Morning must reads for Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 101st day of the year. There are 264 days remaining in 2017.

Chaffetz’s favorability ratings take a hit. Hatch says he’s running again in 2018…maybe. The Trump administration is ready to take a tougher stance on Syria.

The clock:

  • 39 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 67 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 210 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 286 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 331 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 574 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,302 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • NEW POLL: Rep. Jason Chaffetz‘s favorability ratings have dipped a bit in the wake of some high-profile political gaffes. Chaffetz won re-election with 73% of the vote in November, but right now only 52% of 3rd District voters view him favorably [Utah Policy].
  • Congratulations to the Salt Lake Tribune for winning a 2017 Pulitzer Prize for their series of stories about rapes at Utah colleges [Tribune, Deseret News].
    • Bob Bernick says he hopes the Pulitzer will bring financial prosperity to the Tribune, but that hasn’t always been the case [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says he’s planning on running for another term in 2018 unless his health fails [Utah Policy, KUTV, Deseret News, Tribune].
    • LaVarr Webb says Hatch is waiting to make a final decision about the Senate to keep other challengers from jumping into the race and to keep donors on the sidelines [Utah Policy].
  • A state committee approves Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams‘ proposal to place a new homeless shelter in South Salt Lake [Deseret News].
  • A federal judge has recused himself in the case against former Utah Transit Authority board member Terry Diehl [Deseret News].
  • Alabama Governor Robert Bentley resigns due to a sex scandal in which he used public resources to hide an affair with a former staffer [Washington Post].
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signals that the U.S. is ready to take a tougher stance to end the civil war in Syria ahead of a planned meeting with Russian officials in Moscow [Associated Press].
  • The next big fight for the Trump administration? Trump’s $1 million infrastructure spending plan [Politico].
  • Republicans are freaking out about a much closer than expected special congressional election in Kansas. President Donald Trump and other high-profile Republicans have jumped in to help the Republican candidate who was supposed to have an easy path to victory [Roll Call].
  • President Donald Trump and his allies are slowly taking over state GOP parties, installing loyalists in high-profile positions to position Republicans ahead of the 2018 and 2020 elections [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump tells his top advisers to stop the infighting and focus on moving the administration forward [Wall Street Journal].
  • Why are there so many vacant jobs in the Trump administration? [Politico
  • President Trump is on pace to spend more on travel this year than the previous eight years under President Obama [Huffington Post].
  • Rep. Justin Amash suggests Speaker Paul Ryan is a big part of the dysfunction in Washington and may need to be replaced [The Hill].

On this day in history:

  • 1814 – Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as emperor of France and was banished to the island of Elba.
  • 1898 – President William McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war against Spain.
  • 1899 – The treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
  • 1970 – Apollo 13 blasted off on a mission to the moon that was cut short when an explosion crippled the spacecraft.