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Situational awareness - June 24, 2019

Good Monday 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:

  • Utah GOP is out of debt.
  • Democrats oust Daisy Thomas and pick Jeff Merchant as their new leader
  • Trump slaps new sanctions on Iran.

Trivia answer

Thanks to Charlie Roberts for last week's question about which Utah mayor was removed from office for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Grantsville Mayor Keith Brown was sanctioned because of his involvement in a case over the killing of several dogs. The case eventually made it to the Utah Supreme Court. You can read more about it here - http://bit.ly/2YiKRN2

Our trivia winners from Friday were:

Jason Lewis

Edward Bennett

Scott Bingham

If you have a Utah political trivia question for our subscribers, send it to me via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com.

Conversation BubbleMy inbox is open to you!

I love hearing from you! Send your news tips or feedback to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com. or you can message me on Twitter.

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 175th day of the year. There are 190 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Logos/UTGOP_Logo_02.jpgUtah GOP no longer in the red. Party leaders announce they've paid off longtime debt

Here's some good news for the Utah Republican Party: The party is out of debt, owes no attorneys' fees and has around $25,000 in the bank.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jeff_Merchant_01.jpgDemocrats tap Merchant as new party chairman

Utah Democrats opted to take a new path heading into the 2020 election by ousting their current party chair at the state convention in Park City.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBad decisions and armpit farts - 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/1000px_Article_Photos/Economy_11.jpgUtah still enjoying strong job growth according to latest unemployment numbers

Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for May 2019 grew by an estimated 2.9 percent, adding 44,200 jobs to the economy since May 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,556,400. April's year-over job growth rate remained unrevised at 3.2 percent. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Smith_Horpendahl_01.jpgGuest opinion: Tax reform contributes to Utah's economic success

In their first meeting late last month, a group of 16 legislators, tax attorneys, and members of the governor's office formally began studying Utah's tax system to make recommendations to Utah's legislature that will both ensure stable sources of revenue for the state to provide public services and reduce tax costs to Utah's economy overall.
images/1000px_Mugs/Rob_Bishop_03.jpegRep. Rob Bishop may be having second thoughts about retiring from Congress

In 2017 Rep. Rob Bishop said he would retire if he won re-election to Congress in 2018. Now, it appears Bishop may be rethinking that decision.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: When is an endorsement not an endorsement?

KSL broadcasting, both TV and radio, are playing a dangerous public confidence game this year and next.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_05.jpgRomney seeks to add key Utah and national security priorities to defense bill

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) this week introduced several amendments to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is currently being considered on the Senate floor.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_04.jpgMcAdams boosts support for Children's Justice Centers to help victims of child abuse

Congressman Ben McAdams successfully bolstered funding for a program that helps children and families receive support during the criminal justice process as investigations proceed in cases of alleged child abuse and domestic violence. 
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgStewart amendment to save retired war dogs passes the House

Congressman Chris Stewart's (UT-02) amendment in the first appropriations package, which allocates $200,000 to save retired war dogs, passes the House.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190620_Lee_Fox.jpgWatch: Lee says restrictions on federal funding for abortions should remain in place

Sen. Mike Lee disagreed strongly with the ACLU over whether there should be restrictions on federal funding of abortions.

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Salt Lake Tribune




  • President Donald Trump announced new economic sanctions against Iran just days after calling off a military strike against the country at the last minute. He says he would support any action that will "make Iran great again" - https://cnn.it/2Y9l7mz
  • The White House is pressing military leaders for clandestine ways to counter Iranian aggression in the Gulf region, including cyberattacks - https://nyti.ms/31M54xb
  • Iranian officials say they're prepared to shoot down another drone if the current standoff with the U.S. does not end - https://reut.rs/2YbwYAi
  • Iranian citizens say their "bones breaking" because of U.S. sanctions - http://bit.ly/2YfHHKk


  • President Trump tweeted on Saturday he's delaying planned nationwide raids to round up undocumented families for two weeks unless Democrats agree to changes in laws governing immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. - https://nyti.ms/2Y93gvL
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly called President Trump on Friday night asking him to call off the planned raids - https://cnn.it/31SNirR
  • Some within the Trump administration believe operational details were leaked by acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan or his staff in an attempt to derail the operation - http://bit.ly/31Okzop

China. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet this week at the G20 summit in Japan. The two hope to find a solution to the escalating trade war between the two countries - http://bit.ly/2YalHQG


  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will propose a bill on Monday to eliminate all $1.6 trillion of student debt in the U.S. - https://wapo.st/2Y7Peuo
  • It's debate week for 20 of the Democratic presidential hopefuls. Here's how they're preparing ahead of Wednesday and Thursday night's events - https://nyti.ms/31QqmK3
  • Republicans are launching a new online fundraising effort to counter the massive small-donor advantage by Democrats - https://politi.co/2Y4oHhD
  • Former vice president Joe Biden appears to be ducking the press unless he's trying to clean up the mess from something he said previously - http://bit.ly/2Ya5N98
  • A Democratic group says their polling shows Trump could be vulnerable with his base voters on the issue of health care - https://politi.co/31QLe3W

Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll says Trump sexually assaulted her. In an account published on Friday, Carroll alleged Mr. Trump raped her in 1995 or 1996 in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room - http://bit.ly/31SwC3O

  • Trump denied the accusation, claiming he had never met Carroll despite photographic evidence showing the two of them together - https://nyti.ms/31Tk8sX

Worrisome. A network of Russian Twitter accounts promoted a fake tweet from Sen. Marco Rubio claiming a British spy agency planned to hurt Republican candidates during the 2018 midterms. The Russian accounts tried to make the tweet go viral, but it was picked up by RT, the Russian state media network - https://cnn.it/31Qr2z5

Warning sign? Farmers across the country who supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election are beginning to waver as the president's trade wars are threatening their livelihoods - https://wapo.st/2Ybxyhs

Wishful thinking? California Gov. Gavin Newsome said in an interview Sunday night that it's "highly likely" that the GOP will end up as a third party within 10 to 15 years because of the "xenophobia" and "hyper-masculinity" - http://bit.ly/2YcbO5g

Climate. The Trump administration is refusing to publicize dozens of studies from the Department of Agriculture concluding climate change is a serious threat - https://politi.co/31QVJUN

Weird. Top knitting website Ravelry has banned its users from expressing support for Donald Trump saying it's akin to showing support for "white supremacy" -  http://bit.ly/31Q4QoF


1916 - Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to sign a million-dollar contract.

1947 - Kenneth Arnold makes the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.

1948 - Soviet forces blockaded the western zones of Berlin.

1957 - The Supreme Court rules obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment.

2009 - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted to having an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina.

Policy News

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 leasing 

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Self Mastery

"The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions." Alfred Lord Tennyson

Lighter Side

Trump Re-Election Kickoff

"The stadium had a capacity of 20,000 or as Trump calls it a million. . . . Trump was on fire, or at least, his pants were. He jumped from lie to lie, from hot topic to hot topic, like Joy Behar on Adderall." Jimmy Kimmel

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