Morning must reads for Friday, May 26, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 146th day of the year. There are 219 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 127th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utahns want to keep the signature route to the ballot. Jared Kushner has become a focus of the FBI’s Russia investigation. Another court blocks Trump’s travel ban.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,257 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Utahns overwhelmingly favor keeping SB54, the law that allows candidates to bypass political delegates to get on the ballot via signature gathering [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says letting states find solutions for many of the problems facing the country will help restore Americans’ trust in each other [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says Utah Republicans should drop their lawsuit against SB54 because they’ve completely lost the public relations battle on the issue [Utah Policy].
  • Hatch and Romney, Utah’s special election and the GOP’s massive debt. Watch our week in review [Utah Policy].
  • White House adviser and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is now a focus of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election [Washington Post].
  • Republican Greg Gianforte wins the Montana special election to Congress even though he’s facing a misdemeanor assault charge for body slamming a reporter on Wednesday [New York Times].
  • A federal appeals court keeps in place the block on President Donald Trump‘s executive order banning travel from some majority Muslim countries. The ruling sets up a possible Supreme Court showdown [Associated Press].
  • Drip, drip, drip. A hacker thought to be connected to the Russian military sent information hacked from the Democratic party to a GOP operative in Florida [Wall Street Journal]. 
  • President Donald Trump attacked German carmakers for selling too many vehicles in the U.S. “The Germans are bad, very bad,” Trump reportedly said during a closed-door meeting with EU officials [Bloomberg].
  • The FBI is still refusing to give memos authored by fired FBI Director James Comey to Congress until they consult with Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election [Politico].
  • Watch President Donald Trump shove the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way so he can get to the front of a group picture at NATO headquarters [Fusion].
  • Provo Mayor John Curtis jumps into the special election race in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The newly formed United Utah party submitted the 2,000 signatures required to gain ballot access in Utah. They’ll name a candidate in Utah’s special election for Congress on Friday [Deseret News, Tribune]. 
    • Look for Jim Bennett, the son of former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, to be the party’s nominee in the special election.
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch is proposing legislation to allow states to enter into voluntary control programs to control pollution rather than face sanctions from the Environmental Protection Agency [Tribune].
  • Rep. Kim Coleman wants to review free speech rules on Utah’s college campuses. She’s worried policies designed to keep a civil environment may infringe on 1st Amendment rights [Tribune].
  • Backers of a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Utah say they want to base their proposal on a proposal that failed in the Utah Legislature a few years ago [Fox 13].
  • The Outdoor Retailers show is heading to Denver. The company that produces the Outdoor Retailers acquired another large outdoors trade show and will produce a combined expo in Denver [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1805 – Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned king of Italy.
  • 1868 – The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal as the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction.
  • 1940 – The evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during World War II.
  • 1972 – President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow.
  • 2009 – California’s Supreme Court upheld the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban but said the 18,000 same-sex weddings that had taken place before the prohibition passed were still valid.