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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 lwebb@utahpolicy.com,.

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Situational Analysis - September 18, 2020

Happy Friday morning. The weekend is upon us. Keep your mask on if you patronize one of those infamous Utah County parties.


6 days to the 1st Congressional District debate (9/24/2020)
11 days to the Utah gubernatorial debate (9/29/2020)
11 days to the first presidential debate (9/29/2020)
19 days to the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah (10/07/2020)
24 days to the 4th Congressional District debate (10/12/2020)
25 days to the day mail-in ballots can begin to be sent out (10/13/2020)
27 days to the 3rd Congressional District debate (10/15/2020)
27 days to the second presidential debate (10/15/2020)
31 days to the 2nd Congressional District debate (10/19/2020)
33 days to the Utah Attorney General debate (10/21/2020)
34 days to the third presidential debate (10/22/2020)
48 days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)
123 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)
129 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

Hinckley report tonight at 7:30 p.m. Voters this year will consider seven constitutional amendments that could have lasting impacts on our state. Matt Canham, managing editor of The Salt Lake Tribune; former Utah House Representative Rebecca Chavez Houck; and Rod Arquette, host of the Rod Arquette Show, join host Jason Perry for the Hinckley Report tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Today At Utah Policy

Who are Utah's top policy wonks? Here's a list
By LaVarr Webb
I kind of like policy wonks. These are the cerebral people who usually work behind the scenes, exploring and explaining public policy problems, coming up with research, reports and solutions, and trying to make the world a better place. I make a distinction between "pure" policy wonks and the elected officials who are often their bosses. Certainly, many politicians are also policy wonks, but their perspectives are influenced by partisan interests and the need to get re-elected, raise money, increase their name ID, etc. Their view of public policy is not always objective.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgWebb's Wrap: Romney sees a Trump win . . . A chaotic end to election? . . . Reader response on federalism
By LaVarr Webb
There's never been much love lost between Pres. Donald Trump and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Romney has been Trump's No. 1 critic among Republican senators, and he even voted to convict Trump after House impeachment and remove him from office. Nevertheless, in an interview with DJ Wilson at the Utah State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference last Tuesday, Romney said he expects Trump will be re-elected and Republicans will retain control of the U.S. Senate.
images/articles/yellow-lab.jpgChange of Pace: It's Friday, time to talk about dogs
By LaVarr Webb
Pres. Harry Truman, having a bad day, reportedly said, "Want a friend in Washington? Get a dog." That's not bad advice, even if you don't live in Washington. I was looking through some old files and came across something I wrote way back in 2003: It's always heartwarming to see how loyal and caring a good dog can be. I am the main feeder, walker and disciplinarian for Hayduke, our yellow lab/golden retriever cross, so to him I'm THE MAN.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


  National Headlines  

Policy News

Meet the 1st District candidates
The Salt Lake Chamber invites you to a Meet the Candidates Virtual Forum with the candidates for Utah's 1st Congressional District, Republican Blake Moore and Democrat Darren Parry. The discussion will focus on the long-term economic vision and strategies for the state, business policy priorities, as well as the immediate economic recovery from COVID-19. The event is Tuesday, September 22, 4-5 p.m. Register HERE.
images/mugs/Aaron-taylor.jpgAaron Taylor named Sutherland's new executive vice president
Sutherland Institute President and CEO Rick Larsen has announced today former Washington, D.C., congressional staffer Aaron Taylor is Sutherland's new Executive Vice President. "Policy eventually plays out in the arena of political debate, and Aaron's experience on all sides of the process will serve Sutherland well," Larsen said. "We are pleased to have him join our team."
Sen. Romney discusses the future of federal health policy
We were honored to host  Senator Mitt Romney as part of our afternoon keynote at the recent 2020 Utah State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference. During a one-on-one conversation with host DJ Wilson, Romney discussed what it's like to be a member of Congress in 2020, his top concerns for the country, and his views on the future of federal health policy.
Stewart votes to protect pregnant workers
Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) voted "YES" on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, H.R. 2694<https://stewart.house.gov/UploadedFiles/MTR_HR2694.pdf>. This bill creates a stand-alone law that requires employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Following the vote, Congressman Stewart issued the following statement:
State House candidate debates announced
The Better Utah Institute and League of Women Voters of Utah have announced two upcoming general debates for House District 54 and House District 49. The debates will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, September 22nd, and Wednesday, September 30th, and will be open to the general public and press. More information can be found here. Members of the public are invited to submit questions for consideration by the debate moderator.



(From History.com)

1793 - George Washington lays the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building, home of the U.S. Congress. The building will take nearly a century to fully complete.

1960 - Fidel Castro visits New York as head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations. The visit stirs indignation and admiration from various sectors of American society.

1973 - Future President Jimmy Carter files a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena claiming he had seen a UFO in October 1969.

1975 - Patty Hearst is captured by police and is charged with armed robbery. The 20-year-old heiress of the Hearst fortune had been kidnapped a year earlier by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a small leftist group. She later declared she was joining the SLA of her own free will and she participated in robberies.  She is convicted, but her prison term is commuted by Pres. Jimmy Carter. She receives a full pardon from Pres. Bill Clinton.

Wise Words

Content: "He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature." Socrates

Lighter Side

A Little Too Literal

If you're interested in becoming a lawyer, you'll need a degree. But as these court transcripts reveal, the question is, in what?

Attorney: "How was your first marriage terminated?"
Witness: "By death."
Attorney: "And by whose death was it terminated?"
Witness: "Guess."

Attorney: "Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?"

Witness: "All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight."  Reader's Digest 

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