Morning must reads for Thursday, February 16, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 47th day of the year. There are 318 days remaining in 2017.

A fight may be brewing over a bill establishing a runoff in some primary elections. Some Republicans are urging Rep. Jason Chaffetz to start investigating Donald Trump’s White House. A Colorado group takes out newspaper ads to lure the Outdoor Retailers Show away from Utah.

The clock:

  • 12 days until President Trump is scheduled to addresses a joint session of Congress (2/28/2017)
  • 21 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 264 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 629 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1356 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Here are the stories making news in politics this morning:

  • There may be a fight in the Legislature brewing over a bill establishing a runoff for some primary elections. The current legislation calls for a runoff if candidates reach 35%, but some Republicans in the House think that number is too low [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz wants an investigation into who leaked classified information that led to the resignation of National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Politico]. 
  • A Colorado group takes out half-page newspaper ads in Utah lobbying the Outdoor Retailers Show to abandon Salt Lake City over the attitude toward public lands shown by state leaders [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Brad Daw wants to allow cities and counties to boost sales taxes to fund road projects [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The House approves a bill removing race and gender when considering candidates for Utah judges [Utah Policy, Deseret NewsTribune].
  • The Senate advances a bill that would remove the requirement to have a certain number of Democrats on some state boards and commissions [Utah Policy, Tribune]. 
  • Some Congressional Republicans are pushing Rep. Jason Chaffetz to unleash Oversight Committee investigations on the Donald Trump White House [Politico].
  • Andrew Puzder withdraws as President Donald Trump‘s nominee for Labor Secretary [Washington Post].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he supports a proposal to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and hopes to discuss the Bears Ears National Monument with the Trump administration when he visits Washington next week [Associated Press].
  • Rep. Mike Winder‘s proposal to give teachers in low-income schools a salary boost barely passes a House committee [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • What?! When Donald Trump made surprise calls to the Air Force general in charge of the F-35 jet program to discuss the ballooning cost of the program, the CEO of Boeing was listening in on the call. The only problem is the F-35 is manufactured by Boeing’s chief rival, Lockheed [Bloomberg].
  • U.S. intelligence officials are withholding some information from President Trump because they are fearful it could be leaked or that the White House is compromised [Wall Street Journal].

On this day in history:

  • 1923 – The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt.
  • 1948 – NBC-TV aired the first nightly newscast, “The Camel Newsreel Theatre,” which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels.
  • 1959 – Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba a month after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.