Morning must reads for Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 150th day of the year. There are 215 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 131st day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utahns say they are confident in the state’s future but are less optimistic about the nation’s direction. Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck is not running for another term in 2018. Russian government officials discussed having “derogatory” information about President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

The clock:

  • 18 days until the Utah Republican 3rd District nominating convention at Timpview High School 96/17/2017).

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,253 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns say the state is on the right track, but they are much less confident about the direction of the country [Utah Policy].
  • SCOOP: Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck will not run for another term in the legislature in 2018. Jacquelyn Orton, the widow of former Utah Congressman Bill Orton, has already launched her bid to replace Chavez-Houck on the Hill [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” say they don’t expect the new United Utah Party to have much of an impact on Utah politics [Utah Policy].
  • In the latest episode of “Beg to Differ,” Bryan Schott and Mike Winder assess the lay of the land in the special election in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. They also discuss whether newly elected Utah GOP Chairman Rob Anderson can dig the party out of their massive debt [Utah Policy].
  • An astonishing 22 candidates have jumped into the race to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz. That number might grow as Jim Bennett is fighting to run under the aegis of the newly-formed United Utah Party [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch gives a Memorial Day address in which he urges support for President Donald Trump [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • New Utah GOP Chairman Rob Anderson is searching for a compromise that will allow the party to end it’s financially ruinous lawsuit against SB54 [Deseret News].
  • Bombshell! Russian government officials discussed having “derogatory” information about President Donald Trump and some of his top aides according to communications intercepted by U.S. intelligence during the 2016 election. That potentially damaging information was described as being financial in nature [CNN].
  • The heat on Jared Kushner in the Russia probe is rising as investigators want to know why he met with a Russian banker with deep ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin [New York Times].
  • Here’s an enlightening look at how President Donald Trump consumes his top secret intelligent briefings. Trump prefers brevity and “killer graphics” [Washington Post].
  • Congressional Republicans are having a difficult time building momentum to rewrite the nation’s tax code [Wall Street Journal].
  • President Donald Trump wants Congress to raise the debt limit by the end of July, but lawmakers may not be ready to take that step [Politico].
  • Mike Dubke, President Donald Trump‘s White House communications director, has resigned after just three months on the job [The Hill].
  • The special congressional election in Georgia could become the costliest House race in U.S. history. Candidates and outside groups are on track to spend more than $37 million [Wall Street Journal].
  • North Korea tested a new ballistic missile and warned they would send “a bigger gift package” to the United States [Reuters].
  • Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is dead at the age of 83 [Associated Press].
  • Utah is refusing to pay former Attorney General John Swallow‘s $1.5 million legal tab [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder confirms he’s discussed taking the top cop job in Moab [Tribune].
  • Utah officials say the bigger snowpack from this winter could lead to more and bigger wildfires this summer [Tribune].
  • Squee! Season 5 of “House of Cards” dropped on Netflix Tuesday morning. Here’s a review of the new season [Hollywood Reporter].

On this day in history:

  • 1431 – Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.
  • 1539 – Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto landed in Florida.
  • 1783 – The Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first daily newspaper published in the United States.
  • 1806 – Future President Andrew Jackson took part in a duel, killing Charles Dickinson, a Kentucky lawyer who had called Jackson’s wife a bigamist.
  • 1922 – The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • 1989 – Student demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in Beijing erected a 33-foot statue they called the “Goddess of Democracy.”