How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics for Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 216th day of the year. There are 150 days left in 2016.

Sen. Mike Lee has a mind-boggling cash lead over his Democratic opponent. President Barack Obama slams Donald Trump as “unfit” to be president. A Tea Party House member loses his primary election in Kansas.

The clock:

  • 97 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)
  • 173 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (1/23/2017)
  • 218 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (3/9/2017)

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. “Massive” is not adequate to describe the campaign cash lead Sen. Mike Lee has over Democrat Misty Snow [Utah Policy].
  2. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will headline a rally in Salt Lake City on Saturday [Utah Policy].
  3. President Barack Obama slams Donald Trump as “unfit” to serve as president and challenges Republicans to withdraw their endorsement of the GOP nominee [The Hill]. Trump lashes back at Obama, calling him the worst president in history [Real Clear Politics]. Obama’s attack on Trump is putting Republicans in a very tough position [Slate].
  4. Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and her allies are set to spend $98 million on television advertising while Donald Trump and his supporters have reserved less than $1 million in time [NBC News]. 
  5. Kansas Tea Party Rep. Tim Huelskamp lost his Republican primary to an establishment-backed candidate who vowed to work more closely with GOP leadership [Wall Street Journal].
  6. Top Utah Republicans are taking a pass on commenting about Donald Trump‘s public spat with the Gold Star parents of a fallen soldier [Tribune].
  7. The adult magazine Penthouse attacks Gov. Gary Herbert and the LDS Church for a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis [Tribune].
  8. Rep. Mia Love is extending her big fundraising lead over Democrat Doug Owens [Deseret News].
  9. A new report says even though there were plenty of indications of embezzlement within the Utah Communications Authority, the State Auditor’s Office did not detect the fraud [Tribune].
  10. A state audit says regulators are not enforcing the rules on payday lenders in Utah. It also shows nearly a third of borrowers are “chronic” users of payday loans, and state laws don’t do enough to keep them from borrowing beyond their means  [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain, seeking a western route to India.
  • 1914 – Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. The following day, Britain declared war on Germany and World War I was underway.
  • 1958 – The nuclear submarine Nautilus crossed under the North Pole.
  • 1981 – Air traffic controllers went on strike. The strikers were fired within one week.
  • 1987 – The Iran-Contra congressional hearings ended with none of the 29 witnesses tying President Ronald Reagan directly to the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.