Morning must reads for Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 94th day of the year. There are 271 days remaining in 2017.

Howell mulling running against Hatch for the third time. Tesla loses their court case to sell cars in Utah. Congressional Republicans are mulling a revised effort to replace Obamacare.

The clock:

  • 46 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 74 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 217 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 293 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 338 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 581 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,309 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • House Speaker Greg Hughes speaks for the first time about the rowdy meeting about a proposed homeless shelter in Draper. Hughes says he was very disappointed by the “mob” atmosphere that had attendees shouting down a homeless man [Utah Policy].
  • Veteran Democrat Scott Howell is considering running against Sen. Orrin Hatch a third time. Howell lost to Hatch in 2000 and 2012 [Utah Policy].
  • Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee vote for advancing Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court to a full Senate vote this week [Deseret News, Tribune].
    • Senate Democrats say they have enough votes to sustain a filibuster over Gorsuch’s nomination, meaning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will likely invoke the “nuclear option” to change the rules to confirm Gorsuch with a simple majority [Politico].
    • Here are nine maneuvers Senate Republicans may use to “go nuclear” and confirm Gorsuch [USA Today].
  • The Utah Supreme Court rules against Tesla in their bid to sell cars in Utah [Tribune]. That’s significant because Tesla has surpassed Ford Motor in market value [New York Times].
  • A legislative audit says privatizing a Utah State Office of Education system for tracking student information could cost $7 million initially [Deseret News].
  • Another legislative audit slams a prison treatment program for sex offenders for having weak oversight and using outdated methods [Deseret News, Tribune]. 
  • South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood is trying to fight the plan to place a new homeless shelter in her city and find the money to pay for it at the same time [Deseret News].
  • The ACLU of Utah says a plan from Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder to crack down on crime in around the downtown Salt Lake City homeless shelter could trample on individual rights [Deseret News]. 
  • The Trump administration is considering some “extreme vetting” measures that would force foreigners who visit the U.S. to turn over social media passwords and financial records [Wall Street Journal].
  • Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to Donald Trump, admits he met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013 who was trying to get information on efforts to develop alternative energy sources [BuzzFeed].
  • Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice wanted the names of U.S. citizens caught up in raw intelligence intercepts, which included Donald Trump’s campaign team [Bloomberg].
  • Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos‘ brother, acted as an unofficial envoy for Donald Trump to set up a back channel between Trump and Vladimir Putin [Bloomberg].
  • Republicans in Congress are trying to win support for a new health care bill that they had to abandon last month because they didn’t have enough votes [Bloomberg].
  • President Donald Trump signs off on a bill that would allow Internet service providers to sell customer data without their permission [CNN].

On this day in history:

  • 1818 – Congress decided the U.S. flag would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state.
  • 1841 – President William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia one month after his inauguration, becoming the first U.S. president to die in office.
  • 1968 – Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot to death as he stood on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.; the killing sparked a wave of riots across the country.
  • 2003 – U.S. forces seized Saddam International Airport outside Baghdad.