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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 19, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


The Legislature's 6th special session is tomorrow (8/20/2020)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Democrats official nominate Joe Biden for president.
  • The head of the Postal Service says he will hold off on implementing controversial changes until after the November election.
  • Legislative Republicans slam the door on a bid to block funding for a controversial coal port in California.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgLegislative Republicans nix proposal to shift state funding away from a controversial California coal port
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republicans on the legislature's top budgeting committee beat back Democrats' efforts on Tuesday to block state money from bailing out a controversial bankrupt coal port in Oakland and providing more money for Utah classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200818_Wilson_CNN.pngJenny Wilson represents Utah during Democratic roll call of the states
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson represented Utah during the roll call of the states during Tuesday's Democratic National Convention.
images/1000px_Mugs/Thomas_Wright_03.jpgPodcast: Thomas Wright on running for governor, and why he thinks Trump will win in November
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican Thomas Wright joins the podcast to discuss his run for governor.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgLawmakers debating whether to extend coronavirus emergency declaration ahead of Thursday's special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A debate over Governor Gary Herbert's declaration of a state of emergency is dominating behind the scenes discussions ahead of Thursday's special legislative session.
images/1000px_Mugs/Burgess_Owens_02.jpgBurgess Owens praised a Republican candidate linked to white nationalism on Twitter
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Burgess Owens, the Republican nominee in Utah's 4th Congressional District, praised a North Carolina Republican candidate who has been criticized for what appears to be his support for white nationalism. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Kanye_West_01.jpgKanye West qualifies for Utah presidential ballot
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rapper Kanye West will appear as a candidate for president on Utah's ballot in November. 
images/1000px_Mugs/McAdams_Owens_01.jpgMcAdams/Owens matchup shifts slightly toward the GOP
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Freshman Democrat Ben McAdams' re-election prospects are looking a little dicier with less than three months to go before the election. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200814_Love_CNN.jpgLove: Trump promoting birther lie about Kamala Harris is 'harmful to the American people'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Utah Rep. Mia Love criticized President Donald Trump on Friday for promoting a baseless, racist conspiracy theory about Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'The inexorable march of death'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the latest news from around the Utah political universe.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Democrats officially nominated Joe Biden for president during the second night of the Democratic National Convention [NYT].

Jill Biden was night two's star, along with a charming roll-call vote from around the nation [Politico].

Russia, Russia, Russia!

The Senate Intelligence Committee released the results of their investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign. The report left no doubt that a network of Russians with intelligence ties worked with Trump's operatives to torpedo Hillary Clinton's campaign. The report says former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was working with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian intelligence officer, concluding Manafort's role in the campaign "represented a grave counterintelligence threat" [CNN].

The report also concludes Russia is continuing to interfere in U.S. politics ahead of the 2020 election to try and help President Donald Trump win a second term [NYT].

White House officials are furiously trying to throw water on a report that Trump wanted to hold an in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the 2020 election [Bloomberg].

Postal service

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he will suspend the controversial changes he instituted to the Postal Service until after the November election [NPR].


The number of cases in the U.S. is on the rise as students begin to return to in-person classes [WSJ].

The World Health Organization is warning that young people who may not be showing symptoms are the primary spreaders of the virus [WaPo].

Development of a coronavirus vaccine is moving at a rapid clip in the U.S., but officials say they need more minorities to enroll in the clinical trials [CNN].

Stimulus bill

Republicans in Congress are floating a scaled-back coronavirus stimulus bill. The White House sees room for Republicans and Democrats to agree on a smaller round of pandemic belief totaling $500 billion with would include financial help for the Postal Service, money for schools and more help for businesses to keep employees on the job [Bloomberg]. 

Uh oh

Business leaders say they're unlikely to take advantage of President Donald Trump's executive order allowing them to postpone collecting payroll taxes [WaPo].


Notre Dame suspended in-person classes for two weeks after a Covid-19 outbreak on campus [CBS News].


New home construction in the U.S. jumped 22.6 percent last month [AP].

Walmart's second-quarter results were much higher than expected as online sales jumped 97 percent [CNBC].

Home Depot's sales rose 25 percent last quarter [Fortune].

Better late than never

President Trump said he would posthumously pardon suffragette Susan B. Anthony. She was convicted by an all-male jury in 1873 for voting illegally in 1872 [The Hill].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngSustaining global supply chains in a bankruptcy tsunami webinar
Join World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with Parsons Behle & Latimer, for a webinar about the impending bankruptcy consequences of the pandemic.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber to honor outstanding community leaders
Utah's business leaders will gather for the Salt Lake Chamber's 133rd Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast on September 10, 2020. The theme this year will be "Adventure Awaits!" as there is no one way to engage with the Chamber and it is a place for opportunity, networking, education, and professional growth for businesses and professionals throughout the state. 
UCAIR board names chair elect and ratifies executive committee to lead clean air pursuit
UCAIR, the Utah Clean Air Partnership, ratified its incoming Board Chair, Executive Committee, and named a new Chair-Elect at its annual Board reorganization meeting.
Filevine announces expansion to Salt Lake City's Sugarhouse business district
Filevine announced plans to expand its operation to Salt Lake City. The company is now serving nearly 2,000 firms with over 20,000 users worldwide.

More National Headlines


1934 - A plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler as Fuhrer.

1960 - U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers was convicted in a Moscow court and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released 18 months later in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

1991 - a coup orchestrated by hard-line Communists and led by Vice President Gennady Yanayev removed Mikhail Gorbachev as president of the Soviet Union. The coup would endure for three days before being put down.

2004 - Internet search engine Google went public.

Wise Words

Good Advice

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side

Noah Pontificating

"Trump got impeached for trying to secretly rig the election and his response is to go, [as Trump] 'I learned my lesson. I won't rig an election in secret ever again.'" - TREVOR NOAH

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