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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 27, 2020

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

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

55 days to the Utah Attorney General debate (10/21/2020)

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

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

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

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

  • Pence rips Biden as a "Trojan horse" for the left.
  • NBA players strike.
  • Former Romney and McCain staffers endorse Biden.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Authoritarian_Nightmare_John_Dean.jpgPodcast: John Dean on Trump and authoritarianism
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former White House counsel John Dean knows what an authoritarian leader looks like. After all, he was a member of the Nixon administration where he played a central role in the Watergate scandal.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgUtah Foundation finds state taxes and spending a top concern of Utah voters
By Utah Foundation
Utah Foundation releases the second in a series of Utah Priorities Project briefs looking at Utah voters' top concerns. State Taxes and Government Spending ranked second in July. Concern is driven in part by the economic crisis and a recent attempt at major tax reform.
images/1000px_Mugs/Burgess_Owens_02.jpgReport: Republican Burgess Owens plagiarized numerous passages in one of his books
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Burgess Owens, the Republican nominee in Utah's 4th Congressional District, reportedly plagiarized numerous passages in one of his books. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_02.jpgJon Huntsman's decision on a write-in campaign expected this week
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Gov. Jon Huntsman met in person with a group of supporters hoping to convince him to launch a write-in campaign last week UtahPolicy.com has learned. The Friday afternoon meeting lasted almost four hours, but Huntsman has not yet made a final decision. 
images/Resized_Logos/UtahPolicy6_400x288.jpgDeseret News is purchasing Utah Policy
By Utah Policy Staff
After 16 years of being published by LaVarr Webb, Utah Policy is being purchased by The Deseret News. The sale is expected to be finalized by the end of the month. The Deseret News has asked Webb to continue managing the newsletter and driving key content and relationships. 

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


RNC night #3

Mike Pence called Joe Biden a "Trojan horse" for the radical left during his speech in Baltimore. He also promised a coronavirus vaccine will be available by the end of the year [USA Today].

President Donald Trump will formally accept the Republican nomination for another term on Thursday night. He's expected to speak about the progress he made during his first term and accuse Democrats of stoking violence [AP].


A 17-year-old from Illinois was arrested after he fired a military-style assault rifle at protesters in Wisconsin, killing two and seriously wounding another [CNN].

Much of the fatal shooting was captured on social media video [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel].

The teenager accused in the Kenosha shooting was in the front row of a Trump rally in January of this year [BuzzFeed].


NBA players refused to take the floor on Wednesday night to protest a racially motivated shooting in Wisconsin [Yahoo! Sports].

Monster storm

Hurricane Laura slammed ashore in Louisiana as a massive category 4 storm with an "unsurvivable" storm surge [CNN].


Trump administration officials pressured the CDC to change coronavirus testing guidelines to exclude people with no symptoms who have been exposed to the virus [Politico].

Abbot labs has developed a $5 Covid test that can produce results in 15 minutes [Bloomberg].

Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine showed promising signs in a small trial of elderly patients [CNBC].

2020 election

Intelligence officials say there is no evidence that foreign countries were attempting to tamper with voting by mail, contradicting President Trump [AP].

At least 20 former staffers from Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign have endorsed Democrat Joe Biden [Politico].

More than 100 staffers from Republican John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign are backing Biden [New York Times].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Border security officials considered using a microwave "heat ray" designed by the military against migrants at the southern border [NYT].


Orders for durable goods leaped 11.2% in July [Market Watch].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/EDCUtah_Logo_2020.pngProject Pam: Home Reserve finds a home in Ogden
The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) are pleased to announce that Home Reserve will open an office in Utah, creating up to 15 new manufacturing jobs in the next year.The company is leasing property in Ogden and projects $2.5 million in capital expenditures associated with the project.
Registration renewal reminder postcards ending
The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles announced in July that the usual postcard registration reminder was being discontinued.
Mayor Mendenhall announces expanded digital equity efforts in Rose Park, Glendale
Salt Lake City's digital equity efforts are continuing to grow in the city's west side neighborhoods as Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced the expansion of City Connect Wi-Fi to the Sorenson Unity Center, and the extension of the Rose Park Connect.
Department of Commerce announces sanctions against broker for unauthorized use of client trust money
The Utah Department of Commerce announced a settlement involving disciplinary action against Bruce Armstrong, a licensed real estate principal broker, for taking tens of thousands of dollars from trust funds he held on behalf of his clients.
Deadline for Salt Lake County property tax relief quickly approaching
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Treasurers' office has been limited in its efforts to promote the tax relief programs available to the residents of the County.  Staff usually visits senior centers and participates in senior expos and conventions to get the word out.  Countywide Council Member Shireen Ghorbani and Treasurer K. Wayne Cushing want to emphasize this worthy cause.

More National Headlines


1776 - Battle of Long Island: In what is now Brooklyn, British forces under General William Howe defeat Americans under General George Washington.

1859 - The first successful oil well in the U.S. was drilled near Titusville, Pennsylvania.

1883 - The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history destroyed the island of Krakatoa, a small, uninhabited island west of Sumatra in Indonesia.

1928 - The Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war is signed by fifteen nations. Ultimately sixty-one nations will sign it.

Wise Words


"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." Albert Einstein

Lighter Side

Obama Crush

"Oh my God, he's really there. It's everything I miss - Obama, the Constitution, a president, hair cuts. He looks so fresh!" - STEPHEN COLBERT

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