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Situational awareness - July 8, 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 hardliners take aim at SB54 again.
  • FBI and ICE mine state drivers license databases for facial recognition program.
  • Census fight escalates.

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 189th day of the year. There are 176 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

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:
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgJoin the Salt Lake Chamber for 'Inclusion: How the Best Leaders Build Diverse and Winning Teams" with Sara Jones

Join us for the Salt Lake Chamber Professional Development Series seminar 'Inclusion: How the Best Leaders Build Diverse and Winning Teams" with Sara Jones on July 19, 2019.
images/1000px_Mugs/John_Molnar_01.jpg4th District GOP candidate suggests violent response to McAdams' proposal raising the legal age to buy tobacco

Republican 4th Congressional District candidate John Molnar tweeted what appeared to be a veiled threat against Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams on Tuesday.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgUnsolicited advice - 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_Logos/UtahPolicy_Y2_01.jpgUtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics launch public opinion polling initiative

UtahPolicy.com and Y2 Analytics are teaming up on an independent public opinion polling initiative to gauge voter sentiment on key political issues facing Utahns.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Iran. Iranian officials announced early Monday morning they had breached a limit on the amount of uranium they're allowed to enrich under the 2015 deal President Trump scrapped [NYT].

Troubling. Agents with the FBI and ICE have been mining state driver's license databases for a facial recognition database without the knowledge or consent of American citizens [WaPo].

Census fight 

  • The Justice Department announced Sunday they were replacing the legal team defending the Trump administration's efforts to place a citizenship question on the 2020 Census [NYT].
  • President Trump may use an executive order to put the question on the census to get around the courts [WaPo].

Trump's approval rating rises. President Donald Trump's approval rating hits the highest point of his tenure in the White House at 44%. However, more than 60% of Americans say Trump has acted in ways that are "unpresidential" [WaPo].

If you read one thing. This remarkable collaboration between the New York Times and the El Paso Times goes inside a migrant detention center to detail the terrible and heartbreaking conditions [New York Times].

  • President Trump and members of his administration dismissed reports of squalid conditions at the detention centers [NYT].

Budget disaster looming. Time is growing short for Congress and the White House to agree on a budget deal to avoid another government shutdown and a potential default on the national debt [Politico].

Affordable Care Act. A federal court will hear arguments from the Trump administration and 18 GOP-led states (including Utah) in their effort to overturn the health-care law as unconstitutional. The suit could upend the 2020 presidential race [WaPo].

Tell us how you really feel. Britain's ambassador to Washington described President Trump as "inept" "insecure" and "incompetent" in a series of leaked memos [Daily Mail].

What could go wrong? Iowa and Nevada will allow caucus attendees to vote by phone in 2020, potentially boosting turnout [AP].


  • Billionaire Tom Steyer is reportedly set to enter the 2020 presidential race this week [Politico].
  • Some of the 23 Democrats running for the party's presidential nomination will start falling by the wayside as the natural winnowing process begins [Politico].
  • Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who announced last week he was leaving the Republican Party, would not rule out a 2020 run for president [CNN].

Trump's social media summit. Facebook and Twitter have reportedly not been invited to President Trump's social media event this week [CNN].

The lady's got potential. President Trump reportedly compared freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to former Argentine first lady Eva Peron according to a forthcoming book [Bloomberg].

Germophobe in chief. President Trump, a noted germophobe, reportedly enforces strict hygiene standards for visitors to the White House [Politico].

For your radar. A quarter of Americans say they don't plan to retire [AP].


1776 - The Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time to people gathered at Philadelphia's Independence Square.

1835 - The Liberty Bell cracked while being run during the funeral of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall.

1889 - The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published.

1932 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22.

1947 - Reports are broadcast that a UFO crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico.

1969 - U.S. forces began withdrawing from Vietnam.

Policy News

And Justice for All recognizes Parsons Behle & Latimer as its largest donor during 2018
People are more willing to contribute and contribute more when there are fewer organizations asking for money. At least that was the thought of Parsons Behle & Latimer former president, James B. Lee, Lauren Skolnick and others when they established And Justice for All 20 years ago.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report
Utah 2nd state to launch Regulatory Sandbox now available at Department of Commerce
Francine A. Giani, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce and Utah Representative Marc Roberts (R-Provo) announced that the state agency is launching the nation's 2nd ever Regulatory Sandbox based on H.B. 378.  

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Individual Freedom

"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Lighter Side

Just 1 Percent

"There were 10 Democrats onstage, and to qualify, all a candidate needed was to poll at 1 percent or higher. That's it? One percent? I mean, even O.J.'s at 2 percent." - JIMMY FALLON

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