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Situational Awareness


Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

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:

  • Utah voters support raising the age to buy a gun to 21.
  • A mysterious whistleblower complaint is said to involve President Trump's interactions with the leader of Ukraine.
  • The House votes to fund the government through late November.

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Friday trivia

Here's an obscure head-scratcher to start your Friday, submitted by reader Gordon Jones:

What former House member from Utah became the ambassador to the Malagasy Republic following their defeat?

Send me your guesses via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The first three subscribers to send in the correct answer will be recognized in Monday's newsletter.


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 46 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 129 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 165 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 277 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 410 (11/3/2020)


Read: Top local news | National News Briefing

Today at Utah Policy

Rep. John Knotwell to resign from the Utah House

by Press release
Representative John Knotwell will resign from the Utah House of Representatives,…

Governor appoints Scott Baird as executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality

by Press release
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has announced the appointment of Scott Baird as the executive…

Report: Water revenue mix creates ‘winners’ and ‘losers’

by Utah Foundation
Utah Foundation releases Who Gets the Bill? Water Finance and Fairness in Utah. In this…

Most Utah voters say they're 'ashamed' by mass shootings, but it's up to families and communities to solve the problem

by Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The spate of recent mass shootings in the U.S. has focused attention on the problem of…

Medical marijuana changes include more dispensaries, access for patients

by Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
With one considerable compromise, the Utah Legislature modified Monday night in a special…

Legislators okay $1.5 million settlement with former Attorney General John Swallow

by Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While not happy about it, Utah legislators gave former GOP Attorney General John Swallow…

Policy News

Romney, Merkley introduce bill to address vaping crisis

by Press release
U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Ending New…

McAdams supports temporary measure to keep government open

by Press release
Congressman Ben McAdams today voted for a temporary spending measure that keeps the…

Curtis champions bipartisan lands bills to 'reduce the cost and complexity of recreation'

by Press release
Representatives John Curtis (R-UT), Deputy Republican Leader of the National Parks,…

Stewart votes against continuing resolution

by Press release
Congressman Stewart votes “NO” on H.R. 4378, making continuing appropriations for fiscal…

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report

by TraciO
Outdoors Report -- Salt Lake Tribune: Feds propose letting five times more hikers into…

USMCA: Inside look -- Join us for a seminar on expanding your business into Mexico and Canada

by World Trade Center Utah
Join the U.S. Commercial Service, World Trade Center Utah, and the U.S. Small Business…

Lighter Side

Handling Babies
“I actually think a woman has a better chance against Trump, especially in a debate. Women are much better at handling babies than men. It’s just a biological fact.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

Wise Words


"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." Lao Tzu

National Briefing

Whistleblower controversy

A potentially explosive complaint from a whistleblower in the intelligence committee is said to involve President Donald Trump and his communications with the leader of Ukraine. The complaint, which the Trump administration is withholding from Congress, involves an alleged promise made by President Trump made to a foreign leader and other actions [NYT].

In an insane interview, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer, denied asking Ukraine to investigate former president Joe Biden, then 30 seconds later reversed himself and admitted he did so [WaPo].


Iran's foreign minister vows "all-out war" in the region in the case of a military strike by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia against that country [NYT].

The Pentagon will present President Trump with several options for responding to what the administration claims is an Iranian attack on a Saudi Arabian oil field [AP].

Shutdown averted...for now

The House passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government open through late November. The stopgap measure sets up a potentially massive fight over funding for President Trump's border wall before Thanksgiving [WaPo].

Trump's taxes

President Trump's lawyers sued in federal court to block a subpoena seeking his tax returns. They claim it is unconstitutional to investigate a sitting president [NYT].

A federal judge blocked a California law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the ballot in that state [Politico].


A new Fox News poll shows President Trump losing to every top Democratic candidate [Fox News].

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ended his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination [WaPo].

Build the wall

The Trump administration is considering a plan to once again divert billions of dollars in military funding to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border [WaPo].


A new study says the number of birds in the U.S. and Canada has dropped by nearly 30 percent over the past 50 years [NYT].