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Situational awareness - June 20, 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 are the stories we're following today:

  • Spencer Cox's podcast deal with a local news organization is raising some questions.
  • A Utah lawmaker will push to ban most abortions in Utah.
  • Iran shoots down a U.S. military drone.

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 171st day of the year. There are 194 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

32 days until ballots for the 2019 primary election are mailed to voters (7/22/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Podcast_Studio_01.jpgSpencer Cox's podcast partnership with a local news outlet blurs the line between news and campaigning

Online media is giving politicians new avenues to get their message out to voters, offering a path around the traditional media. However, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox appears to have forged a close relationship with a local news station that could end up benefiting his 2020 bid for governor.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_02.jpgRomney wants to block Trump from using Huawei to win a trade deal with China

Sen. Mitt Romney introduced an amendment to a spending bill this week that seeks to block President Trump from ending sanctions on Chinese technology giant Huawei as a bargaining chip to win a trade deal with China.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgMcAdams votes against spending package

Congressman Ben McAdams voted against a measure totaling nearly $1 trillion in federal spending next year.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_01.jpgReps. Curtis, Fudge introduce bipartisan legislation to improve community college graduation rates

Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), introduced the Time to Completion Act of 2019, legislation that will provide information that is essential for students and families to better evaluate the performance of colleges and universities.
images/1000px_Logos/2020_Election.jpgUtah Elections Office announces procedural updates regarding 2020 gubernatorial race

The Utah Elections Office has announced procedural updates to the process of handling complaints made against campaigns or candidates who enter the 2020 gubernatorial race.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190619_GOED.jpgUtah's small business source for government contracting assistance

The Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has nine locations throughout Utah to help small businesses expand through government contracting opportunities.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSubject matter immersion: How the LDS Business College is getting students ready for the real world

In the latest Building Utah podcast, the Salt Lake Chamber sits down withLDS Business CollegePresident Bruce Kusch to discuss the college's latest approach to deep learning through what's being called, "Subject Matter Immersion."
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Debate_03.jpgTelevised Salt Lake City Mayor's debate set for July 15

The first televised Salt Lake City mayoral debate will be on Monday, July 15 at noon.
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.

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Deseret News

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Breaking overnight. Both U.S. and Iranian officials say Iran shot down a U.S. military drone. The Iranians say the drone was flying over one of its southern provinces near the Gulf of Oman - https://reut.rs/2J0hp8t

Biden slammed for remarks about former segregationist colleagues. The former vice president is taking heat from his Democratic rivals for burnishing his bi-partisan credentials by pointing to his ability to find common ground with other senators, even those who were segregationists - http://bit.ly/2x4I3Hx

Trump has lost all interest in Venezuela. White House officials say President Trump is no longer interested in Venezuela after spending much of the Spring pushing for the ouster of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro - https://wapo.st/2x4boSn

Budget talks stalled. Trump administration officials are pitching a short-term deal to avoid a potential default if Congress does not raise the debt limit this fall, which would trigger hundreds of billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts - https://politi.co/2IY7H6d

A 2020 nightmare for Democrats. There is a very plausible scenario for the 2020 election wherein President Donald Trump loses the popular vote by 5 million votes or more but wins re-election by a single electoral vote - http://bit.ly/2J1T7uO

Pelosi rules out censuring Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will not censure President Trump as an alternative to impeachment. "If the goods are there, you must impeach," she said Wednesday - https://wapo.st/2IWTpD1

The investigations

  • Democrats are furious after former White House communications director Hope Hicks refused to answer their questions when she appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday - http://bit.ly/2x3q2JH
  • Deutsche Bank is the target of a criminal investigation over whether the bank complied with anti-money laundering laws - https://nyti.ms/2x50Q5J
  • Former Trump business partner Felix Sater will testify before the House Intelligence committee on Friday - https://wapo.st/2x6X4IW

Fundraising. President Trump's campaign says they raised nearly $25 million in "less than 24 hours" after Trump kicked off his re-election bid earlier this week - http://bit.ly/2J1Vu0G


  • The director of ICE said he would follow through with plans to round up and deport undocumented families - https://nyti.ms/2x5dWQ6
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill Wednesday to send $4.6 billion in additional aid to cope with the flow of Central American immigrants - https://nyti.ms/2IP4vd2

Rate cut coming? The Federal Reserve signaled they might soon cut interest rates amid fears the U.S. economy is slowing down - https://wapo.st/2IP3vpi

Polls! Polls! Polls!

  • More than two-thirds of Democratic voters want Congress to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump. That's an increase from April - https://politi.co/2x4JDcr
  • Bad news for Biden. Only 3 percent of Democratic voters want a president in their 70s - http://bit.ly/2x6R8j2

Uh oh. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating YouTube for allegedly violating children's privacy. The company could face a hefty fine - https://wapo.st/2x3bTMr

Abortion. The last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri says they will no longer comply with a state law mandating a second pelvic exam for women seeking an abortion. Providers at the clinic say the exam is unethical and unnecessary - https://cbsn.ws/2J1X4zE


  • The Trump administration rolled back Obama-era restrictions on coal-fired power plants, replacing them with new rules that give states the authority to decide how much those plants must reduce emissions if at all - https://nyti.ms/2IWtb3C
  • A new study says the U.S. may have to spend more than $400 billion to construct seawalls to protect cities from rising sea levels - http://bit.ly/2x4JmGr

UFOs. At least three more U.S. Senators have received a classified Pentagon briefing on reported encounters between Navy jets and unidentified aircraft - https://politi.co/2x1aBll


1782 - Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States.

1787 - Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the "United States."

1840 - Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph.

1863 - West Virginia is admitted as the 35th state.

1963 - Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union and the United States sign an agreement to establish the so-called "red telephone" link between Washington and Moscow.

1972 - An 18 1/2 minute gap appears in the tape recording of the conversations between President Richard Nixon and his advisers regarding the recent arrests of his operatives while breaking into the Watergate complex.

Policy News

Rep. Steve Eliason to co-chair the Intervention to Save Lives Subcommittee
State Representative Steve Eliason has accepted an invitation from The Council of State Governments (CSG) to be on their Healthy States: What Works National Task Force.
Volunteers needed for the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference
Volunteers are needed for the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, announced Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
Utah consumer alert: Beware of fake Wells Fargo crucial notice text
Francine A. Giani, Executive Director of the Department of Commerce, announced today that the Utah Division of Consumer Protection has received a report that phony texts pretending to be from Wells Fargo Bank are being sent to consumer phones.  
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune: Watchdog to investigate whether BLM broke the law by studying Grand Staircase monument's potential for oil and gas leasingNew Films-- Toy Story 4: Tribune reviewConcerts-- West Jordan City Band, Friday, 7 p.m., Viridian Center, 8030 South 1825 West, West Jordan-- Concerts in the Park, Tuesdays and Fridays, 7:30 p.m., through August, Brigham Young Historic Park, 50 West North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, free-- Organ concerts, every Saturday, noon, and every Sunday, 2 p.m., Assembly Hall,Temple Square, 50 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, freeTheater-- "Disney's Newsies" through June 22,SCERA Center-- "The View UpStairs" through June 23,Good Company Theatre-- "Peter Pan, The British Musical" through June 24,Kensington Theatre-- "Peter and the Starcatcher" through June 25,Creekside Theatre Fest-- "Macbeth" through June 25, Creekside Theatre Fest-- "Forever Plaid" through June 26, Harman Theatre-- "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" through June 26, Murray Arts Council-- "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" through June 29,Pinnacle Acting Company-- "A Chorus Line" through June 29,Ziegfeld Theater-- "Grease" through June 29,Draper Historic Theatre-- "The Little Mermaid" through June 29,Four Seasons Theatre Company-- "Robin Hood" through June 29,Cobb & Co. Theater Productions-- "The Music Man" through July 6,Empress Theatre-- "Nunsense" through July 6,CenterPoint Legacy Theatre-- "Pirates of Penzance" through July 6, Outlaw Trail Theater, Vernal-- "My Fair Lady" through July 13,CenterPoint Legacy Theatre-- "Downton Dead Parody" through July 20,Off Broadway Theatre-- "Bravo, Caruso!" through July 30, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre-- "Mamma Mia!" through July 31, Lyric Repertory Company-- "A Raisin in the Sun" through August 3,Lyric Repertory Company-- "Disney's The Little Mermaid" through August 23,Pickleville Playhouse-- "Freaky Friday" through August 24, Hale Centre Theatre-- "Sunday School Musical - The Greatest Roadshow" through August 24, Desert Star Playhouse -- "Shootout at Shadow Mountain" through September 7,Pickleville Playhouse-- "Disney's When You Wish" through October 24,Tuacahn Amphitheater-- "Disney's The Little Mermaid" through October 25,Tuacahn AmphitheaterMuseum Exhibits--95th Annual Spring SalonExhibition through July 6;Magic and Machine: Fantasy and Sci-Fi in Utah ArtExhibition through August 3;Sanctuariesof MindExhibition through summer 2019;All Aboard!Exhibition through September 21;Round Up: Icons of the WestExhibition through June 19, 2021,Favorite Ladies: Patterns, People, and Play, SMA:Milestones and MemoriesExhibitions ongoing,Springville Museum of Art-- Out Loud: Ostracized and Masked Exhibition through July 6;Andrew Dadson: Roof Gap;Deanna & Ed Templeton: Contemporary SuburbiumExhibition through September 7,Utah Museum of Contemporary Art-- To Magnify the Lord: Six Centuries of Art and DevotionExhibition on view through summer 2019;In the Arena: The Art of Mahonri YoungExhibition through September 21;After PromontoryExhibition through October 5;Danae Mattes: Where the River Widens,Patrick Dougherty: WindsweptExhibitions through October 19,Brigham Young University Museum of Art--Spencer Finch: Great Salt Lake and Vicinity; ongoing exhibitions:Arts of Africa;American and Regional Art: Mythmaking and Truth-Telling; Chinese Art: Emulation and Innovation; European Art; Ancient Mediterranean Art: Res Mortis; Ancient Mesoamerica; Modern and Contemporary Art: A Fuller Picture; Arts of the Pacific; Greater Merit: The Temple and Image in South Asia,Utah Museum of Fine ArtsEt cetra--Venture Out!World Refugee Celebration, Friday, 6 p.m., Big Cottonwood Regional Park, 4300 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City-- Marimba + Voice Festival Concerts, Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m.; also Friday, 7:30 p.m., Noorda Center for the Performing Arts, Utah Valley University, 800 West University Parkway, Orem-- Solstice Flute Festival, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. 9 p.m., Homestead Resort, 700 North Homestead Drive, Midway-- Summer Solstice Celebration, Saturday, 11 a.m. 7 p.m., Lorin Farr Park, 769 Canyon Road, Ogden-- Utah Uke Fest, Saturday, 10:30 a.m. 6 p.m., Highland Community Center, 5378 West 10400 North, Alpine-- Utah Arts Festival, through Sunday, Library Square, 200 East 400 South, Salt Lake City
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.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Evening Walk

"There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature." Henry David Thoreau

Lighter Side

Back to Work

"Right now, you've gotta imagine Robert Mueller is just getting home with all his boxes after clearing out his office, turns on the T.V., and he's like, 'Damn it, honey, I'm going back to work. I'll see you in another two years.'" - STEPHEN COLBERT

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