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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 5, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. The week is already half over. Wear your mask.


90 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

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

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

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

  • Rep. Craig Hall is one of the most vulnerable legislators this election.
  • Bernick and Schott shoot the breeze on a variety of election topics.
  • Interesting results in Tuesday's primary elections in various states.
  • Webb opinion briefs on police brutality, other topics.
  • Utah Foundation releases poll on what voters are most concerned about.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Maps/House_District_33.pngRep. Craig Hall facing another tough contest in HD33
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
Editor's Note: UtahPolicy.com is reviewing several Utah legislative races this general election, with an eye toward those which have been close in the past in final vote counts.Utah State House Rep. Craig Hall is a moderate GOP lawmaker -- he may not like that title -- who often works across the aisle to achieve his goals.But while he may have Democratic friends in the House, the Utah Democratic Party wants him gone -- replaced by a Democrat who may just fit in better with his West Valley City-centered District 33.
images/Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo.jpgSurvey and report show health care as Utah voters' top concern
By Press Release
Tax and Spending, K-12 Education, the Economy and the Pandemic Round out Top IssuesThe Utah Foundation has released What's on Utah's Mind: Voter Issues and Concerns in 2020. This report - the first release in the 2020 Utah Priorities Project series - outlines voters' top concerns. The project uses surveys to inform candidates for elected office, elected officials, civic leaders and others on voters' priorities. It draws from a survey taken before the coronavirus pandemic hit Utah and from a second one taken this summer.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgThe thankless job of a police officer . . . Utah 7th best at minority civic engagement . . . keep a journal
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
Rough time to be a police officer. As clashes between protestors and police officers continue in Utah, it's worth considering the difficult split-second choices officers have to make. I recently heard a news media interview with a black police chief in a midwestern city. He noted that most accusations of police brutality and improper police shootings come after an individual either resists arrest or runs away with a lethal weapon in hand.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: Let's discuss election polls!
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick discuss the latest Utah political news.
images/Maps/House_District_38.pngAfter a close race in 2018, House District 38 could be a fiercely contested battleground in 2020
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
Editor's Note: UtahPolicy.com is reviewing several Utah legislative races this general election, with an eye toward those which have been close in the past in final vote counts.As Utah Democratic leaders look to win a few more Utah House races this election, perhaps the most vulnerable GOP incumbent is long-time representative Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, who won re-election in 2018 by just 118 votes, 50.7-49.3 percent out of 8,610 cast.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200803_Cox_PBS.jpgCox pushes back against Trump's attacks on mail-in voting
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said Monday he's worried President Trump's constant attacks on mail-in voting will make voters question the election results. 
Utah Foundation 75th Anniversary Celebration
By Press Release
Utah Foundation will hold its Annual Luncheon and 75th Anniversary Celebration on Sept. 17 at the Grand America in Salt Lake City, as well as online for those who prefer to connect remotely. The event will run from noon to 1:30. This year's luncheon will be an action-packed event featuring the next governor of Utah, honoring one of the state's great civic leaders, and hearing from an enlightening speaker.
Post-Trump, will the nation be unified? Don't bet on it
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
Last Saturday I attended a reunion for extended family members in a beautiful campground up Logan Canyon. It was great to reconnect with many nieces, nephews, cousins, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, aunts, uncles, etc., and get updates on their lives and many challenges.One topic of conversation we generally avoided at the reunion was politics. That's because a really fast way to mess up a reunion and alienate a beloved family member is to bring up Pres. Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Black Lives Matter, measures to mitigate COVID-19 (like wearing masks and socially distancing), and so forth.
Opinion Briefs: Dems will botch running the country if they win . . . debating the debates . . . Trump shenanigans . . . mail-in voting
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
A little history gives hope. As a mainstream Republican, I could easily get depressed over the drubbing Republicans are likely to take in November. There's a reasonable chance we will lose the presidency, the U.S. Senate, and Democrats will be running the country.However, I have full confidence that Democrats will badly botch their opportunity to rule - like they did last time. Remember the Obama years? In many circles, they conjure up nostalgia and some fondness. But, in reality, Obama was a disaster for the Democratic Party. By the time he left office, Democrats had lost more than 1,000 seats in state legislatures, Congress and governorships.

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Congress still struggling with coronavirus relief package

Democrats seek to exploit Trump/GOP tensions in COVID-19 relief talks (The Hill). Negotiators try to reach deal on unemployment, evictions by end of the week (Washington Post).

Beirut explosion

At least 100 people were killed and thousands more injured in a massive explosion in Lebanon's capital (Wall Street Journal).

2020 election update

Kobach and Clay go down: Takeaways from a big primary election night (Politico). Trump campaign knocks on a million doors a week. Biden's knocks on zero (Politico). Biden campaign plans red-state media blitz (The Hill).

Mail-in ballots

Trump and Democrats both hold fears about the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in ballots (The Hill) (Washington Post).

Rough weather up the coast

Hurricane Isaias lashed the northeast U.S. with destructive winds, tornadoes and flooding (The Weather Channel).

Profile: Karen Bass's unexpected journey to power

The little-known California congresswomen, in some ways an outsider, is now a top contender to be Joe Biden's running mate (New York Times).


Black writer Walter E. Williams decries the leftist effort to revise American history by destroying monuments and statues and renaming institutions (The Daily Signal).


Policy News

images/mugs/Chris_Stewart.jpgStewart holds his annual Security Summit
Congressman Chris Stewart will hold his Stewart Security Summit live on Facebook and YouTube on August 7. Today's challenging times both domestically and globally, will provide plenty of discussion material.This year's keynote speaker will be President Trump's National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien. Among others, we will also be joined by House Budget Committee Ranking Member, Steve Womack."I hope you will join me virtually on August 7th, starting at 9 a.m.," said Stewart. "For event updates, follow me on Facebook and Twitter."
images/Logos/EDCUtahLogo.jpgDCUtah updates industry profiles
In recent weeks, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah research team has updated the industry profiles of the Financial Services, IT, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Aerospace, and Outdoor Products sectors. You can find these comprehensive documents on the EDCUtah Research page.
Hinckley Journal of Politics Vol 21 has been published
We are thrilled to announce that this year's Hinckley Journal is complete! This year-long project was guided by co-editors Miranda Jones and Jacqueline Mumford with help from their editorial board of fellow students. Together this group read through all of the many submissions and ultimately selected five compelling pieces that range on topics from hate speech to immunization compliance. In addition, Pam S. Perlich and Mallory Bateman of the Gardner Policy Institute contributed their analysis of the 2020 census. The journal can be viewed here.
Mendenhall selected as 2020 ESA regional policy award winner
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has named Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall as its 13th annual Regional Policy Award recipient. The ESA award recognizes an elected or appointed local policymaker whose record reflects the use of ecological science to inform policy decisions.The 2020 ESA Annual Meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City Aug. 3-6, but the meeting moved to an all-virtual format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More National Headlines


1858 - After several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, ushering in a new communications era.

1861 - Abraham Lincoln imposes the first federal income tax. Strapped for cash to fund the Civil War, Lincoln and Congress agreed to impose a 3 percent tax on incomes above $800.

1962 - Movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead at her home in LA of an apparent drug overdose. Her death was ruled a probable suicide.

1976 - The National Basketball Association merges with its rival, the American Basketball Association, and takes on the ABA's four most successful franchises.

1981 - Pres. Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who defied an order to return to work. Air travel slowed, but Reagan made his point.

Wise Words


"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression" James Madison: letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 17, 1788

Lighter Side

Looking for a Viable Candidate

"President Trump on Twitter this morning suggested postponing November's presidential election, but just until the Republican Party can find a viable candidate." - SETH MEYERS

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