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The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to bschott@utahpolicy.com, or message us on Twitter.

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Situational awareness - June 26, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Friday!


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

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

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

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

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

  • The CDC says the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. could be 10 times higher.
  • The Trump administration asks the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.
  • Most Utahns say race relations in the U.S. are in bad shape.


Today's question comes from Paul Metcalf (No cheating with Google!):

"Who was Utah's last territorial governor, and who was Utah's first state governor?"

Send answers to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com. We'll randomly select a winner from all the correct responses.

Good luck!

Election pick 'em!

Think you know Utah politics? Here's your chance to show off. 

Pick the winners of four high-profile primary elections in our contest and you could win an Amazon gift card.

Enter here.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Black_Lives_Matter_01.jpgAmid Black Lives Matter protests, most Utahns say race relations are in bad shape
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
6 in 10 Utahns say race relations in the U.S. are not good according to a new survey.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Bob's primary election crystal ball
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Welcome to Bob Bernick's pre-primary "who will win" column.
images/1000px_Mugs/Steve_Schmidt_01.jpgPodcast: Interview with Steve Schmidt
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Longtime political strategist Steve Schmidt joins the podcast to discuss the 2020 election and where things stand with less than five months to go until election day.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_01.jpgPrimary election pick 'em contest!
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Test your knowledge of Utah politics by predicting the results of the four big Utah primary races next week.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200507_GOP_Debate_02.jpgRepublicans running for governor have raised and spent more than $6 million
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The four GOP candidates for Utah governor have spent, combined, more than $6.1 million in their attempts to win the June 30 primary election.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Vote_By_Mail_Ballot.jpgExpect to wait a little longer to get results on election day
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Don't expect to get a sense of who is winning the primary elections when the polls close in Utah at 8 pm next Tuesday. Utah lawmakers added a provision in a bill, passed in one of the April special sessions, that bars any release of election results until 10 pm on election day.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200611_Herbert_Presser.jpgHerbert says he's likely to grant Salt Lake County's request to require masks in public
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
In the face of a rising number of coronavirus cases in Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert said Wednesday he would not consider any requests from local governments to loosen COVID-19 related restrictions for two weeks. Herbert also said he would mandate the wearing of face masks in some state facilities.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200601_GOV_Debate.jpgRepublicans running for governor have dropped big bucks on advertising since the GOP convention
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Since the April Republican State Convention, the four Republicans running for governor have spent a combined $1.293 million on advertising their campaigns.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'How to be a cynic 101'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Let's Tuesday with another breakdown of the top stories in Utah politics with Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick.

sl chamber task force 10


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



This seems bad

The Centers for Disease Control says the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. could be as high as 23 million, which is 10 times the current number of confirmed cases [Axios].

Texas and other states are hitting pause on their plans to reopen as the number of Covid-19 cases skyrocket [NYT].

Three separate studies found conservative news media fostered confusion and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and discouraged consumers from taking steps to protect themselves and others. Researchers found the worst offender was Fox News' Sean Hannity [WaPo].

President Donald Trump is not taking any new steps to slow down the spread of the virus even as the number of new cases in the U.S. hit a new single-day high of more than 37,000 [Bloomberg].

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden says he would require all Americans to wear a mask in public to fight the coronavirus pandemic [KDKA].


The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act [CNN].


Shortly after he became attorney general, William Barr set out to challenge the prosecution and conviction of Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to President Trump. Barr spent months questioning prosecutors over their decision to charge Cohen with campaign finance violations. He also directed Justice Department officials to draft a memo raising questions about Cohen's conviction [NYT].


Another 1.5 million Americans filed for initial jobless benefits last week, which was more than forecasters predicted [AP].

The federal government sent $1.4 billion in stimulus checks to Americans who were deceased [NBC News].

U.S. GDP fell 5 percent in Q1 of 2020. Economists say a vastly worse economic performance is expected in the current quarter [AP].

The nation's big banks passed the Federal Reserve's latest "stress test", but the Fed will cap dividend payments to investors [Yahoo!].

Police reform

The Democratic-controlled House passed a police reform bill on Thursday, but the measure faces an uncertain fate in the Republican-controlled Senate [CNN].

Social media

Facebook will show users a pop-up warning if they share an outdated story [TechCrunch].

Top Trump officials and Republicans are urging their followers to migrate to Parler, an alternative social network used by far-right personalities who have been kicked off Twitter and Facebook [Business Insider].


Policy News

Some Friday diversion from the heavy stuff . . .
Pollinators Get Real: It's no summer breeze being a Rocky Mountain pollinator.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpg'Stay Safe to Stay Open' campaign launched to promote safety protocols and safe economic engagement
The Salt Lake Chamber announced the launch of "Stay Safe to Stay Open," a campaign to inform and support businesses in following COVID 19 guidelines from the Utah Department of Health. The initiative was introduced today with an invitation for businesses to take a pledge that they will follow best practices to protect employees and customers. Businesses that take the pledge will receive a "seal of approval" to display in their commercial locations and be included in an online searchable database.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 6-27-20
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Utah gave group $400,000 to sue the feds on public lands issues. It never did. What happened? 
Utah business organizations announce formation of the Utah Chamber Policy Coalition
To strengthen the voice of business and promote economic opportunity for individuals and families throughout the state, chambers of commerce across Utah have formed the Utah Chamber Policy Coalition, a statewide coalition to advocate for unified policy interests and policies that will promote business success, jobs, opportunity, and prosperity.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngResources to accelerate your company's growth
Join Salt Lake County and World Trade Center Utah to learn about game-changing resources to accelerate your company's growth.

More National Headlines


1917 - The first troops of the American Expeditionary Force reached France in World War I.

1927 - The Cyclone roller coaster opens on Coney Island.

1934 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Federal Credit Union Act.

1945 - The United Nations Charter is signed by 50 Allied nations in San Francisco.

1963 - President John F. Kennedy gave his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in West Germany.

1977 - Elvis Presley held his final concert in Indianapolis.

1997 - The Supreme Court rules the Communications Decency Act violates the First Amendment.

2003 - The Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.

2008 - The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution protects an individual's right to carry a gun for private use, but said the ruling did nothing to alter the ban on gun ownership by felons or the mentally ill.

2013 - The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

2015 - The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment.

Wise Words

Looking for Leadership

"I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country's cause." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side


"It's also weird that Trump thinks Kim Jong-un listens to CDs, dude. He's the president of North Korea - the man listens to cassettes." - TREVOR NOAH

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