Morning must reads for Monday, April 17, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 107th day of the year. There are 258 days remaining in 2017.

Hatch and Lee on opposite ends of favorable ratings. Allen outraises Jason Chaffetz during the first quarter of 2017. Trump ratchets up pressure on North Korea.

The clock:

  • 33 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 61 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 204 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 280 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 325 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 568 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,296 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 


  • NEW POLL: Overall, Utahns have a slightly negative view of Sen. Orrin Hatch while Sen. Mike Lee has a positive favorable rating [Utah Policy].
  • Democrat Kathryn Allen raised more than 3-times as much money as Republican Jason Chaffetz in the first three months of 2017, giving her a slight cash advantage overall [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Mia Love says she would like more details from President Donald Trump on his strategy toward North Korea [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” say Sen. Orrin Hatch will likely run for an 8th term next year despite previously promising his current term would be his last [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert touts Utah’s economic growth but warns against complacency [Deseret News].
  • Utah releases the previously confidential agreement with Amazon to collect sales taxes for online purchases [Tribune].
  • A new report says Utah left almost $500 million on the table last year because of tax exemptions [Associated Press].
  • Utah’s rapid population growth is being fueled by its expanding economy [Deseret News].
  • As reported in February, The group pushing for a ballot initiative to raise taxes to better fund Utah’s public schools is considering a sales tax hike rather than an income tax increase [Tribune]. 
  • President Donald Trump is reportedly willing to consider a “sudden strike” against North Korea in the wake of that country’s failed missile test over the weekend [Bloomberg].
  • Vice President Mike Pence warns North Korea not to test the resolve of the United States, saying the “era of strategic patience is over” [Associated Press].
  • A prominent scholar on relations between the U.S. and North Korea says tensions between the two countries are dangerously high, describing the current situation as “the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion” [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump‘s renewed enthusiasm toward tackling health care is putting a crimp in the GOP’s plans to move forward on tax reform [Wall Street Journal].
  • Trump voters in one Pennsylvania swing district are rapidly becoming disillusioned with Trump’s administration [New York Times].
  • Democrats are hopeful they can win a longtime Republican seat in the Atlanta suburbs on Tuesday. The seat was vacated by Tom Price who resigned to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services [Politico].
  • The salary and benefits included in the employment contracts for two former Utah Transit Authority executives topped $1.1. million annually. Those contracts have been canceled [Deseret News].
  • The new Utah state prison is expected to be finished by the end of 2020 and ready to take prisoners the following year [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1961 – About 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched an invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the southwestern coast of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro.
  • 1970 – The astronauts of Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft.
  • 1975 – Phnom Penh fell to Communist insurgents, ending Cambodia’s five-year civil war.