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Situational awareness - June 19, 2019

Good Wednesday 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 are the stories we're following today:

  • The list of Republicans who may run to replace Rep. Rob Bishop in Congress is long.
  • Donald Trump kicks off his 2020 re-election bid.
  • Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense withdraws after a domestic violence incident comes to light.

Conversation BubbleMy inbox is open to you!

Got a confidential news tip? Is there a story we should be following? Drop me a line 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 170th day of the year. There are 195 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

85 days to the third Democratic presidential primary debate (9/12/2019)

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

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

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

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

267 days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (3/12/2020)

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/UT01_Map.jpgRob Bishop is retiring next year. Which Republicans are vying to replace him?

While most of the attention on the 2020 election is focused on the jockeying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, the race to replace retiring 1st District Congressman Rob Bishop could have an unusually large field next year.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgI got bamboozled - Bernick and Schott on politics

Award-winning journalists Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the latest political news from the Beehive State and beyond.
images/Logos/UTGOP_Logo_02.jpgBrown vows financial transparency as he takes the reins of the Utah GOP

Derek Brown says there is going to be a new way of operating the Utah Republican Party.And it starts with "transparency" especially financially.
images/1000px_Mugs/Dan_McCay_01.jpgMcCay won't challenge McAdams in 2020

Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, says he will not challenge Democrat Ben McAdams in Utah's 4th Congressional District next year.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_29.jpgTax modernization and revenue restructure town hall meetings begin Tuesday, June 25

A series of revenue restructure town hall meetings start Tuesday, June 25 in Brigham City. The town hall meetings are part of a statewide listening tour being conducted by the Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force. In the 2019 General Legislative Session, the Utah Legislature created the task force to look for ways to address the state's outdated tax structure, get public input and suggest solutions.
images/1000px_Mugs/Spencer_Cox_01.jpgSpencer Cox's campaign posts big fundraising numbers, but he still trails Provo businessman Jeff Burningham (Updated)

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox's 2020 campaign for governor announced a quarter-million dollar fundraising haul for the first month since he jumped into the race, but nearly a third of that was transferred from his existing campaign account.
images/Shutterstock_Icons/GOP_Icon.pngBrown aiming to raise $1 million for Utah GOP in 2020

Derek Brown, the newly-elected chair of the Utah Republican Party, tells UtahPolicy.com that he wants $1 million in party coffers as the 2020 election year rolls around more than double what the party spent in last year's elections.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190616_Weld_CNN.jpgWeld predicts he'll beat Trump in Utah

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is predicting he'll beat President Donald Trump in the Utah Republican presidential primary on Super Tuesday next year.

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  • President Donald Trump kicked off his re-election bid in Orlando Tuesday night by hitting familiar themes, including attacks on immigration, the press and his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton - https://nyti.ms/2MYMcaN
  • Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale says he sees a political advantage for the president if Democrats move to open impeachment proceedings against him. He also predicted Trump would win by a landslide in 2020 - https://cbsn.ws/2WXF5UQ
  • During the rally, Trump promised to cure cancer and AIDS if he's re-elected to another term in the White House - http://bit.ly/2WTt5na
  • President Trump is planning to live tweet next week's Democratic debates. Trump's political advisers tried to keep the president off of Twitter during the debates, but were unable to convince him to stay away from the social media platform - https://on.wsj.com/2MV0MQA

Shanahan out. Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense withdrew his nomination on Tuesday after reports surfaced of a domestic violence incident in which his son attacked his own mother with a baseball bat. Shanahan defended his son in the incident which left his mother with a fractured skull - https://wapo.st/2MUZhlq

  • The FBI is also investigating another domestic violence incident wherein Shanahan and his former wife both claimed to the police they had been punched by the other. The alleged fight was not disclosed when Trump nominated Shanahan to be the Pentagon's second-in-command two years ago - http://bit.ly/2WSOiNP
  • The White House knew about the domestic violence incident that ultimately derailed Shanahan's nomination for months according to two administration officials - https://cbsn.ws/2NcbdzB

Fiscal time bomb. Congressional leaders and the White House are optimistic they can find a funding deal before this fall to prevent another government shutdown and avoid hundreds of billions in automatic spending cuts, but that's only if President Trump stays out of the way - https://politi.co/2MVmELL

Social media fight du jour. Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outraged Republicans and conservative commentators when she compared migrant detention camps along the U.S.-Mexico border to "concentration camps" - https://wapo.st/2MUAuOr

Trump vs. the Fed. President Trump is suggesting he could fire Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Trump has repeatedly urged the Fed to cut interest rates to boost economic growth - https://wapo.st/2MW8U3f

  • Trump asked White House lawyers to examine the legality of removing Powell as chair earlier this year - https://bloom.bg/2WQ9ggA

The investigations. Former White House communications director Hope Hicks is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. The White House is asserting Hicks is "absolutely immune" from answering questions about her time in the White House - https://politi.co/2N05tZs

China. The Dow jumped 350 points on Tuesday amid reports President Trump would meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan next week - https://cnn.it/2WTPK2A

4th of July. President Trump wants Air Force One to fly over the National Mall during his Fourth of July celebration next month - https://wapo.st/2N04Grs

Saudi Arabia. A U.N. report says Saudi Arabia is responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and calls for an investigation into the role crown prince Mohammed bin Salman played in the slaying - https://nyti.ms/2MT1ZYC

Sarah Sanders' next move. The outgoing White House press secretary is seriously considering running for governor in Arkansas. Sanders and her allies have been making calls to donors and Republican operatives in the state - https://politi.co/2WSgEb1

Charitable giving down. Nonprofits say the Trump tax cuts are responsible for a 3.4% dip in charitable giving last year because of the tax overhaul passed by Congress in 2017 - https://bloom.bg/2WUXVMf

Sobering. The number of refugees on the planet has hit an all-time high as more than 70 million people have been forced to flee due to violence or persecution - https://cnn.it/2WQ95BW

Environment. Permafrost in Canada is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, the latest sign that global climate change is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared - https://reut.rs/2NcdECf


1586 - English colonists leave Roanoke Island, after failing to establish England's first permanent settlement in North America.

1846 - The first officially recorded, organized baseball game is played under Alexander Cartwright's rules on Hoboken, New Jersey's Elysian Fields with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1.

1856 - The first Republican national convention ended in Philadelphia with the nomination of explorer John Fremont of California for president. James Buchanan, a Federalist nominated by the Democrats, was elected.

1862 - Congress prohibits slavery in United States territories, nullifying Dred Scott v. Sandford.

1953 - Convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional facility in New York.

1964 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the Senate.

1987 - The Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring schools to teach the creationist theory of human origin espoused by fundamentalist Christians.

1991 - Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar surrendered to police. 

2000 - The Supreme Court ruled prayers led by students at public high school football games aren't permitted under the constitutional separation of church and state.

Policy News

Salt Lake City Council approves free hygiene products
It's a topic most people don't talk about at work. A hidden component, understandably so, of daily life. But a trio of City Council Members threw it out there for discussion at an annual budget meeting and the full Council supported it: free feminine hygiene products for all.
Mayor Jenny Wilson announces online 'People's Choice' voting for Jordan River Parkway ideas competition
Mayor Jenny Wilson announced that online voting to select the People's Choice Award winner for On The River's Edge Ideas Competition will begin June 18th at 9:00 a.m.
Salt Lake City's economic development director to step down in August
Salt Lake City announced that Lara Fritts, Director of the City's Department of Economic Development will leave her position effective August 2nd. Lara has accepted the role of President and CEO of Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP), the lead economic development organization serving the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico in Virginia.

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things." Isaac Newton

Lighter Side


"He honestly does not seem to know what collusion is. All he knows is he didn't do it. But he would do it, because why not?" - JIMMY KIMMEL

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