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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 12, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Wednesday!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Biden picks Harris as his veep.
  • Utah lawmakers looking at bonding to boost the economy.
  • A Georgia QAnon supporter wins Republican primary for Congress.


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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgLawmakers considering bonding to boost economy
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
With apologies to William Shakespeare, to bond or not to bond, that is the question Utah lawmakers are wrestling with.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: Feet and computers do not mix
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick run through the news from a busy few days in Utah politics.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


It's Kamala

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday. She is the first Black and South Asian woman to be named to a major party presidential ticket [NYT].

Biden's list of possible running mates started out with roughly 20 governors, Senators, congresswoman, mayors and other Democratic figures before he settled on Harris [AP].

Democratic convention

The speaker slate for next week's Democratic National Convention includes Barack and Michelle Obama along with the Clintons and Bidens [CNN].


President Trump said Tuesday morning in a radio interview that China would "own the United States" if Joe Biden wins in November. He also claimed, without evidence, that vaccines to fight the coronavirus are "ready to go" and again pushed hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus [Politico].

QAnon comes to Congress

Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Green, who is a supporter of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, won her primary runoff race on Tuesday, which puts her in good position to win a seat in Congress [CNN].

About that Portland Bible-burning story...

A story about Black Lives Matter protesters burning Bibles and American flags in Portland that was covered breathlessly in right-wing media originated with a Kremlin-backed video news agency. It's the first direct evidence of Russian disinformation designed to upend the 2020 presidential race [NYT].

Delay of game

The Big 10 and Pac 12 conferences officially postponed college football and other fall sports, becoming the first major conferences to do so [NYT].


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.

More National Headlines


1492 - Christopher Columbus arrives in the Canary Islands on his first voyage to the new world.

1851 - Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his sewing machine.

1898 - A peace protocol was signed, ending the Spanish-American War. The United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, and annexed Hawaii.

1914 - World War I: The United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary.

1939 - The Wizard of Oz had its world premiere in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

1964 - South Africa is banned from the Olympic Games due to the country's racist policies

1966 - John Lennon apologized for saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

1981 - IBM introduced the first personal computer.

1992 - Canada, Mexico and the United States announce the completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

1994 - Major League Baseball players go on strike, forcing the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

Wise Words

Looking for Truth

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side

Same for Biden

"At this point, 'friendly side of the aisle' just means anyone who won't ask a follow-up question." - SETH MEYERS, on Rush Limbaugh's wondering why Trump would talk to Axios, which he said wasn't on "the friendly side of the aisle"

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