What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – December 16, 2013


  • 42 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 190 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 323 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 687 days to the 2015 elections
  • 751 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1058 days to the 2016 presidential election

On this day in history:

  • The Boston Tea Party took place in 1773
  • Grigori Rasputin was assassinated in Russia in 1916
  • World War Two’s “Battle of the Bulge” began in Belgium in 1944
  • Colin Powell was nominated to become the first African-American secretary of state in 2000
  • George W. Bush signed the “Can Spam” act, meant to stop junk e-mail, into law in 2003

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • A federal judge rules parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law is unconstitutional [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says the state will review the anti-polygamy ruling to see what the repercussions may be [Tribune].
  • The Utah Republican State Central Committee nominates Sean Reyes, Robert Smith and Brian Tarbet as potential replacements for John Swallow. Gov. Herbert says he hopes to choose one of them to fill the position by the end of this month [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Mark Shurtleff‘s attorney says Tim Lawson, who is facing six felony charges due to his role as Shurtleff’s “fixer” had no special connection to the former Attorney General [Deseret News].
  • Those charges against Lawson have observers wondering who will face charges next in the scandal that forced Swallow from office [Tribune].
  • The Swallow scandal may prompt Utah lawmakers to take a hard look at “Dark Money” in Utah elections [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz is setting tongues wagging because of his plans to visit a number of early presidential primary states [Tribune].
  • Sen. Todd Weiler plans legislation next year to exempt nail salons from tough regulations on venting fumes that could force many small salons to close [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah State University alumni seem to be well-placed to help that school secure $7.5 million from the state for their Brigham City campus [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah officials are fast-tracking a plan to allow Union Pacific Railroad to fill a culvert on the Great Salt Lake causeway [Tribune].
  • The Jordan School District is proposing some boundary changes to deal with crowded schools after voters rejected a $495 million bond [KSL].
  • A newly elected Centerville City Councilwoman says city officials worked against her to influence the outcome of the election [Standard-Examiner].
  • The Salt Lake County Housing Authority will close the waiting list for federally subsidized housing in early February [Tribune].