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Situational awareness - August 26, 2019

Good Monday 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:

  • Utahns don't think immigrant families should be separated.
  • President Donald Trump claims China wants to make a deal on trade. China says they don't know what he's talking about.
  • Former Rep. Joe Walsh announces a 2020 primary challenge to President Trump.


Utah has never elected a governor who previously served in the U.S. House, which could change next year if Rep. Rob  Bishop joins the 2020 gubernatorial contest. The other two states who have not elected a former Representative as governor are Arizona and Alaska. 

Only two of our subscribers submitted a correct answer to this week's stumper:

  • Zachary Zundel
  • Travis Campbell

If you have a Utah political trivia question, send it to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com. If I use it, I'll send you a limited edition UtahPolicy.com laptop sticker.


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 71 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 154 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 190 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 303 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 435 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Border_facility_01.jpgPoll: Utahns believe immigrant families should not be separated at the border
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Half of all Utahns say illegal immigrant families should be held together in detention until their status is legally determined, a new UtahPolicy.com poll conducted by Y2 Analytics says.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgHow much does it cost to make a political point? - Bernick and Schott on politics
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lawmakers are tackling tax reform. Our polling shows they've got a tough task ahead of them if they decide to move forward with a number of controversial choices. We break down the numbers.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber releases white paper on tax reform
By Salt Lake Chamber
The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah's largest and longest-standing business association, released its white paper on tax reform.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/School_Funding_01.pngShould Utah ditch the constitutional earmark for education funding? Our new poll shows voters are mostly opposed to the idea
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
One idea for changing Utah's tax system that seems to be gaining traction on Utah's Capitol Hill is ending the constitutional requirement that all income taxes collected by the state go toward funding education. If lawmakers decide to head down that path, they may have a difficult time getting Utah voters to follow them.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Oh, how Republican Utah has changed
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 Bob Bernick Before you condemn Utah as an archconservative, Republican-only state, consider the following:Sen. Mitt Romney and Gov. Gary Herbert are talking about gun control --full background checks and even "red flag" laws that could take guns away from those a danger to themselves or others.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jeff_Burningham_01.jpgBurningham staffing up ahead of official campaign launch
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Jeff Burningham Republican Jeff Burningham is expected to officially launch his gubernatorial campaign in the coming weeks. Ahead of that announcement, Burningham has brought on several veteran Utah politicos to help run his campaign.
images/1000px_Logos/Cities_Work_Logo.jpgCities work podcast: Rescue Me - The expectations of residents during an emergency
By Utah League of Cities and Towns
A quake hits, a fire rages, a mudslide blocks off a main thoroughfare. Who do residents depend on when disaster hits their community? A large amount of trust is placed in city leaders based on a ULCT/Y2 Analytics survey. ULCT's Cameron Diehl speaks with Y2's Kyrene Gibb about resident's expectations when there's a community call for help.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



China. President Donald Trump claimed his trade negotiators had received "two very good calls" from China signaling they are serious about making a deal to end the trade war between the two countries. Chinese officials denied any phone calls, saying they have no idea what Trump is talking about [AP].

  • Trump said Sunday he was having "second thoughts" about a new round of tariffs on China [NYT].
  • The president asserted Friday he has the power to force American companies to leave China [NYT].
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham says Americans should "accept the pain" that comes from Trump's trade war with China [WaPo].

G7. French President Emmanuel Macron engineered a surprise visit from Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at this year's meeting [CNN].

Economy. President Trump's companies stand to save millions of dollars if interest rates fall. He has repeatedly demanded that the Federal Reserve lower rates [WaPo].

Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has completed treatment for pancreatic cancer [ABC News].

A challenger emerges. Former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh announced he would mount a primary challenge to President Trump in 2020 [CNN].

Trump allies target journalists. Conservative operatives say they have complied potentially embarrassing social media posts from employees of news organizations they see as hostile to President Trump [NYT].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. President Donald Trump reportedly suggested using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes before they hit the U.S. [Axios].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_01.jpgMcAdams supports bill to improve transparency for students taking out federal college loans
Congressman Ben McAdams joins Florida Congresswoman Donna Shalala and Utah Congressman Chris Stewart on a measure that requires more transparency and disclosure for students who take out federal college loans-across the entire life of the loan.  McAdams has signed on to the bipartisan Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act of 2019 (H.R. 4193).
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgSen. Lee comments on Qualcomm antitrust stay
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Friday after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a lower court antitrust ruling that would have forced Qualcomm to end certain patent licensing practices.
Governor appoints Angela F. Fonnesbeck to the First District Court
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Angela F. Fonnesbeck as a judge for the First District Court. 
United Utah Party announces 2019 countywide conventions
Beginning September 7, 2019, the United Utah Party will be holding county party conventions across Utah. The purpose of these conventions is to elect county officers, help party supporters get to know each other, and work together to build the party in the county.   
Salt Lake City announces a variety of public events as part of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference
Following months of planning and coordination with representatives from all over the globe, the local community is invited to take part in the upcoming 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, taking place Aug. 26-28 in Salt Lake City.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--KSL.com:Here's why tiger muskies can now be found in 3 of Utah's higher-elevated lakesNew Films-- Angel Has Fallen: Tribune review

More National Headlines


1963 - The Moscow-Washington hotline between the leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union goes into operation.

1967 - Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court.

1992 - The 11-day Ruby Ridge standoff ends with Randy Weaver surrendering to federal authorities.

Wise Words


"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lighter Side


"He'll [Trump] try every financial maneuver he knows: getting a shady loan from Russia, telling his blackjack dealers to stick on a soft 17. And if all else fails? Selling Dr. Trump's patented anti-recession elixir. The delicious mercury makes you forget what money was." -STEPHEN COLBERT

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