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Situational awareness - May 20, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • Sean Reyes has a big lead over David Leavitt in the GOP primary for Attorney General.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned of "permanent damage" to the economy if the economy remains closed.
  • The White House rolled out a $19 billion economic relief plan for farmers.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Reyes_Leavitt_01.jpgReyes has big lead over Leavitt in GOP race for AG according to new poll
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes holds a commanding lead over his GOP primary challenger, Utah County District Attorney David Leavitt, a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News poll by Y2 Analytics shows.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Polling for dummies'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick give you their take on the latest Utah political headlines.
images/1000px_Mugs/Derek_Miller_03.jpgGuest opinion: Business & consumers: Stay safe to stay open
By Derek Miller, President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber
Initially the state put in place a "stay safe, stay home" directive to navigate us through the urgent phase of the coronavirus pandemic.  We are now into stabilization, with businesses and consumers needing guidance to follow as we re-engage economically.
images/1000px_Mugs/Kerry_Gibson_02.jpgGuest opinion: Why I'm endorsing Kerry Gibson in CD1
By Sen. Ronald Winterton, R-Roosevelt
Before arriving at the Utah State Senate, I owned and operated a transportation company for over 25 years. As any small business owner will attest, I quickly learned of the impact that government had on my ability to run a business and provide for my family.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_10.jpgUtahns say President Trump is doing a poor job handling coronavirus pandemic
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
President Donald Trump and the Utah State Legislature don't get good marks in their handling of the coronavirus, a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News poll shows.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_17.jpgLawmakers have opened more than 100 bill files ahead of next January's legislative session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
It's only been a week since lawmakers could open bill files ahead of next January's regular session, but more than 100 pieces of legislation have already been requested since that time.
images/1000px_Mugs/Blake_Moore_01.jpgRepublican Blake Moore launches TV ads in CD1
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican congressional candidate Blake Moore is the first out of the gate with television ads ahead of the June 30th primary election.
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.

sl chamber task force 10


 Deseret News

 Salt Lake Tribune



Permanent damage

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that the economy may never fully recover if states prolong their shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic [CNN].

Pressure to reopen

Republicans are recruiting "extremely pro-Trump" doctors to go on television to advocate for reopening the U.S. economy as quickly as possible [AP].

Coronavirus relief

The White House announced a $19 billion economic rescue package for farmers and ranchers battered by the coronavirus [Politico].

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday Republicans in Congress along with the Trump administration are evaluating the need for more coronavirus relief legislation [Reuters].


Before he was fired by President Trump, a federal watchdog was reportedly investigating elaborate private dinners hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and paid for using taxpayer funds. Critics worried the dinners, attended by billionaire CEOs and other political heavyweights, were using federal resources to cultivate a donor and supporter base for Pompeo's future political ambitions [NBC News].

Secretary Pompeo refused to sit down for an interview with the state department inspector general about an "emergency" $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Pompeo offered up written answers instead [New York Times].

Another impeachment?

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee told the Supreme Court they need access to secret grand jury materials from the Mueller investigation to determine if there is new evidence of impeachable offenses involving President Trump [CNN].


Democrats in Congress will open an investigation into the replacement of the Transportation Department's acting inspector general, as they're concerned the move was tied to an investigation into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao giving preferential treatment to projects in Kentucky. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [Washington Post].

A North Dakota company repeatedly touted by President Trump has been awarded a $1.3 billion federal contract to build 42 miles of border wall in southern Arizona [Washington Post].

Vote by mail

A Texas judge ruled Tuesday that all voters afraid of catching the novel coronavirus can request absentee mail-in ballots [CNN].

The Trump roadshow

President Trump has ordered campaign and White House officials to find a way to get him back in front of crowds of supporters at his signature rallies. The Trump campaign is hoping to organize a series of virtual rallies for the president by the end of the month [Politico].

Trump vs. Obama

A new national poll shows former President Barack Obama would defeat President Donald Trump in a head-to-head election 54-43% [Public Policy Polling].


Global CO2 emissions have dropped 17 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown [Nature].

New power from renewable sources is set to fall this year for the first time in two decades because of manufacturing shutdowns [Bloomberg].


A new study from the University of Kansas finds populations vulnerable to the novel coronavirus are more likely to believe and share misinformation about the disease [KU News].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngReceive financial support to grow internationally
Funding is available for small Utah companies to offset international business costs! There is no need to travel internationally to take advantage of this opportunity. 
images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgUtah Economic Task Force town hall: What's new in Utah leads together 3.0?
The Utah Economic Task Force will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. MST to discuss the soon to be released Utah Leads Together 3.0 and EDCUtah's recent business impact survey, as well as provide an update on the retail industry in Utah.
Utah 'AAA' credit rating affirmed, state saves taxpayer dollars on infrastructure during pandemic
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Treasurer David Damschen announced that S&P Global, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have reaffirmed Utah's AAA credit rating the highest rating a state can receive.
Salt Lake City takes new action on 'Tech Lake City', hiring Clark Cahoon to oversee technology and innovation strategy
Salt Lake City is ripe to develop a pipeline of new tech and life science startup businesses and amplify the culture of tech that already calls the capital city home. And now more than ever, it is time to imagine and build a more sustainable economy to benefit all city residents. Since her first day in office, Mayor Erin Mendenhall and her administration have been working on the 'Tech Lake City' initiative, a plan that calls for attracting more innovation and tech talent to our City. 

More National Headlines


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.

Wise Words


"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism." Alexander Hamilton

Lighter Side

Not Really Funny

"Even before the hearing began, Trump went on the offensive, tweeting: 'I don't know the so-called whistle-blower Rick Bright, never met him or even heard of him, but to me he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!' That's quite a preamble. [as Trump] 'Before I assassinate this guy's character, let me first say, I have no idea what I'm talking about.'" - STEPHEN COLBERT

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