Morning must reads for Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 144th day of the year. There are 221 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 125th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utah Republicans will have to battle each other to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz. John Brennan says Russians “brazenly” interfered in the 2016 election. Trump’s budget proposal relies on a number of accounting gimmicks to balance the budget.

The clock:

  • 24 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)

  • 83 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)

  • 167 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)

  • 243 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)

  • 288 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)

  • 531 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

  • 1,259 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • A lot of Republicans hoping to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Congress are going to be left out in the cold before we even get to a possible primary election [Utah Policy].
  • Keep up on the latest candidate filings and rumors in the upcoming special congressional election with our candidate tracker [Utah Policy].
  • Kim Burningham worries that another effort to implement school vouchers, which Utah voters rejected in 2007, may be building [Utah Policy].
  • Former CIA Director John Brennan tells a Senate Hearing that Russian officials “brazenly” interfered in the 2016 presidential election [Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart continues to insist that Russia did not try to help Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election despite testimony from former CIA Director John Brennan to the contrary [Tribune].
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee issued two new subpoenas for former national security adviser Mike Flynn‘s businesses as part of their probe into his ties to Russia [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump‘s $4.1 trillion budget proposal calls for huge cuts in many federal programs, prompting pushback from Congressional Republicans [Politico]. 
  • Trump’s budget relies heavily on a number of accounting gimmicks, including unrealistic growth projections, in order to deliver a surplus by 2027 [Bloomberg]. Also, the budget appears to count an estimated $2 trillion in tax revenue twice, which would make it impossible to reach a balanced budget in 10 years [Axios].
  • Remember the House health care bill which Republicans passed before they know what the economic impact of the plan was? We’re finally going to get the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office score on Wednesday [Politico].
  • Trump’s budget calls for privatizing things like rest stops and airports to incentivize private investment in infrastructure [Washington Post].
  • Here’s how President Trump’s budget would affect different parts of the federal government [New York Times].
  • Rob Anderson, the newly elected chairman of the Utah GOP is ready to end the lawsuit over SB54, which could bring donors back to the party [Associated Press].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz set up a new company, Strawberry C, just one day before announcing he would not run for another term in Congress [Associated Press].
  • Former state Rep. Chris Herrod jumps into the special election in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District [Tribune].
  • Many prominent current and former Utah politicos have popped up in the investigation of former Utah Transit Authority board member Terry Diehl for bankruptcy fraud [Tribune].
  • A. Lorris Betz will make $800,000 per year as the interim CEO of the University of Utah Healthcare [Tribune].
  • The LDS Church says President Thomas Monson is no longer attending meetings at the church offices on a regular basis [Deseret News].
  • The Utah Transit Authority is pushing back against requests to make board members’ conflict of interest disclosures public [Tribune].
  • The Salt Lake County Council presses County Mayor Ben McAdams about the decision to put the new men’s homeless shelter in South Salt Lake [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1626 – The Dutch West Indies Trading Co. bought the island of Manhattan from American Indians, paying with goods worth about $24.
  • 1844 – Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message, “What hath God wrought!” from Washington to Baltimore as he opened America’s first telegraph line.
  • 1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge was opened to traffic.
  • 1962 – Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit Earth, circling it three times. John Glenn was the first, earlier in the year.