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Situational awareness - May 9, 2019

Good Thursday 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:

  • Republicans casting a wide net to find a 2020 challenger for Ben McAdams.
  • Will the Tribune's shift to a nonprofit affect their reporting?
  • Congressional Democrats vote to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt.

 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 129th day of the year. There are 236 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Shutterstock_Logos/GOP_Elephant_01.jpgNational Republicans recruiting heavily to find 2020 opponent for McAdams

National Republicans are recruiting heavily in Utah's 4th Congressional District, trying to find an opponent for freshman Democrat Ben McAdams in 2020.
images/articles/Salt_Lake_Tribune_marquis.jpgAnalysis: As the Salt Lake Tribune changes to a non-profit, will it affect their reporting?

As UtahPolicy.comfirst reported Tuesday evening, The Salt Lake Tribune is moving from a for-profit newspaper to a non-profit media outlet run by a foundation, which will raise all kinds of questions for the largest statewide newspaper.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_01.jpgRomney calls for raising smoking, vaping age to 21

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Todd Young (R-IN), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) in calling for the federal smoking and vaping age to be raised to 21. Last week, the senators introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act, bipartisan legislation to do just that. A transcript of his remarks can be found below:
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_03.jpgStewart secures critical funding for national suicide prevention lifeline

Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) secured $3 million for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in FY2020 Appropriations bill. 
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Salt_Lake_City_Hall.jpgUtahPolicy.com straw poll: Salt Lake City Mayor

There are currently nine candidates running to replace Jackie Biskupski as Salt Lake City Mayor.n Of those nine candidates, only two will advance out of the primary to the general election in November.  Which out of that group do you think is most likely to finish in the top two? Vote now in our weekly survey.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgCEO Success Stories: Steve Starks, president of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment

In the latest episode of the Salt Lake Chamber podcast "CEO Success Stories," Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, sits down with Steve Starks, president of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, to hear about his leadership philosophy, best practices and lessons learned, in addition to the Utah Jazz and his belief in bettering our community.
images/articles/Salt_Lake_Tribune_marquis.jpgThe Salt Lake Tribune is transitioning to a non-profit organization

UtahPolicy.com has learned that soon The Salt Lake Tribune, owned by the Paul Huntsman family, will change from a for-profit entity to a newspaper and nonprofit foundation.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mike_Lee_02.jpgLee meets with White House ahead of immigration plan rollout

Sen. Mike Lee and several other Republican members of Congress huddled with White House officials on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the planned roll-out of the administration's latest immigration plan.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgAll you're looking for is someone to boycott you - Bernick and Schott on politics

The Utah Legislature has named the 10 members of the tax reform task force who will shape the state's tax system for years to come. It's a thankless job. What will they be able to accomplish? We discuss the timeline and prospects for success.
images/1000px_Mugs/Derek_Brown_11.jpgAnalysis: Utah Republicans hammer Democrats on socialism. Is it working?

Republican party officers and officeholders across the U.S. have a new political drum to beat: Democrats will kill the American dream through socialism.
images/1000px_Mugs/Chris_Stewart_11.jpgStewart knocks down rumor he may switch to CD1 in 2020

Rep. Chris Stewart says he's been getting some pressure from Utah Republicans to run for the Congressional seat being vacated by the retirement of Rep. Rob Bishop because his background in the Air Force would be beneficial to Hill Air Force Base. Stewart says he's flattered, but he's not giving up his current seat in the 2nd District.

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The investigations:

  • The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over the full Mueller report - https://nyti.ms/2PRyuV5
  • In response, President Donald Trump claimed executive privilege over the Mueller report. The battle will now move to the courts - https://cnn.it/2PUHhWh
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday - https://nyti.ms/2PX9UBX
  • The House Oversight Committee threatened to withhold the salaries of Interior Department officials who block lawmakers from questioning employees - https://politi.co/2vOT0wc

Breaking the stonewall. Democrats in Congress are struggling to find ways to break through the stonewalling by the Trump White House - https://nyti.ms/2PXSo0K

  • Pelosi says Trump is becoming "self impeachable" because of his refusal to allow Congressional oversight - https://politi.co/2vOcYYc

Trump upset over Venezuela coup failure. The president is reportedly angry with national security adviser John Bolton after the collapse of a U.S.-backed effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro - https://wapo.st/2vLPJxT

North Korea launches "projectile." North Korea fired at least one unidentified projectile from an area believed to be home of a missile production facility - http://bit.ly/2PUIjBD

China trade war. President Trump says China "broke the deal" he was negotiating on trade, which may lead to increased tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods - https://bloom.bg/2PTQLRz

Hmmm. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo skipped a visit to Greenland because he needs to return to Washington according to the State Department. The unusual move comes amid increasing tensions with Iran - https://reut.rs/2PWfxR4

The number of uninsured jumped last year. After gains in reducing the uninsured rate due to Obamacare, the number of Americans without health insurance climbed in 2018 - https://cnn.it/2PX9gV3

Trump's massive fundraising goal. President Trump's re-election campaign is aiming to raise $300 ahead million for the 2020 race, targeting six swing states - https://politi.co/2PUgyJj

  • Close allies inside of Trumpworld are raising the alarm, saying the re-election campaign is falling behind their projections - http://bit.ly/2PRtShu

Our polarized country. A new survey finds 85% of Americans have not changed their minds about President Donald Trump since his election in 2016 - http://bit.ly/2vKbbmT

White House cracks down on journalists. The White House implemented new rules to reduce the number of "hard" passes which allow reporters to enter the grounds without seeking permission - https://wapo.st/2PXVrGe

  • The Washington Post's Dana Milbank says the move is another troubling development in the administration's effort to curtail the press - https://wapo.st/2vLvUql

Alabama may outlaw all abortions. The Alabama legislature is considering a bill to effectively ban most abortions at every stage of pregnancy - https://nyti.ms/2PXlBsv

Denver legalizes hallucinogenic mushrooms. Voters in the Mile High City approved an initiative to decriminalize mushrooms that contain psilocybin, becoming the first city to legalize the substance - https://nyti.ms/2PXRS2O


1502 - Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

1887 - Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show opens in London.

1926 - Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claim to have flown over the North Pole.

1945 - The final German Instrument of Surrender is signed at the Soviet headquarters in Berlin.

1974 - The House Judiciary Committee opens formal impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon.

1979 - The U.S. and Soviet Union reached a basic accord on the SALT II nuclear arms treaty. The agreement was signed in June but never went into effect.

Policy News

Utah Attorney General joins national effort urging FCC to take action against robocalls, caller ID spoofing
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a bipartisan coalition of 42 attorneys general, calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action to stop the growing proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.
NASCIO Technology Champion Award honors Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has awarded Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert with the association's 2019 Technology Champion Award. The announcement was made at the NASCIO 2019 Midyear Conference in National Harbor, MD.
SLCo Parks and Recreation announces date for closure of Marv Jenson Recreation Center
Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation has set the date for the closure of Marv Jenson Recreation Center. The 35-year-old facility located at 10300 South Redwood Road will cease operations on March 31, 2020.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Certain Success

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." Thomas A. Edison

Lighter Side


"Yes, when the attorney general lies to Congress, it is a crime. When the president does it, it is the State of the Union." - STEPHEN COLBERT, on Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats calling for Barr to resign

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