Morning must reads for Monday, February 13, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 44th day of the year. There are 321 days remaining in 2017.

House GOP leaders are not considering a tax hike to boost funding for public schools. Rep. Rob Bishop says there’s a “coordinated effort” to disrupt public meetings held by Republicans.

The clock:

  • 15 days until President Trump is scheduled to addresses a joint session of Congress (2/28/2017)
  • 24 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 267 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 632 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1359 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Here are some of the stories making news in politics this morning:

  1. Republican leaders in the House say they have “no appetite” to raise taxes this year in order to better fund schools [Utah Policy].
  2. Rep. Rob Bishop says he sees a “coordinated effort” from outside groups to disrupt Republican town hall meetings [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast of our conversation with Bishop [Utah Policy].
  3. Sen. Stuart Adams wants to undo a state law that prohibits discussing homosexuality in a positive manner during sex ed classes [Utah Policy].
  4. Rep. Marc Roberts proposes allowing juries to consider whether the penalty for a crime is fair and, if it’s not, be able to set that aside [Utah Policy].
  5. Our “Political Insiders” offer their opinions on whether the Outdoor Retailers Show will abandon Utah because of the public lands flap [Utah Policy].
  6. Rep. Jason Chaffetz says the raucous crowd at his town hall meeting tried “bullying and intimidation” to disrupt the proceedings [Deseret News]. Utah Democrats ding Chaffetz for saying the crowd was full of paid protesters [Deseret News]. Cottonwood Heights police say protesters who were armed and had their faces covered with bandanas urged the crowd to rush police officers as they closed the doors [Fox 13]. Chaffetz returns to more controversy in Washington, D.C. as residents there are railing against his meddling with their laws [Washington Post]. 
  7. National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn is on tenuous ground after it was revealed he had contacts with Russian officials before President Donald Trump took office, then lied about those talks [Wall Street Journal]. Trump is also voicing his displeasure about the job performance of other top White House staffers, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus [Politico]. Here’s how you can tell Priebus is in trouble: a “friend” of Trump’s is telling anyone who will listen that he’s not up to the job [New York Times].
  8. More companies have pulled out of the Outdoor Retailers Show to protest the positions on public lands issues taken by Utah leaders [Tribune].
  9. Utah lawmakers advance a bill requiring doctors to tell women that abortions induced using drugs can be stopped halfway through the procedure, even though there’s very little evidence to support that claim [Tribune, Deseret News].
  10. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is reportedly under consideration for a top job at the State Department or an ambassadorship in the Donald Trump administration [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1935 – A jury in Flemington, N.J., found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-death of the infant son of avaitor Charles Lindberg and his wife, Anne. (Hauptmann was later executed.)
  • 2000 – Charles Schulz’s final “Peanuts” comic strip ran in Sunday newspapers, the day after the cartoonist died at age 77.