utah policy logo

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.

utah insights

Situational awareness - June 30, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

It's primary election day in Utah

Let's Tuesday!


The 2020 Utah primary elections are today (6/30/2020)

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

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

209 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 White House was reportedly aware that Russia was paying bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in early 2019.
  • What to watch for in Tuesday's primary elections.
  • Most Utahns are worried about the effect the coronavirus will have on the economy over public health.

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

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our newsletter.

zions bank sponsorship ad

Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_economy_11.jpgUtahns are more worried about the impact of Covid-19 on the economy than public health
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While Utahns still worry more about how the coronavirus affects the economy rather than public health, with new virus cases running high in Utah that pro-open-up sentiment is not as strong as it was last April, a new poll finds.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Vote_By_Mail_Ballot.jpgHow to watch Tuesday night's election results like a pro
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
We may not know who wins the hotly contested GOP race for governor until mid-July. But, there are some key indicators from the results over the first few days that will give us some hints about who is doing well, and who may be in trouble. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200629_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart backs White House claim that Trump did not know about Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Chris Stewart defended the White House's claim that President Trump was not briefed on a reported Russian effort offering bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. However, shortly after Stewart made his claim on national TV, the New York Times reported that Trump was given a written briefing on the Russian bounties in late February. 
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Pence_Mask_01.jpgHerbert urged Pence to encourage mask wearing to control the spread of coronavirus
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert reportedly asked Vice President Mike Pence to do more to encourage the wearing of masks in public during a phone call on Friday.
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_13.jpgPoll: Most Utahns believe the Trump administration has mostly failed at improving race relations
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A slim majority of Utahns say President Donald Trump's administration has mostly failed at improving race relations in the U.S. according to a new survey.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200601_GOV_Debate.jpgAnalysis: Cox, Huntsman and Hughes all have very different paths to victory on Tuesday
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Tuesday is primary election day in Utah, likely one of the most interesting in a generation -- with four GOP candidates each in an open governor's race, an open 1st Congressional District race and a 4th Congressional District race where GOP leaders deeply desire to reclaim the seat from the Democratic Party.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Sales_Tax_05.jpgUtah taxable sales volatility spikes in March, April
By Doug MacDonald, Chief Economist, Econowest Associates
If Utah had a VIX index for its taxable sales, it would be at an all-time record high.  Of the 38 taxable sales economic sectors, 14 had higher than positive 10% in March year-over-year sales.  Another 14 sectors showed below negative 10% in March.  This is all-time record volatility since the State began tallying taxable sales in 1980.
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_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Come collect your people!'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Listen to our Friday Utah political news roundup with Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200626_Dunn_CNN.jpgVideo: Dr. Angela Dunn sounds the alarm about Utah's exploding number of Covid-19 cases
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn sounded the alarm on Friday about Utah's skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases, saying policymakers need to do more to balance public and economic health in the state.
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.

sl chamber task force 10


Salt Lake Tribune

Deseret News



Russian bounties

Despite denials from the White House that President Donald Trump knew about the Russian operation offering bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, the information was provided to Trump in the President's Daily Brief in February [NYT].

Intelligence sources say top officials in the White House were aware that Russia was secretly offering bounties for the deaths of Americans in early 2019, a full year earlier than previously reported [AP].

The White House claims there was no consensus within the intelligence community about the veracity of the information on Russian bounties [Bloomberg].


President Trump was so unprepared for phone calls with other heads of state that some senior U.S. officials were convinced that Trump posed a danger to U.S. national security [CNN].


The Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law placing restrictions on doctors who perform abortions, disappointing anti-abortion activists [Reuters].


The World Health Organization is warning the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is "yet to come" [CBS News].

Arizona orders the closure of bars, gyms and other businesses after a massive spike in the number of cases in that state [CNN].

Jacksonville, Florida, the site of the Republican National Convention, is requiring face masks in public [CNN].

Broadway shows will remain closed through the end of 2020 [Playbill].

Uh oh...

Chinese researchers have discovered a new strain of swine flu that can be transmitted to humans. They say the virus has "pandemic potential" [The Guardian].

Intelligence committee

Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee have been skipping meetings for months. Democrats call it a boycott, but the Republicans say they object to classified information being shared in online meetings [Politico].

Missed calls

President Trump's Sunday morning retweet of a video showing one of his supporters saying "white power" set off a "five-alarm fire" in the White House because advisers could not reach him to remove the offending post. Trump was reportedly unavailable for more than three hours because he was golfing and had put down his phone [NBC News].

Online crackdown

Reddit banned several communities, including the largest pro-Donald Trump site as well as a large group dedicated to the socialist Chapo Trap House podcast, for violating the platform's rules on hate speech [NBC News].

YouTube permanently banned several prominent white supremacists, including Stefan Molyneux, David Duke and Richard Spencer [CNN].

Streaming platform Twitch temporarily banned a channel operated by Donald Trump's re-election campaign for "hateful content", including a rebroadcast of his 2015 campaign kick off rally where he called Mexican's "rapists" [The Verge].

Facebook continues to hemorrhage advertisers as the social media network is facing a boycott to pressure the company to do more to stop the spread of hate speech on the platform [CNBC].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Iran issued an arrest warrant for President Trump and dozens of other Americans for their role in a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad. Interpol declined Iran's request for their help in enforcing the warrant [Al Jazerra].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngSave the date: Virtual trade mission to Israel
The United States is Israel's single largest trading partner. Through World Trade Center (WTC) Utah's Virtual Trade Mission, you can connect directly with Israeli business and government leaders. Utah companies interested in learning about Israel, expanding into the area, or increasing their business in the market are encouraged to register for this Virtual Trade Mission.
Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission emphasizes the importance of wearing masks
On June 25, the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission unanimously recommended the governor designate a portion of the $1 million for the COVID-19 Outreach and Education Program to directly emphasize the importance of wearing a mask. The Utah Legislature allocated these funds to the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development during the June 2020 special session.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 86: SOC 2 and other Corporate Certs - What, Why? How?
In this episode of the CYBER24 podcast, presented by VLCM, we continue our look cyber frameworks and certifications. We take a deep dive into the popular SOC 2. We learn more about SOC 2, to whom it applies, why some organizations need it, and how they get it.

More National Headlines


1859 - French acrobat Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched.

1908 - An asteroid exploded above Tunguska in Siberia, leaving 800 square miles of scorched or blown-down trees.

1934 - Adolf Hitler began his "blood purge" of political and military leaders in Germany in what came to be known as "The Night of the Long Knives."

1971 - The 26th Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the minimum voting age to 18, was ratified as Ohio became the 38th state to approve it.

1994 - The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.

Wise Words

Go Vote

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Lighter Side

Super Spreader

"It was reported that dozens of Secret Service officers and agents were told to self-quarantine after Trump's Tulsa rally. Trump's a one-man superspreader. He is the Ozark swimming pool of human beings." - SETH MEYERS

facebook link twitter link youtube link linked in logo

Listen to us on_Apple Podcasts

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play Music

Subscribers may receive special messages with information about new features, special offers, or public policy messages from clients and advertisers.

Advertise With Us