Morning must reads for Friday, June 9, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 160th day of the year. There are 205 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 141st day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

John Curtis says he’s on track to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot. Gary Ott’s sister says he’s being “manipulated” by his top deputy. Donald Trump responds to James Comey’s testimony.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,243 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Provo Mayor John Curtis says he’s “cautiously optimistic” he will be able to gather the needed signatures to secure a place on the August primary election ballot by Monday’s deadline [Utah Policy].
  • Gary Ott, “Our Schools Now,” Rob Miller and James Comey. Understand what happened in a busy week in Utah politics with our week-in-review video. Plus, you’ll get a really obscure reference to “Catch-22” [Utah Policy]. If you’d prefer a podcast version of our weekly rundown, we’ve gotcha covered [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says the tragic Gary Ott situation just highlights how bad Utah Republicans are at enacting reforms that might affect them [Utah Policy].
  • In this week’s “Beg to Differ” podcast, Bryan Schott and Mike Winder talk with Chris Herrod and Rep. Brad Daw about why they’re running to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Congress [Utah Policy].
  • The sister of embattled Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott accused Julie Dole, Ott’s chief deputy, and office aide Karmen Sanone of “manipulating” Ott’s health problems to keep their jobs [Deseret News].
  • Utah’s members of Congress say there was nothing new or particularly damaging to President Trump in former FBI Director James Comey‘s testimony before Congress [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Online retail giant Amazon will build a $200 million facility in Utah. The state has agreed to give Amazon $5.7 million in tax breaks as part of the deal [Deseret News, Fox 13, Tribune].
  • The Utah GOP is holding an online video “debate” for 12 of the candidates who are running in the special Congressional election in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. The candidates posted videos answering pre-submitted questions [Fox 13].
  • Utah officials say health insurance premiums could jump by 15-20% next year. They’re also worried that federal funding for insurance subsidies could dry up [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rob Miller, who dropped out of the race to lead the Utah Democratic Party following allegations of sexual misconduct, says a “conspiracy” forced him out of the race [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • A stunning miscalculation. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party loses their majority in parliament after a snap election she called to try and increase her hold on power. After the miscalculation, some are calling for her resignation [Washington Post]. However, May reached a deal with a minority party that will allow her to remain as PM, but her power has been greatly diminished [The Guardian].
  • President Donald Trump broke his silence early Friday morning, Tweeting “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” [Twitter].
  • Speaking of Comey, his dramatic testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee revealed a number of stunning pieces of information, including that Comey regarded President Trump was a liar from his very first meeting with the president [Politico].
  • During a closed-door session with the Senate panel, Comey said Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have had an interaction with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak for a third time, which he did not disclose [CNN].
  • Comey’s testimony will do nothing to lift the cloud of suspicion hanging over President Donald Trump about his campaign team’s interactions with the Russians and whether he tried to obstruct a probe into those ties [New York Times].
  • While everyone was focused on the Comey testimony, House Republicans voted to repeal banking regulations enacted in the wake of the financial crisis. Republicans claimed the rules hurt the economy and damaged small businesses [New York Times].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is expected to deliver his review of the Bears Ears National Monument in the next day or two. Will he recommend undoing the monument completely? [Atlantic].
  • More than 8,000 brick and mortar retailers could close in the U.S. during the next year according to analysts [Axios].

On this day in history:

  • 1954 – Army counsel Joseph N. Welch confronted Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy during the Senate-Army hearings over McCarthy’s attack on a member of Welch’s law firm, asking “Have you no sense of decency?”
  • 1969 – The Senate confirmed Warren Burger to be chief justice of the United States, succeeding Earl Warren.
  • 1986 – The Rogers Commission released its report on the Challenger disaster, criticizing NASA and rocket-builder Morton Thiokol for management problems leading to the explosion that claimed the lives of seven astronauts.