Morning must reads for Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 74th day of the year. There are 291 days remaining in 2017.

Democrats see a chance to make gains because of Republican infighting over SB54. Sen. Orrin Hatch could become the seventh Senator to run for an 8th term. Some of President Donald Trump’s tax returns surface.

The clock:

  • 14 days until the last day Governor Gary Herbert can sign or veto bills (3/29/2017)
  • 66 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 94 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 237 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 313 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 358 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 602 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1329 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL;DR –

  • Utah Democrats may see an opening to gain an advantage in the Republican fight over SB54 [Utah Policy].
  • A pro-term-limits group is threatening Sen. Curt Bramble for killing a term-limits resolution during the 2017 session. The only problem is, Bramble never had a chance to vote on the legislation [Utah Policy].
  • If Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to run for an eighth term in Washington, he would be the seventh Senator to try [Utah Policy].
  • Five members of Congress from Utah are named “Public lands enemies” by an environmental group [Utah Policy].
  • Jason Chaffetz is feuding with Rosie O’Donnell, and Chaffetz is using it to raise money for his 2018 re-election bid [Utah Policy].
  • The costs to purchase each of the five proposed homeless shelter sites in Salt Lake County range from $1 million to $3.5 million [Deseret News]. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams gets a chilly reception at the first open house about the five proposed homeless sites [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Don Peay, who headed up Donald Trump‘s campaign in Utah, says Republicans and Mormons who did not support Trump during the 2016 election should ask for forgiveness [Daily Herald, Tribune].
  • Sen. Jim Dabakis is urging Gov. Gary Herbert to veto the bill lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to .05% [Fox 13].
  • Rep. Mike Winder is under fire for allegedly using multiple accounts to edit a Wikipedia page about his accomplishments [Tribune].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart says he expects to find out more soon about President Donald Trump‘s allegations that former President Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 presidential campaign [Deseret News].
  • Leaked tax returns from 2005 show President Donald Trump paid $38 million in taxes while reporting $153 million in income [CNN].
  • The Fed is almost certain to raise the benchmark short-term interest rate during its meeting on Wednesday [Wall Street Journal].
  • Some groups and media outlets are warning President Trump that the proposed GOP replacement for Obamacare is a “political trap” [Washington Post]. Republican Senators say the bill will not pass their body unless some significant changes are made [Wall Street Journal].
  • Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says FBI Director James Comey could confirm a Russia-related FBI investigation on Wednesday [Politico].
  • Staffers in Donald Trump‘s White House are growing increasingly paranoid about a group of civil servants who are out to embarrass them [Politico].

On this day in history:

  • 44 B.C. – Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.
  • 1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1820 – As part of the Missouri Compromise between the North and South, Maine was admitted into the Union as the 23rd state. It had been administered as a province of Massachusetts since 1647.
  • 1913 – President Woodrow Wilson met with about 100 reporters for the first formal presidential press conference.
  • 1985 – The first Internet domain name,, was registered by the Symbolics Computer Corp. of Massachusetts.