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Situational analysis: Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Welcome to Tuesday, nearly a week into August. Football can't be far off.

Top of the news:

  • Soul-searching continues after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
  • Bernick writes: Huntsman heading home and likely to run for governor . . . Scott Simpson looking seriously at congressional run.  
  • Webb asks: What's greatest threat climate change or federal debt? Also, a touching tribute to Norma Matheson.

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Today is the 218th day of the year. There are 147 days remaining in 2019.

7 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

91 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

149 days until candidates can begin to gather signatures to get on the 2020 ballot (1/2/2020)

174 days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (1/27/2020)

181 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

210 days to the 2020 Utah presidential primary (3/3/2020)

219 days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (3/12/2020)

220 days to the opening of candidate filing for the 2020 election (3/13/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/mugs/scott-simpson.jpgScott Simpson is contemplating a run for Congress

One of the people considering a run in 2020 for the now-open 1st Congressional District seat is Scott Simpson who may not be a household name to northern Utah GOP voters, but is certainly well thought of inside Utah Republican politics.Simpson for the last 16 years has been the head of the Utah Credit Union Association, and has lobbied on Utah's Capitol Hill for that group.
images/mugs/Jon_Huntsman.jpgHuntsman likely to come home & seek governorship

In criticizing a story about former Gov. Jon Huntsman, now ambassador to Russia, on CNN, former Utah First Lady Mary Kaye Huntsman confirmed what UtahPolicy.com first reported some time ago: That the Huntsman family will leave the ambassadorship this fall.
Communications tip: Use this methodology to create PR plan

In both business and politics, when we have something important to communicate, we sometimes brainstorm and toss out things like, "We should send out a press release" or, "Let's do a social media campaign."Rather than shooting from the hip, it makes a lot more sense to follow a proven methodology to create an effective communications plan and strategy.  Follow these seven steps to create that plan:
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion briefs: A tribute to Norma Matheson . . . Is climate change or federal debt greatest threat?

What's greatest threat to your family? I don't really like the word "existential", as in "existential threat." The definition has been perverted to mean a threat to one's very existence, rather than its original reference to the individual as a free agent responsible for his or her own actions.But because the word is so commonly misused, I'll further exploit it with what I think is a very interesting question: Which is the greatest existential threat: Climate change, or the federal debt? Which one will most damage your family, your children and grandchildren in the next 10, 15 or 20 years?
images/Charts/upd-chart-8-5-19.pngWhere do Utahns get their news? Mostly from on-line sources

 Most Utahns are now getting their news from online content, a UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics survey finds.The newest Utah Political Trends poll asked about 2,400 registered voters where they learn about current events.And their answers should worry any traditional news source that is not making great efforts to get its news product online, and attract online readers.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion briefs: Mayoral race down to wire . . . can an unknown candidate win governorship?

Mayoral race: a real test of candidate capabilities. The SLC mayoral race is tightening, according to a Salt Lake Tribune poll . Luz Escamilla is within the margin of error of frontrunner James Dabakis, and Erin Mendenhall isn't far behind Escamilla.But polls have a hard time predicting who's going to vote. There could be a surprise in the primary election. It's hard to predict which candidates will be most effective in getting their supporters to mail in their ballots or go to the polls.
images/articles/us-job-creation-8-5.pngZions economic outlook: July job gains solid, but trade war weighs heavy

The U.S. labor market added a respectable 164,000 jobs in July. This was roughly in line with consensus estimates and shows that employers are still willing to hire despite growing uncertainty in the economy. The official unemployment rate remained near historical lows at 3.7 percent and the broader measure of underemployment declined to the lowest level since 2000 of 7.0 percent. The low levels of unemployment and underemployment came even as more individuals entered the labor force in search of a job. The labor force participation rate, which measures those working or looking for work, rose from 62.9 percent to 63.0 percent marking the second consecutive month of gains. Annual wage growth, which was expected to register at 3.1 percent, rose to 3.2 percent

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


Aftermath of mass shootings. Trump explores executive action on guns (Politico). GOP-led states grapple with responses to shootings (Route Fifty). Trump, Democrats at odds over shootings' causes, cures (The Hill). As Democrats blame Trump rhetoric for shootings, Wall Street Journal notes that Dayton, Ohio, shooter was an Elizabeth Warren supporter but she should not be blamed.  

Market selloff.  Global stocks started off largely calm a day after the S&P fell nearly 3 percent (New York Times). Trade war becomes a currency war (Wall Street Journal). Treasury designates China as a currency manipulator (Politico).

2020 election. Dems sweat early state blunders as field is likely to shrink (Politico). Debate hype fails to create momentum for candidates; Biden still leads (Morning Consult). Texas faces turbulent political moment (The Hill).  

Newspaper business. Gatehouse newspaper chain buys Gannett, owner of USA Today, creating largest U.S. newspaper company (Politico).

Climate change. Young climate activists are pushing Democrats to the left (New York Times).

Impeachment. Democratic leaders seek to appease liberals demanding impeachment, while protecting vulnerable centrists (The Hill).

Voting security. Paperless voting devices are gaping weakness in U.S. election system (Politico).


1787  The first draft of the proposed Constitution of the United States is debated in Philadelphia.

1890  The first-ever execution by electric chair is carried out in a New York prison. A man convicted of killing his lover with an axe is executed.

1911  Lucille Ball is born in Jamestown, New York. She becomes one of America's most beloved comic actresses.

1945  The U.S. bomber Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing about 80,000 people and effectively ending WWII.

1965  Pres. Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote.

Policy News

Strata creates new initiative called Stratasphere
The free-market think tank Strata, based in Logan, has embarked on a new initiative called The Stratasphere, which publishes short articles and seeks to find common ground with critics.Randy Simmons, president and co-founder of Strata, issued this statement:
Ambassador to China praises Utah's efforts on trade relations
While participating in the National Governors Association Summer Meeting held in Salt Lake City, U.S. ambassador to China Terry Branstad met with WTC Utah as well as local business leaders and legislators with strong ties to China. The luncheon provided a forum for the group to discuss the importance of engaging with China on a state level despite international trade disputes.
Press release: American Dreams Ideas Challenge seeks innovative policy ideas
 The University of Utah, in partnership with Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, is sponsoring the American Dream Ideas Challenge. The challenge calls for innovative policy ideas or investable concepts that have the potential to increase net income for 10,000 middle-class households in Utah by 10 percent by 2022. 

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Worthy Goal

"This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Lighter Side

Debate Dialogue

"Because here is the deal: Networks have a vested interest in getting the candidates to fight with each other for the drama. So front-runners stand up there and get brutally horsewhipped for hours, while the man Democrats really want them to attack, Donald Trump, is barely mentioned. But you know who has the courage to talk about Donald Trump? Donald Trump." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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