Morning Must Reads for Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 356th day of the year. There are ten days remaining in 2016.

Gov. Gary Herbert is wary of a possible Bears Ears monument declaration in the final days of the Obama administration. President Obama permanently bans oil drilling in large parts of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. A non-profit with ties to Donald Trump’s family offered access to the new president for a $1 million donation.

The clock:

  • 30 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 33 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 78 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 321 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 685 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. Waiting for Bears Ears. Gov. Gary Herbert says if President Barack Obama creates a new Bears Ears monument in the waning days of his presidency, it would be an abuse of the Antiquities Act [Utah Policy]. Here’s the video of our interview with Herbert [Utah Policy].
  2. Countdown rolls on. The first election under the SB54 compromise is our #5 Utah political news story from 2016 [Utah Policy].
  3. Not a drill. President Barack Obama permanently bans oil drilling in large portions of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. The announcement makes much of the eastern seaboard off-limits to oil exploration. Administration officials say the moratorium falls under a 1953 law that will make it impossible for President-elect Donald Trump to rescind the ban once he takes office [Washington Post].
  4. Selling access? Donald Trump‘s family is distancing itself from a newly formed non-profit organization that offered access to the President-elect the day after he takes office for a donation of $1 million. The Trump Organization says the fundraiser had not been approved by the Trump family, but one of Trump’s sons is listed on the newly-formed charity’s board of directors [New York Times].
  5. Nearly 3 million. Now that all of the vote totals have been certified, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the popular vote by just under 2.9 million votes [The Hill].
  6. The team of billionaires. Donald Trump‘s Cabinet is shaping up to be the richest ever with an estimated aggregate net worth of $11 billion [CBS News].
  7. Homeless defection. Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall says she does not support one of the four sites chosen for a new homeless center because it is too close to a neighborhood of single-family homes [Tribune].
  8. Whoops. A child pornography case reportedly had to be abandoned because Attorney General Sean Reyes tainted the investigation by taking unauthorized pictures at the scene of an arrest with his cell phone [Tribune].
  9. Population boom. New census numbers show Utah is the fastest-growing state in the nation [Deseret News, Tribune].
  10. Federal funding. An audit shows Utah spent more than $4 billion in federal funds last year [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1620 – The Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Mass., following a 63-day voyage from England aboard the Mayflower.
  • 1864 – Union Gen. William T. Sherman completed his Civil War “march to the sea” across the South and arrived in Savannah, Ga.
  • 1988 – Pan Am Flight 103 exploded and crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing everyone aboard and 11 people on the ground for a total death toll of 270.