Morning must reads for Thursday, June 1, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 152nd day of the year. There are 213 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 133rd day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The proposal to boost taxes to fund Utah schools is coming into focus. James Comey will testify before Congress. Dabakis appointed to the UTA board.

The clock:

  • 16 days until the Utah Republican 3rd District nominating convention at Timpview High School (6/17/2017).

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,251 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • SCOOP: The group pushing for more funding for Utah’s public schools plan to ask voters to approve a tax and income tax boost in their ballot initiative [Utah Policy].
  • President Donald Trump will announce his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement on Thursday afternoon [Bloomberg]. Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch praise Trump’s decision to leave the climate pact [Tribune].
  • Fired FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify that President Donald Trump pressured him to end his investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn…unless Trump tries to bar him from testifying by invoking executive privilege [New York Times].
  • The House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election [Wall Street Journal].
  • Congress is investigating whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose a third meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign [CNN].
  • The Trump administration is set to give two diplomatic compounds back to Russia that officials were kicked out of by President Barack Obama as retaliation for Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Obama administration said the properties were used by Russian officials to conduct intelligence gathering operations [Washington Post].
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain are expected to be among the political and business leaders who will attend Mitt Romney‘s annual E2 summit in Park City this summer [Politico].
  • Drain the swamp? The Trump administration gave at least 11 waivers to former lobbyists so that they could work in the administration [Politico].
  • Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ripped into the Democratic National Committee, saying their campaign data operation in 2016 was “bankrupt,” forcing her campaign to build a data operation largely from scratch [Axios]. Clinton also slammed Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and James Comey as big factors in her loss to Donald Trump in 2016 [Politico].
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden is set to create a political action committee, fueling speculation he may run in 2020 [New York Times].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski appoints Sen. Jim Dabakis to the Utah Transit Authority board [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • New Utah GOP Chair Rob Anderson is searching for a way to end the intra-party feud between those who want to kill SB54 and Republicans who want to allow candidates to gather signatures to get on the ballot [Tribune].
  • Republican Chia-Chi Teng, who challenged Rep. Jason Chaffetz for the GOP nomination in 2016, is suing the state because he was not allowed to run in this year’s special election because he could not declare his candidacy in person [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Democratic candidate Faieza Javed withdraws from the race to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Congress [Deseret News].
  • Larry Ellertson barely survives the confirmation hearing for his appointment to become chairman of the Utah Transportation Commission. Ellertson has been dogged by scandal during his time as chairman of the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah County Commission [Tribune].
  • Transit will be an important cog in the rapid growth along the Wasatch Front, but the state is struggling to figure out how to pay for it all [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Park City School District just voted to raise starting salaries for teachers to $50,700 plus benefits [Deseret News].
  • Something to watch. Analysts say 20-25% of shopping malls in the United States will close in the next five years [Los Angeles Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1792 – Kentucky became the 15th state.
  • 1796 – Tennessee became the 16th state.
  • 1967 – The album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles was released.
  • 1980 – CNN made its debut.