Morning must reads for Friday, March 31, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 90th day of the year. There are 275 days remaining in 2017.

Most Utahns oppose lowering the DUI level to .05%. McAdams will pick a site for a new homeless shelter on Friday. Mike Flynn wants immunity for his testimony in the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. 

The clock:

  • 50 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 78 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 221 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 297 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 342 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 585 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,313 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • NEW POLL: A slim majority of Utahns oppose the lowering of the DUI threshold from .08 to .05%. The poll finds that “very active” Mormons support the move, but nearly every other religious group is opposed [Utah Policy].
  • We help you understand what happened this week in Utah politics and why in just 15 minutes. Watch our week in review video to get smart fast [Utah Policy].
  • LaVarr Webb blisters residents of Draper who are pushing back against a proposed homeless shelter in their city saying it’s not Christian behavior [Utah Policy]. Bob Bernick also piles on Draper saying the move was shameful [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz signals he’s ready to take a more aggressive stance toward investigating the White House and Donald Trump’s administration [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams will name his top choice for a new homeless center on Friday [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn offers to testify about the Trump’s campaign’s alleged ties to Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynn’s lawyer is seeking a deal from Congress and the FBI [Wall Street Journal].
    • Flashback: Last September Flynn told Chuck Todd “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime [Real Clear Politics].
    • Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on the House intelligence committee, said of Flynn’s offer, “Generally, innocent people don’t seek immunity” [CNN].
  • Three senior White House officials were involved in leaking intelligence files to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. The revelation furthers the speculation that the Trump administration is colluding with Nunes to quash the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election [Washington Post].
  • Russia reportedly hired 1,000 internet trolls to help spread fake news about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election [Huffington Post].
  • President Donald Trump has declared war against the Freedom Caucus after the group of right-wing House members helped scuttle the Obamacare repeal bill last week. Trump has pledged to back primary challengers against the group in 2018 [The Hill].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz has struggled to find his footing as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee ever since Donald Trump won the election instead of Hillary Clinton [Atlantic].
  • Friday must read: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is becoming increasingly isolated from State Department employees as his management style is making career diplomats uneasy [Washington Post].
  • Two Democratic Senators say they will vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. That means there are only six more Democratic votes needed to break a filibuster [Wall Street Journal]. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says it’s “virtually impossible” to avoid a filibuster fight over Gorsuch’s nomination next week [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump will sign two executive orders on Friday to tackle the causes of the U.S. trade deficit with other nations [CNN].
  • Salt Lake County Councilman Stan Penfold says he will not run for another term this year [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • European Union officials say they will negotiate new trade deals with Britain only after the conditions for its exit from the alliance is finalized [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1492 – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued an edict expelling Jews unwilling to convert to Christianity.
  • 1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson made a surprise announcement that he would not run for re-election.
  • 1976 – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that coma patient Karen Anne Quinlan could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan remained comatose and died in 1985.)