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Situational awareness - June 18, 2020

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • Bolton's book claims Trump begged China to help him win re-election.
  • Utah lawmakers set to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget.
  • Coronavirus tests for Utah National Guard members returning from Washington, D.C. were unaccounted for over several days last week.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Utah_National_Guard_01.jpgCoronavirus tests from Utah National Guard troops who went to D.C. were unaccounted for over several days last week
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
When the 200 Utah National Guard troops dispatched to Washington, D.C. to help with that city's response to violent protests returned to Utah, the soldiers were tested for exposure to the coronavirus. UtahPolicy.com has learned that at least half of those tests went unaccounted for over several days.
images/1000px_Mugs/20200617_Herbert_Presser.pngHerbert rolls out latest version of Utah's coronavirus economic recovery plan
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled the latest iteration of the state's plan to economically recover from the coronavirus downturn Wednesday, which he says will position Utah to rebound quicker than other states.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgLegislative leaders set the table for big budget cuts ahead of Thursday's special session
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah's top legislative bosses on Wednesday cut nearly all of the new money that was put into the $20 billion fiscal 2021 budget, getting ready for a special session starting Thursday morning aimed at balancing next year's spending plan, which starts July 1.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200616_KUTV_Debate.jpgRepublican candidates for governor tangle over coronavirus and the economy in primetime debate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Long-simmering tensions between the four candidates for governor boiled over during Tuesday nights' primetime debate in downtown Salt Lake City.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_01.jpgLawmakers to tackle $850 million revenue shortfall in special session beginning Thursday [Updated]
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah state government is going to be $850 million short as the current fiscal year ends June 30 and the new fiscal year starts July 1, new revenue estimates say.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: Who is selling live spiders on eBay?
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
It's time for a Tuesday roundup of the big news in Utah politics with Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200616_Mendenhall_MSNBC.pngMendenhall says it's 'almost laughable' how few Utahns are observing coronavirus safety measures
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said Tuesday she was discouraged by the number of people in her city ignoring guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_01.jpgAnalysis: Support for Trump could be political Kryptonite for Republican congressional candidates in Utah
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
You may recall that when former GOP 4th District Rep. Mia Love lost a really close race to Democrat Ben McAdams two years ago, President Donald Trump tweeted out that Love had not shown him much love, and that was the reason she lost.Well, Trump was likely wrong.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_02.jpgHuntsman grabs narrow lead over Cox in new poll
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Gov. Jon Huntsman has pulled ahead of current Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox by the narrowest of margins according to a new poll of likely Republican primary voters.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune




Parts of former national security adviser John Bolton's forthcoming book started to see the light of day, and it's a doozy! Among Bolton's shocking claims:

  • President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win re-election by agreeing to buy agricultural products.
  • Bolton chided House Democrats for not investigating other troubling incidents involving Trump that could be impeachable offenses. 
  • Bolton said obstruction of justice in the Trump White House was a "way of life" as the president routinely sought to intervene in legal matters to help authoritarian leaders he liked. 
  • Trump claimed Americans were clamoring for him to change the Constitution so he could serve more than two terms.
  • Trump said it was okay that China was building concentration camps to hold Uighur Muslims.
  • The president did not know England was a nuclear power and though Finland was part of Russia.
  • Trump was obsessed with getting a copy of Elton John's "Rocket Man" CD to North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
  • Defended the Saudis in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to distract from news about his daughter, Ivanka, using a private email for government business.
  • Trump said journalists should be jailed and executed.

Lots of reports/excerpts available: NYT, WaPo, Bloomberg, WSJ, CNN

In an interview, Bolton says he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks "he can play Trump like a fiddle" [ABC News].

The Justice Department is seeking an emergency court order to prevent the release of Bolton's book [WaPo].

On Wednesday Trump called Bolton a "liar" and said his book "broke the law," but did not refute any specific allegations from Bolton's book [The Hill].


President Trump said the coronavirus is "dying out," but medical experts vehemently disagree [CNN].

The Trump White House says there are no plans to cancel the president's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma and said attendees "assume a personal risk" when it comes to the coronavirus [Politico].

Scientists are worried that the Trump Administration's focus on finding a vaccine for the coronavirus is overlooking other available therapies that could work [CNN].

Police reform

The ex-Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks is facing a felony murder charge. Prosecutors say the former officer also kicked Brooks after he fell to the ground [CNN].

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a Democratic-backed police reform bill after an emotional debate [Politico].

Senate Democrats are mulling stopping a Republican police reform bill because it doesn't go far enough in their opinion [Politico].

Los Angeles city officials are moving to replace some LAPD officers with unarmed crisis responders [CNN].

2020 election

Some of President Trump's advisers are worried he's spending too much time wallowing in self-pity about negative news coverage about the botched response to the coronavirus and nationwide protests, and they fear he is not interested in winning a second term [NYT].


The global economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic could erase more wealth than the 2008 financial crisis, which wiped out $10 trillion [Bloomberg].

Target is raising its minimum wage for workers to $15 an hour in July, which is four months earlier than they planned [CNN].


Policy News

Weber Housing Authority announces rental assistance program
Weber Housing Authority has announced the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help households with maintaining current living situations and avoiding evictions due to financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The assistance will be available to households that have experienced financial hardship and have applied for and been denied Unemployment Benefits.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngGlobal logistics in a COVID world: Building resilience with supply chains
Join World Trade Center Utah, Utah Inland Port Authority and Air & Sea International for a webinar discussing global logistics in a COVID world. Attendees will learn about COVID-19's impact on logistics and shipping, as well as what Utah companies can do to work around those changes and build resilience in their supply chains. 
$40 million Small Business Impact Grant program now accepting applications
Salt Lake County's new Small Business Impact Grant (SBIG) program is now open and accepting applications.
UCAIR opens 2020 grants call for proposals
To continue progress toward improving our air quality, the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) opens its annual grants program. The application, guidelines and criteria for the UCAIR Grants can be found at  https://www.ucair.org/grants/. Submissions will be accepted through July 31, 2020.

More National Headlines


1778 - American Revolutionary War: British troops abandon Philadelphia.

1812 - The U.S. declaration of war upon the United Kingdom is signed by President James Madison, beginning the War of 1812.

1815 - The Battle of Waterloo results in the defeat in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte by the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher, forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time.

1873 - Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.

1940 - The "Finest Hour" speech is delivered by Winston Churchill.

1979 - SALT II is signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.

1983 - Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.

Wise Words

Good Example

"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." Mark Twain

Lighter Side

A Little Flat

"NASCAR's getting more progressive. I guess I shouldn't be surprised - all they do is turn left." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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