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Situational awareness - June 22, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • Spencer Cox leads a tight three-way race for the GOP nomination for governor.
  • Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa falls flat.
  • Coronavirus cases rising in the U.S.


More than a few of our subscribers knew George Dern was the Utah Governor who served as Secretary of War. His campaign slogan was "We want a Dern good Governor for Utah, and we don't mean Mabey" when he ran against the incumbent Charles Mabey. His grandson is actor Bruce Dern, and he was the great-grandfather of actress Laura Dern.

Congratulations to Paul Metcalf, who was selected as our winner at random from the correct answers. For his reward, he gets to ask this Friday's trivia question.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Screenshots/20200616_KUTV_Debate.jpgPoll: Cox leads tight three-way race ahead of June primary election
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Just 8 percentage points separate first and third place in the Republican race for governor according to a new survey of likely primary voters.
images/1000px_Mugs/Burgess_Owens_02.jpgBurgess Owens leads fundraising in Utah's 4th Congressional District ahead of June primary
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican Burgess Owens leads the fundraising race heading into the June primary election, while his opponents are lagging behind.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'The Boris Karloff debate'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick wrap an exhausting week of Utah political news.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200621_Utah_Unemployment.jpgUtah's unemployment rate drops slightly to 8.5 percent
By News Release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for May 2020 contracted by an estimated 4.8%, with 75,400 jobs sidelined compared to the May 2019 employment. Most job reductions remain as furloughs and are considered temporary in nature. Utah's current employment level registers 1,485,800. Utah's April year-over job change has been revised down two-tenths of a percentage point to -7.3%. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgLawmakers slash millions from the state budget, but increase education funding slightly
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Just 120 days ago Utah's budget for next year was overflowing with cash. Revenue projections in mid-February gave lawmakers $921 million dollars in extra money to spend, most of it in the Education Fund.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_14.jpgLawmakers approve a ban on police officers putting their knees on a person's neck
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
If voting for a new law that prohibits a police officer from kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed person is showing "we get it," as one legislator said Thursday, then what is voting against it?Not getting it?
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_16.jpgLawmakers approve measure to cut their own paychecks
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
You can't say Utah's 104 part-time legislators aren't taking seriously balancing next year's budget -- they cut their own pay in the effort.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200619_Huntsman_Mailer_02.jpgShadowy Colorado group sends mailers attacking Huntsman
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 A shadowy Colorado super PAC is behind a mailer attacking former Gov. Jon Huntsman that Utah Republicans are finding in their mailboxes ahead of the June primary election.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune




President Donald Trump's comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma fizzled on Saturday as only 6,200 people showed up. The president was reportedly shocked at the number of empty seats in the arena, leading Republicans to worry that his re-election campaign may be in trouble [NYT].

During his speech, Trump said he asked officials to slow down testing for the coronavirus in order to keep the number of cases low. The White House later tried to claim Trump's admission was a joke [WaPo].

Much of the blame for the debacle is falling on the shoulders of campaign manager Brad Parscale. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are reportedly "pissed" at Parscale, who claimed more than a million people requested tickets for the event [CNN].

Teenagers on the social media app TikTok are claiming they were responsible for the disappointing turnout by requesting thousands of tickets [NBC News].

Saturday night massacre

There was a tense standoff between Attorney General William Barr and Geoffrey Berman, the chief federal prosecutor in New York. Barr initially said Berman was stepping down. Berman claimed he did not offer his resignation, but then agreed to leave the post after Barr said he asked President Trump to fire Berman [Bloomberg].


Nearly half of U.S. states are reporting a rise in the number of coronavirus cases [CNN].

The World Health Organization says Sunday saw the largest single-day increase in the number of cases worldwide [AP].


The number of home mortgage delinquencies in the U.S. hits the highest level since 2011 [Bloomberg].


The Supreme Court is set to deliver its first major ruling on abortion rights in the Trump era this week [The Hill].


Policy News

Treasurer Damschen encourages Utahns to participate in first-ever unclaimed property webathon, claim their lost money
The Utah Unclaimed Property Division of the Office of State Treasurer is hosting its first-ever webathon on Monday, June 22 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. to raise awareness of unclaimed property and encourage Utahns to find and claim their lost money online.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 85: China hacking away at COVID vaccine research
In this episode of the CYBER24 podcast, presented by VLCM, we take a closer look nation-state hackers trying to get access to COVID vaccine research in the U.S. Because the work is being done at universities and private companies, the federal government can't provide the level of security many say we need. 
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 6-19-20
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Climbers balk as feds seek to shut down roped activity in two popular canyons near Moab-- KSL.com: 10 Utah waterfall hikes you'll fall in love with-- KSL.com: Walk-in lottery reopens for permits to hike The Wave at Utah-Arizona borderConcerts-- Salt Lake City Concert Cruise, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m., Downtown Salt Lake City, 200 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, $30-- "Showtime," Julie Moffit Ballet School, Friday and Saturday, multiple times, Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd, Ogden, $8Theater-- "Quarantunes: A Musical Review!" through June 20, Draper Historic Theatre -- "The Scarlet Pimpernel" through June 20, SCERA Center-- "Through Yonder Window" through June 20, SONDERimmersive -- "Cinderella" through June 27, Parker Theatre-- "Hairspray" through June 27, Hurricane Valley Theatrical Company Et cetra-- The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show, Saturday, 6 p.m., Hilton Salt Lake City Center, 255 South West Temple, Salt Lake City-- Great Scott Magic Show, Saturday, 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 12 p.m., University Place Orem, 575 East University Parkway, Orem-- Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days, through Saturday, Historic Downtown, 200 South Main Street, Pleasant Grove-- Summer Solstice Celebration 2020, Friday and Saturday, Heber Valley Railroad, 450 South 600 West, Heber City-- Eyes to the Sky Balloon Festival, through Sunday, North Sevier Middle School, 200 North 100 West, Salina-- Juneteenth Events, through Sunday
Governor issues executive order moving sections of rural Utah to green health risk status
In close consultation with local health authorities and with the Utah Department of Health, Gov. Gary R. Herbert has approved requests for the following counties to transition to Green, or New Normal Health Risk Status: Beaver, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Millard, Piute, Uintah and Wayne beginning tomorrow, June 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm.
United Way of Salt Lake supports Utah students through 10th Annual Stuff the Bus supply drive
Summer break is just beginning, but students across the state are already preparing for an uncertain school year ahead.
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.

More National Headlines


1870 - The United States Department of Justice is created by Congress.

1898 - The US Fifth Army Corps lands in Cuba during the Spanish-American war.

1940 - France fell to Nazi Germany in World War II.

1941 - Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa.

1944 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill.

1969 - The Cuyahoga River catches fire in Cleveland, Ohio, spurring the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

1973 - President Richard Nixon and Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a pledge to try to avoid nuclear war.

1990 - Checkpoint Charlie is dismantled in Berlin.

Wise Words

Looking for Facts

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side


"Yeah, at first, Trump was confused. He thought DACA was the AC/DC cover band opening for his rally in Tulsa." - JIMMY FALLON

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