Morning Must Reads for Friday, January 13, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 13th day of the year. There are 352 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns give former Governor Jon Huntsman high approval ratings. Speaker Greg Hughes plans to meet with Donald Trump’s team in Washington next week. Sen. Orrin Hatch’s chief of staff, Rob Porter, is taking a top White House position.

The clock:

  • 7 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 10 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 55 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 298 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 662 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1390 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Friday:

  1. Popularity contest. Utahns give former Governor Jon Huntsman higher approval ratings than both Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee [Utah Policy]. Bob Bernick argues Jon Huntsman would be a formidable opponent if he decides to challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  2. Meeting with Trump. House Speaker Greg Hughes will meet with Donald Trump‘s team next week when he travels to Washington for Trump’s inauguration. Hughes says the meeting will likely focus more on policy than a possible job with the Trump White House [Utah Policy].
  3. Who, what, when, where, why? Watch Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott break down what happened in Utah politics this week in our video week-in-review. This week we discuss how education funding could be a significant battle during this year’s legislature  [Utah Policy].
  4. Movin’ on up! Rob Porter, chief of staff for Sen. Orrin Hatch, is expected to be named White House Staff Secretary. That position has a lot of clout as he decides what documents and memos will make it to Trump’s desk when he assumes the presidency [Politico].
  5. Hillary’s email controversy lives on. The Justice Department says they will launch an investigation into whether FBI Director James Comey violated government policies during the probe into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server [Wall Street Journal].
  6. Chilling effect. Rep. Jason Chaffetz threatens to investigate the head of the Office of Government Ethics, who scoffed at President-elect Donald Trump‘s plan to sideline any conflicts with his business empire, for “blurring the line between public relations and official ethics guidance” [New York Times].
  7. Fixing Bears Ears. Sen. Orrin Hatch pleads with Rep. Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump‘s pick to head the Interior Department, to “clean up the mess” from President Obama’s creation of the new Bears Ears National Monument [Tribune].
  8. Scoop! Mormon apostles Elder Todd Christofferson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson will attend Donald Trump’s inauguration next week [Deseret News].
  9. Tax hike faceoff. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser pushes back against a proposed income tax hike to increase funding for Utah’s public schools saying the plan could do big damage to the state’s economy [Deseret News].
  10. Tension ratcheting up. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is downplaying tensions with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams over four new homeless shelters [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1794 – President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union.
  • 1968 – Johnny Cash records his infamous At Folsom Prison live record.
  • 1982 – Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River bridge in Washington, killing 78 people.
  • 2012 – The Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed.