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Situational awareness - May 20, 2019

Good Monday 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:

  • No shortage of Republicans considering a challenge to Ben McAdams in 2020.
  • Romney not ready to endorse Trump's re-election.
  • Trump threatens Iran on Twitter.

Trivia winners!

Several of our readers were able to identify J. Bracken Lee as the last non-LDS governor of Utah. 

Congratulations to the first three readers to submit a correct answer:

  • Douglas DeVore
  • Matt Howell
  • Clark Larsen

Got a Utah political trivia stumper? Send your questions 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 140th day of the year. There are 225 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Mugshots/Ben_McAdams_20.JPGNearly a dozen Republicans are being linked to a possible run against Democrat Ben McAdams in 2020

Defeating Rep. Ben McAdams is one of the top priorities for national Republicans in 2020.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190519_Romney_CNN_02.jpgWatch: Romney says he's not ready to endorse Trump's re-election

Sen. Mitt Romney, one of the most vocal Republican critics of President Donald Trump, said Sunday he's not ready to endorse Trump for re-election.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Job_Growth_01.jpgUtah's unemployment rate drops to lowest level in more than a decade

Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for April 2019 grew by an estimated 3.2 percent, adding 48,600 jobs to the economy since April 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,555,400. March's year-over job growth rate of 3.0 percent was revised up to 3.1 percent. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190519_Romney_CNN.jpgWatch: Romney says America, Congress not ready to impeach Trump

Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday that a fellow GOP lawmaker who says the Mueller report shows President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses "reached a different conclusion" than he did.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190518_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart: I don't think we're on the cusp of war with Iran

Rep. Chris Stewart, a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday he does not believe that the Trump administration is spoiling for a military conflict with Iran.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Trump threatens Iran. President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday Iran would face its "official end" shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad - http://bit.ly/2w7GyIh

Deutsche Bank saw suspicious activity in accounts owned by Trump and Kushner. Anti-money-laundering experts at the bank recommended in 2016 and 2016 that several transactions involving legal entities controlled by President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner be reported to federal anti-financial crimes investigators. However, bank executives overruled their employees and did not report the transactions - https://nyti.ms/2wb0SbE


  • President Trump is planning to formally launch his 2020 re-election bid with a spate of rallies in swing states next month. June 16 is four years to the day he jumped into the 2016 campaign. Expect a series of events around that date this year - http://bit.ly/2wcyHc8
  • Democrat Pete Buttigieg participates in a town hall on Fox News. The Democrat said several Fox News commentators did not argue in good faith and said President Trump's twitter posts are "grotesque" - https://politi.co/2wbga0a

GOP Congressman says Trump's conduct impeachable. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash said, after reading the Mueller report in its entirety, President Trump committed impeachable offenses and Attorney General William Barr "deliberately misrepresented" the special counsel's findings - https://politi.co/2QbKuAU

President Trump's support is slipping in rust belt states. The region is key to Trump's re-election bid. Polling shows Trump's support is sliding in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. His team is scrambling to shore up his base in those states - https://politi.co/2waYzW8

Trade war with China could hurt Trump's re-election bid. Unless Trump can reach a trade deal with China, his proposed 25-percent tariffs on Chinese goods could put a damper on his bid for another term in office - https://politi.co/2waUDVj

Trump distances himself from Alabama's abortion law. Trump said on Sunday he was "strongly pro-life" but felt Alabama's new law goes too far - https://wapo.st/2Q9qwqg

EPA may change how pollution deaths are calculated. The proposed change could drastically lower estimates of how many people are affected by pollution - https://nyti.ms/2w63sj6

Presidential pardons. President Trump is reportedly considering pardons several military members accused of war crimes - https://nyti.ms/2QeEXt8

Several states are pushing back against Washington on the environment. More than a dozen states are strengthening environmental protections - https://wapo.st/2wfuLY9


1609 - Shakespeare's sonnets are first published in London.

1861 - North Carolina secedes from the Union.

1862 - President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law.

1873 - Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

1902 - Cuba gains independence from the United States.

1927 - Charles Lindbergh took off from Long Island aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

1932 - Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot, landing in Ireland the next day.

1983 - First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier.

1989 - Chinese authorities declare martial law in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

Policy News

Community picnic to demonstrate ranked choice voting
Stand Up Republic, in conjunction with the United Utah Party, is hosting a community Spring Picnic and Dessert Bar, entitled "Democracy and Dessert" to demonstrate the process of ranked choice voting.
Board of Regents appoints David R. Woolstenhulme as Interim Commissioner of Higher Education
The Utah Board of Regents has appointed David R. Woolstenhulme, former Commissioner of Technical Education and current Vice President of Statewide Campuses at Utah State University, as Interim Commissioner of Higher Education. Dr. Woolstenhulme will assume the role on July 1, 2019.
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

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Wise Words


"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." Helen Keller

Lighter Side

Family Ties

"Donald Trump doesn't want to allow foreigners in based on family ties, even though foreigners literally make his family ties. They are all made in China." -JIMMY KIMMEL

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