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Situational awareness - July 22, 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 you should pay attention to this morning:

  • Nearly half of Utahns approve of Gov. Gary Herbert's job performance.
  • Only 38% of Utahns say they're ready to vote to re-elect President Trump in 2020
  • Congress prepares for Robert Mueller's testimony on Wednesday

Trivia answer

"When Senator Ted Kennedy lost his driver's license due to the Chappaquiddick incident, what Utah staffer drove him to and from work every day for a year?"

Quite a few readers knew that future Utah congressman Wayne Owens served as Kennedy's personal driver for the year following Chappaquiddick. The first three to submit a correct answer were:

  • Mike Mower
  • Clark Larsen
  • Cole Capener

If you'd like to be our guest quizmaster, submit your questions to me via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com. If we use your trivia stumper, we'll send you a limited-edition UtahPolicy.com laptop sticker.

Conversation BubbleHelp us! Send a news tip!

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 203rd day of the year. There are 162 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

357 days to the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee (7/13/2020)

399 days to the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte (8/24/2020)

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_01.jpgNearly half of Utahns applaud the job Herbert is doing as governor

Gov. Gary HerbertNearly half of Utahns say they approve of the job Gov. Gary Herbert is doing leading the state, but that approval has not trickled down to his Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgKeeping up with the news is hard work - Bernick and Schott on politics

Spencer Stokes of Stokes Strategies fills in for Bob this week. He joins Managing Editor Bryan Schott to discuss the major stories in Utah politics this week. 
images/1000px_Logos/UtahPolicy_Y2_01.jpgPoll: Fewer than four in ten Utahns would vote to give Trump a second term

 President Donald Trump (Image: Shutterstock)Utah's aren't yet sold on giving President Donald Trump a second term in office.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190719_Love_CNN.jpgWatch: Mia Love says Trump's tweets falsely cast Republicans as racist

Former Utah Rep. Mia Love, who is a CNN political commentator, said President Donald Trump's racist attack on four Democratic congresswomen is bringing out the worst in Americans, and damaging the Republican party.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Economy_04.jpgUtah's unemployment rate dipped slightly in June

 Image: ShutterstockUtah's nonfarm payroll employment for June 2019 grew by an estimated 3.0 percent, adding 45,200 jobs to the economy since June 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,561,400. May's year-over job growth rate was revised up from 2.9 percent to 3.0 percent.  
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgRomney, Lee, Join colleagues in introducing bill to repeal 180-day hiring restriction for military retirees at Hill Air Force Base

U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) joined Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and David Perdue (R-GA) in introducing legislation to repeal the 180-day waiting period that a military retiree must wait until he or she can enter a civilian job at the Department of Defense (DoD) for which he or she is qualified.
images/1000px_Logos/UtahPolicy_Y2_01.jpgMost Utahns say they are not happy with how President Trump is doing his job

 A slim majority of Utahns say they disapprove of President Donald Trump's job performance.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion nuggets: Greg Miller for governor? . . . Tofu burgers? . . . Dem vs. Dem . . . Radio talk shows . . . BLM in Colorado

LaVarr Webb, UtahPolicy.com publisherShould Greg Miller run for governor? I have had the privilege of working with Gail Miller, Greg's mother, on a few projects and initiatives. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Rob_Bishop_01.jpgRob Bishop will announce whether he'll run for another term in Congress by the end of this month

 Rep. Rob BishopRep. Rob Bishop, who said the current term would be his last, now says he will make a decision on whether to run again by July 29. 
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgSen. Lee locks in vote to pass 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) secured unanimous consent Thursday for the Senate to vote on two amendments and final passage of 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund next week.
images/1000px_Mugs/Darlene_McDonald_01.jpgGuest opinion: Yes, Donald Trump is a racist

 Earlier this week, UtahPolicy.com publisher LaVarr Webb wrote an editorial addressing whether President Donald Trump is a racist for telling four congresswomen of color to "go back," where they came from.

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Mueller week is here

  • House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler said Wednesday's hearings involving special counsel Robert Mueller would feature "very substantial evidence" of wrongdoing by President Donald Trump [AP].
  • Democrats hope Mueller's testimony will support their narrative about Trump's lawlessness in office [WaPo].
  • Here are some key numbers to know ahead of Mueller's testimony [The Hill].

Budget. White House and congressional negotiators are closing in on a budget agreement to raise the debt limit for two years with very few budget cuts. But, nobody knows if President Trump will go for the plan [WaPo].


  • Iran announced they had captured a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials say a second ship had been seized [CNN].
  • Iran claimed they have broken up a CIA spy ring. Seventeen people were arrested, and some have been sentenced to death [Reuters].

The fallout from Trump's racist tweets continues

  • President Trump continued his attack on four Democratic congresswomen on Sunday, claiming "they are not capable" of loving the U.S. [Time].
  • "He always doubles down." Friends and associates worked to contain the damage from Trump's racist attack last week [WaPo].
  • A Louisiana police officer posted on social media that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a "vile idiot" and suggested she deserved to be shot [NOLA.com].

"It's a disaster." An eyebrow-raising report about dysfunction and low morale in the Commerce Department includes an account of Secretary Wilbur Ross being unable to stay awake during meetings [Politico].


  • Trump's re-election may lie with voters who disapprove of his content in office but are doing well economically. These voters are outside of the president's traditional base of support [The Hill].
  • Some Democratic presidential hopefuls delayed paying their staffers so they could boost their fundraising numbers [Daily Beast].
  • The Republican National Committee raised more than double the Democratic party last month [Politico].

Oof. Illinois Republicans are doing damage control after a social media post referred to four Democratic congresswomen as the "Jihad squad" [Chicago Tribune].

Boring but important. The flow of Chinese investment cash into America has dropped by nearly 90 percent since President Trump took office [NYT].

Data breach settlement. Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle investigations into a massive data breach in 2017 [WaPo].


1587 - A second group of English settlers arrives on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.

1686 - Albany, New York is formally chartered by Governor Thomas Dongan.

1793 - Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Pacific Ocean becoming the first recorded human to complete a transcontinental crossing of North America.

1893 - Katharine Lee Bates writes "America the Beautiful" after admiring the view from the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado.

1933 - Aviator Wiley Post completes the first solo flight around the world in seven days, 18 hours and 49 minutes.

1937 - The U.S. Senate votes down President Franklin D. Roosevelt's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court.

Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report -- Salt Lake Tribune: Interior to shift 44 jobs to Utah, move BLM headquarters to Colorado
Sandy City unveils new public works building
Sandy City will unveil its new Public Works building on July 19th 9:30-10:30 am.
Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing completes national construction fraud sting, nabs unlicensed contractors statewide with 96 administrative citations and $543K in fines
Francine A. Giani, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce, announced that the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) completed a three-week statewide investigation targeting unlicensed contractors advertising online and across social media platforms.  

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Good Citizens

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." Plato

Lighter Side

Nothing to Do

"He started the rally saying he had plenty of time because he had 'nothing to do.' That might be the first factual statement he's made since becoming president." - JIMMY KIMMEL

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