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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 - August 11, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Tuesday!


9 days to the 6th special session (8/20/2020)

44 days to the 1st Congressional District debate (9/24/2020)

49 days to the Utah gubernatorial debate (9/28/2020)

51 days to the Utah Attorney General debate (10/01/2020)

57 days to the Vice Presidential debate at the University of Utah (10/07/2020)

62 days to the 4th Congressional District debate (10/12/2020)

65 days to the 3rd Congressional District debate (10/15/2020)

69 days to the 2nd Congressional District debate (10/19/2020)

84 days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

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

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

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

  • There are more than 20 million coronavirus cases worldwide.
  • Joe Biden will reportedly announce his running mate Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • A Republican super PAC makes a massive ad reservation in the McAdams/Owens contest.


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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_02.jpgWill lawmakers or the governor call next week's special session?
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While no final decision has been made yet, it appears that next week's special legislative session will be called by legislative leaders, not Gov. Gary Herbert.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200810_Owens_Fox.jpgGOP congressional candidate Burgess Owens says he sees the 'handprint of the radical left' on the decision to cancel college football
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
4th District Republican congressional candidate Burgess Owens is blaming Democrats for the cancellation of the college football season this fall, saying they are more concerned about "keeping chaos in the picture" than letting America return to a sense of normalcy.
images/1000px_Mugs/McAdams_Owens_01.jpgGOP super PAC makes massive ad buy in McAdams/Owens race
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Fresh on the heels of Democrat Ben McAdams launching his campaign television advertising campaign ahead of the November election, a Republican super PAC is about to pump massive amounts of cash into the district.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgLawmakers may tackle a controversial school funding issue in next week's special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Nearly two dozen bills could make the cut for inclusion on next week's special session agenda. That may seem like a lot, but the initial list of items under consideration is more than twice that number according to a list of potential bills shared with UtahPolicy.com.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_03.jpgPotential Huntsman write-in campaign is picking up steam. Organizers say a final decision is coming soon
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The effort to convince former Gov. Jon Huntsman to mount a write-in campaign for November's election is picking up steam, and a final decision may be coming soon. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: The Donald Trump School of Epidemiology
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick wrap up another busy week in Utah politics.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion brief: Let's cut our political leaders a little slack
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
These are difficult, frustrating, stressful times and everyone is on edge. The angst has ratcheted up several notches as decisions are made about schools opening - or not -- and under what conditions. Public opinion is divided on just about everything related to the coronavirus, and some folks are looking for someone to blame. One easy target, of course, is Gov. Gary Herbert. He's either too prescriptive or not prescriptive enough. He's opening up the economy too soon or too late. He's either pushing schools too hard to open, or he's not dictating to them enough.
images/1000px_Mugs/Nathan_Gonzales_01.pngPodcast: Mapping out the 2020 elections with Nathan Gonzales of InsideElections.com
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
We're less than three months toward election day, and some of the trends that will shape the November vote are coming into focus. To map out what the next three months could look like, we speak with Nathan Gonzales of InsideElections.com.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



The number of coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 20 million [Yahoo! Finance].

The number of Covid-19 cases among children jumped 40 percent in the last two weeks [ABC 7].


Democrat Joe Biden has reportedly settled on his running mate and will name her either Tuesday or Wednesday [NYT].

A vaccine?

Russia announced a coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, but critics cast doubt on the news, fearing the vaccine was rushed for political purposes and may not be effective [WaPo].

A clinical trial by Moderna concludes there's "no way" a coronavirus vaccine will ready by Election Day [CNN].

Budget buster

Governors across the nation say President Trump's executive order putting states on the hook for part of expanded unemployment benefits would put a strain on already stretched state budgets [NYT].

Burisma investigation

Two key witnesses into the Senate's investigation into corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter are likely to ignore subpoenas to appear [Daily Beast].


President Donald Trump has reportedly mused about what executive actions he could take to curb voting by mail in the 2020 election [Politico].

2020 election

President Trump is considering giving his speech accepting the GOP nomination at Gettysburg, but critics say it would be an ethical breach [NYT].

Vice President Mike Pence heads to Arizona on Tuesday to court Mormon voters [AZ Central].


White House aides reportedly reached out to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to see how they could add President Trump's face to Mount Rushmore [NYT].


The country's prime minister and cabinet resigned in the aftermath of a deadly explosion that killed more than 160 people and thousands homeless [Axios].


The Big 10 Conference expected to cancel its college football season [Detroit Free Press].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgEducation forum: Back to school primer for employers
Please join the Salt Lake Chamber for the opportunity to learn from our state education leaders about what you and your organization need to know about how school will look this year and what school demands will look like for your employees.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 91: Engaging your leadership team and board to your cybersecurity efforts
Building a culture of cybersecurity in your business doesn't just happen. And when it doesn't happen, trouble is just a few clicks away. So how do you keep your IT team connected to senior leadership and even to your governing board? 
How Utahns view the national masquerade
While Provo, Utah, made national news in July as the location of a protest against masks, does it really reflect a majority of Utah voters? Should there be a state mandate for masks?In a Utah Foundation blog post see what Utahns think and how it breaks down along urban/rural and ideological divides.
Herbert announces statewide effort to train and certify 5,000 students for cloud careers with Amazon Web Services
The Talent Ready Utah Center, housed in the Governor's Office of Economic Development, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a new initiative to provide AWS cloud computing courses and learning resources to 5,000 students in Utah by June 2022.
Romney, Tester, King Lead Legislation to Extend Loan Support to Small Businesses
WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Angus King (I-ME) today introduced legislation which would enhance support for rural communities, family farms, and small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Rural Equal Aid Act would provide relief to rural small businesses by expanding assistance Congress previously provided for certain existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to Rural Development (RD) program loans within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

More National Headlines


1929 - Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career.

1934 - The first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.

1965 - Race riots begin in the Watts section of Los Angeles.

1972 - The last United States ground combat unit leaves South Vietnam.

1984 - President Ronald Reagan joked "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." He made the comments while preparing for his weekly radio address.

2006 - The Transportation Security Administration banned all liquids, gels, and aerosols from passenger cabins on airliners one day after a thwarted terrorist attack.

Wise Words

Portland and Seattle

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side

All About Biden

"At this point, who even needs debates? Who is undecided? Who's tuning in like, 'I want to see what this Donald Trump guy is all about. Then I'll make my mind up. I need at least three debates. Haven't figured out who I'm going for yet. Then once I do, after the third debate, maybe the fourth one, then I'll - then I'll listen." - JIMMY FALLON

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