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Situational awareness - August 20, 2019

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City

Thanks for reading 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 need to pay attention to this morning:

  • National Democrats think Rep. Chris Stewart could be vulnerable in 2020.
  • Rep. Greg Hughes raises big bucks ahead of the launch of his expected gubernatorial bid.
  • Pence coming to Utah this week.
  • The White House moves to blunt the impact of an economic slowdown.


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 77 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 160 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 196 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 308 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 441 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Chris_Stewart_11.jpgNational Democrats think Rep. Chris Stewart could be vulnerable in 2020
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Rep. Chris Stewart speaks at the 2019 Utah GOP convention It sounds ludicrous, but national Democrats think they might have a chance to knock off four-term incumbent Republican Chris Stewart in 2020.
images/1000px_Mugs/Greg_Hughes_01.jpgHughes raising big bucks ahead of 2020 gubernatorial bid
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
It's nice to have a few well-to-do friends to help jump-start your governor's race.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgCEO Success Stories with University of Utah President Ruth Watkins
By Salt Lake Chamber
In the latest episode of the Salt Lake Chamber podcast "CEO Success Stories," Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, sits down with University of Utah President Ruth Watkins, to hear about her leadership philosophy, best practices, the American Dream Ideas Challenge, and what to expect at the U this upcoming year.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Trump_Twitter_02.jpgUtahns think Trump's tweets are offensive, but not racist
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Given examples of six recent tweets by GOP President Donald Trump, a UtahPolicy.com poll finds that most Utahns find those tweets offense.But the respondents don't believe the Trump tweets were racist they concerned two African-American leaders.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Economy_04.jpgUtah's unemployment rate remains below the national average
By Press release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for July 2019 grew by an estimated 3.6 percent, adding 54,400 jobs to the economy since July 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,558,100. June's year-over job growth rate is unrevised at 2.9 percent. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgYou are not good at Twitter - Bernick and Schott on politics
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Luz Escamilla leapfrogs Jim Dabakis to apparently secure a spot in November's SLC mayoral election against Erin Mendenhall. We break down why Dabakis may be kicking himself for a long time after this surprising loss.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ken_Ivory_01.jpgRep. Ken Ivory announces he's resigning
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Rep. Ken IvoryThe Utah House is losing one of its archconservative constitutional scholars Ken Ivory is resigning next week.
images/1000px_Mugs/Luz_Escamilla_01.jpgEscamilla overtakes Dabakis in SLC mayor race as Mendenhall widens lead
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
In a stunning reversal from election night, State Sen. Luz Escamilla erased a 109 vote deficit to pass former Sen. Jim Dabakis by 421 votes after the second wave of ballots were counted Thursday afternoon. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: When will I learn my lesson?
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 Bob Bernick Well, I don't learn very well.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


The White House makes moves to soften the effects of a recession. Trump administration officials are eyeing a payroll tax cut to counter an economic downturn [WaPo].

  • J.P. Morgan estimates Trump's tariffs will cost the average American household $1,000 per year [CNBC].
  • Trump tweeted Monday that the Federal Reserve should cut interest rates by "at least 100 basis points" in order to boost the economy [Axios].
  • The Federal Reserve is making a series of changes to regulatory requirements put in place to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis [NYT].
  • RV shipments are slipping, which could be another sign of a looming recession [WSJ].

Trump retreats on gun restrictions. After initially sounding open to expanding background checks following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, President Donald Trump appears to have softened that stance significantly [WaPo].

Impeachment. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the No. 4 House Democrat, announced support for an impeachment investigation against President Trump [Politico].

  • Lujan is the 124th House Democrat to come out in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry [Axios].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. President Trump claimed, without any proof, that Google "manipulated" millions of votes leading to his loss in the popular vote in 2016 [TechCrunch].

Planned Parenthood. The organization is withdrawing from a federal family planning program that provides birth control and other health services to poor women rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule barring referrals to doctors who perform abortions [NYT].

2020. Democrats are spending big on down-ballot races to boost their chances of retaking control of several statehouses [AP].

Uh Oh. Facebook and Twitter say China is spreading disinformation online targeting protesters in Hong Kong [NYT].

China. A new study says the U.S. military is no longer the primary force in Asia, and China could overwhelm American forces within hours if a conflict were to break out [CNN].


Policy News

Ivory Homes brings innovation and affordability to Magna City
Ivory Homes released CW Farms, a new community in Magna City that will have 164 total lots, and 57 lots in Phase 1 and 2 of this development. Ivory Homes is meeting the region's high demand for quality housing at a price point that appeals to all types of homebuyers. CW Farms brings an innovative and streamlined process option to homebuyers in a difficult home building market with rising costs. 
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 podcast: Who's in your wallet? What business leaders, policy makers can learn from the Capital One breach
Sometimes the numbers are so big you can't ignore them. And when two business giants are involved it gets even harder to miss. The latest headline-grabbing cyber breach involves Capital One, a former employee of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a breach impacting 106 million people. 
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune:How might the Trump administration's endangered species overhaul affect Utah--Salt Lake Tribune:Plan afoot to complete Bonneville Shoreline Trail clear across Davis County

More National Headlines


1741 - Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering discovered what is now called Alaska.

1858 - Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution.

1866 - President Andrew Johnson formally declares the Civil War over.

1920 - The National Football League is organized as the American Professional Football Conference in Canton, Ohio.

1968 - Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring."

1996 - President Bill Clinton signed into law an increase in the minimum wage.

Wise Words


"Education is the movement from darkness to light." Allan Bloom

Lighter Side

Teleprompter Sympathy

"Of course, we all know by now that when Trump reads something from a teleprompter, he doesn't actually mean it. More often than not, it's the first time he's even seeing it." Seth Meyers

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