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Situational awareness - July 10, 2019

Good Wednesday 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:

  • Cutting through the rumors that Jon Huntsman will run for governor in 2020.
  • Violence erupts at inland port protest.
  • The British ambassador to the U.S. resigns.

Conversation BubbleGot a news tip? Let me know!

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 191st day of the year. There are 174 days remaining in 2019.

13 days until ballots for the 2019 primary election are mailed to voters (7/23/2019)

20 days until in-person voting for the 2019 municipal primaries begins (7/30/2019)

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

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

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

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

176 days until candidates can begin to gather signatures to get on the 2020 ballot (1/2/2020)

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

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

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

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

247 days to the opening of candidate filing for the 2020 election (3/13/2020)

265 days until the deadline for candidates to submit signatures to be placed on the 2020 primary ballot (3/31/2019)

349 days to the 2020 Utah primary election (6/23/2020)

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Mugshots/Jon_Huntsman_04.jpgWill Jon Huntsman run for governor in 2020? Separating truth from rumor

We've seen this picture before.Summer 2017 the Utah political world was all aflutter with rumors that Mitt Romney, the beloved chief of the successful 2002 Utah Winter Olympics and 2012 GOP presidential nominee, was considering a run for the U.S. Senate from Utah, to replace then-U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgI believe the term is 'sugar daddy' - Bernick and Schott on politics

Award-winning journalists Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick offer their thoughts on the latest stories from the Utah political arena.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_09.jpgGov. Herbert statement on Inland Port protests

Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued the following statement regarding violent protests that broke out at the Chamber of Commerce Building in Salt Lake City earlier today:
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber statement regarding office invasion by inland port protestors

Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, issued the following statement regarding the inland port protest at the Chamber offices:
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190709_GOED.jpgHelping Utah's rural businesses

The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, Office of Rural Development, as directed by the Utah Legislature, announced two new grant programs to serve rural organizations and businesses.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190103_Love_CNN.jpgAnalysis: 5 reasons Mia Love won't run for Congress in 2020

The Utah political world was abuzz over the long 4th of July weekend with news that former Rep. Mia Love is hinting she might challenge Ben McAdams in 2020 to win back her seat in Congress. How serious is that threat?
images/1000px_Mugs/Derek_Miller_02.jpgPodcast: Derek Miller discusses the Inland Port, Tax reform and Utah's economy

Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber joins the podcast. Miller is also chairman of the Inland Port Authority board.
images/Shutterstock_Icons/GOP_Icon.pngUtah Republican hardliners aren't ready to give up the fight over SB54

Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that a strange strategy is appearing among some SB54 haters, and it may be the final assault within the Utah Republican Party over the dual-pathway candidate law.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_01.jpgChairman Lee on the longest economic expansion on record

Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Labor Department June 2019 jobs report:

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Deseret News

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Breaking. The British ambassador to the U.S. resigned after leaked memos revealed he called President Donald Trump "insecure" and "inept." On Tuesday, Trump called Ambassador Kim Darroch a "pompous fool" [WaPo].

Acosta under fire

  • Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is defending himself over a controversial 2008 plea deal he reached with Jeffrey Epstein. The agreement with Epstein allowed him to avoid jail time in a case where he allegedly assaulted 36 underage girls. Acosta was the US Attorney in Miami at the time. Epstein was arrested Monday on sex trafficking charges [CNN].
  • President Trump defended Alex Acosta on Tuesday, saying he felt "very badly" for him [AP].

Obamacare on the ropes. A panel of federal judges seemed skeptical of arguments defending the Affordable Care Act's mandate that most people carry health insurance in a court case questioning the constitutionality of the healthcare law [NYT].

Census fight

  • President Trump could issue an executive order to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census as early as today [Axios].
  • A federal judge rejected a bid by the Justice Department to replace their legal team in the court battle over adding a citizenship question to the census [NYT].
  • Democrats in Congress plan to move forward with criminal contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for refusing to turn over documents related to the 2020 census [Politico].


  • Some migrant children being held in a border facility in Arizona allege they were sexually assaulted by guards. There are also claims of retaliation by officials after they complained about conditions in the detention center [NBC News].
  • The number of arrests of migrants attempting to illegally cross the border dropped by 28 percent in June [WaPo].

A win for the "haters." A federal court rules President Trump is violating the constitution by blocking his critics on Twitter [NYT].

Russia investigation

  • Christopher Steele, the former British spy behind the infamous "dossier" on President Trump's ties to Russia was questioned for 16 hours in June by the Justice Department as part of an investigation into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation [Politico].
  • The Justice Department is prepping to deliver the results of an internal investigation into how the Russia investigation began [NYT].

Whoa! A new investigation shows Russian intelligence agents were responsible for the now-debunked story that Democratic staffer Seth Rich was murdered by associates of Hillary Clinton. The fake story was hyped on Fox News and other right-wing media outlets during the 2016 presidential race [Yahoo News].


  • Billionaire Tom Steyer is the newest Democrat running for president. He pledged to spend $100 million of his own money on his White House bid [NYT].

Rapinoe vs. Trump. Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe blasted President Trump in a televised interview on Tuesday, saying his message "is excluding people" [CNN].

Ted Cruz vs. Fox News. A new book says Sen. Ted Cruz exploded over Fox News' bias toward Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race [Guardian].

What century is this? A Republican candidate for governor in Mississippi refused to let a reporter shadow him on the campaign trail because she is a woman [Mississippi Today].


1778 - American Revolution: Louis XVI of France declares war on Great Britain.

1832 - President Andrew Jackson vetoes a bill that would re-charter the Second Bank of the United States.

1850 - President Millar Fillmore is sworn in, a day after becoming President upon Zachary Taylor's death.

1890 - Wyoming is admitted as the 44th state.

1913 - The temperature in Death Valley, California, hits 134 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever to be recorded on Earth.

1925 - The so-called "Monkey Trial" begins of John T. Scopes, a high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.

1962 - Telstar, the world's first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.

1985 - Coca-Cola, besieged by consumers dissatisfied with the new Coke formula introduced in April, dusted off the old formula and dubbed it "Coca-Coca Classic."

Policy News

Joint statement regarding the Utah Department of Public Safety and federal searches
Utah Legislative leaders, including Senate President Stuart Adams, Speaker Brad Wilson, Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne, and House Minority Leader Brian King, issued the following joint statement regarding the Utah Department of Public Safety.
Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox announces rollout of statewide teleworking program for employees of the State of Utah
Lt. Governor Cox has announced that the state is implementing a statewide teleworking program following the success of a pilot project that saw great success. 

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Repairing Faults

"The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults." Alexis de Tocqueville

Lighter Side

DC Reality TV

"Nancy Pelosi kept demanding that they have a fact-based debate about border security," Kimmel said of the impromptu conference televised live from the White House. "Has she met the president? He's not having a fact-based debate about anything."

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