the pandemic could stretch into 2021 [Bloomberg].

Personal servant?

The State Department inspector general that President Trump abruptly fired Friday night was probing whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a staffer performing domestic errands and chores including walking his dog, picking up dry cleaning and making restaurant reservations [Washington Post].

This is not the first time Pompeo's use of government resources has come under scrutiny [New York Times].

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump's firing of the watchdog could be unlawful [Reuters].

Coronavirus response

Officials say a coronavirus vaccine likely won't be available for widespread distribution until 2021 [The Hill].

President Trump appears ready to let others take the lead in the next phase of the government response to the pandemic [Washington Post].

Investigating China

About 100 countries are backing a resolution at the World Health Assembly calling for an independent investigation into the coronavirus pandemic [CNN].


Millions of American workers are still waiting for unemployment benefits [Bloomberg].

J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday night [Retail Dive].

Location data shows Americans in some cities are returning to pre-pandemic movement patterns [NBC News].


President Trump and his allies are dusting off the playbook they used in 2016 to take on Joe Biden [AP].

Many delegates August's 2020 Democratic Convention in Milwaukee don't want to risk their health or the health of others by attending in person [New York Times].

President Trump seems like he's spoiling for a fight with former President Obama ahead of November [NPR].

Bailout needed

A U.S. immigration agency could run out of money this summer without a $1.2 billion bailout [Vox].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Eric Trump claimed the coronavirus would "magically" vanish after the November election, suggesting the pandemic is a hoax being used by Democrats to undermine his father's re-election chances [Washington Post].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 82: Tackle IT, security projects while the office is quiet
After a remarkable scramble, generally speaking, by businesses across the country to transition to a remote workforce, smart businesses are looking at what they can accomplish while workers are out of the office.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Utah ski resorts emphasizing insurance in 2020-21 season pass plans -- Salt Lake Tribune: Zion reopens, but park offerings remain slim -- Salt Lake Tribune: As Utah's national parks reopen, visitors should brace for a 'new normal'-- KSL.com: Central Wasatch Commission approves funding for 6 projects in Cottonwood canyons
Utah Inland Port Authority and Rocky Mountain Power announce cooperation agreement
The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) and Rocky Mountain Power have signed a Joint Clean Energy Cooperation Statement to create a sustainable energy supply within the UIPA jurisdictional area.

More National Headlines


1756 - The Seven Years' War begins when Great Britain declares war on France.

1860 - Abraham Lincoln wins the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward, who later becomes the U.S. Secretary of State.

1896 - The Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that the "separate but equal" doctrine is constitutional.

1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.

1953 - Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1969 - Apollo 10 is launched.

1980 - Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.

Wise Words


"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." Henry David Thoreau

Lighter Side

Expert Testimony

"Bright said if we don't get our act together, the United States could be headed for 'the darkest winter in modern history.' The good news is, it sounds like he's saying we might make it to winter." - JIMMY KIMMEL

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