Morning must reads for Monday, June 12, 2016

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 163rd day of the year. There are 201 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 144th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utahns want the GOP to drop their lawsuit against SB54. Joe Biden encouraged Mitt Romney to run for Senate in 2018. Maryland and Washington, D.C. officials plan to sue President Trump over foreign payments to his companies.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,241 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: 45% of Utahns say the Utah GOP should drop the lawsuit against SB54 [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” think organizers for the “Our Schools Now” ballot initiative, which seeks to boost school funding through income and sales tax increases, will get enough signatures to get on the ballot, but they’re not so sure voters will approve the measure [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says he’s seen no evidence that President Donald Trump obstructed justice in the probe into whether Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Lee also says he hasn’t seen “even a scintilla” of evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia [Utah Policy].
  • Joe Biden reportedly encouraged Mitt Romney to run for U.S. Senate in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake City officials discovered at the last minute they were facing a $1 million shortfall in next year’s budget [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation, met with President Donald Trump to discuss road projects and how to get construction moving [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Utah officials claim the Bears Ears National Monument will hurt the state’s uranium mining industry [Tribune].
  • A close friend of embattled Salt Lake County Clerk Gary Ott wants the county to hire a special investigator to look into Ott’s well-being [Deseret News].
  • Larry Ellerston withdraws from consideration to become the chairman of the Utah Transportation Commission [Tribune].
  • Utah officials are seeking a waiver from a Medicaid rule that could speed up access to addiction treatment and recovery programs [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • The attorneys general for Washington, D.C., and Maryland will file a lawsuit against President Trump on Monday, alleging payments to his companies from foreign governments violate anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution [Washington Post]. 
  • Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says he was fired the day after he refused to take a phone call from President Donald Trump. Bharara also says he reported efforts by President Trump to “cultivate some kind of relationship” with him to Justice Department officials [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump is reportedly considering scrapping his state visit to Britain this year because of growing backlash over comments he made following the recent terrorist attack in London [New York Times].
  • Sen. John McCain reportedly said American leadership was stronger under President Barack Obama than it is now under President Trump [The Hill].
  • President Trump lashes out against former FBI Director James Comey on Twitter, calling Comey “cowardly” for leaking the content of memos about his interactions with Trump [New York Times].
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Democrats want his testimony public [The Hill].
  • Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly vote in favor of seeking U.S. statehood [Huffington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1776 – Virginia’s colonial legislature became the first to adopt a Bill of Rights.
  • 1963 – Civil rights activist Medgar Evers was fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson, Miss.
  • 1987 – During a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, President Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”
  • 1994 – Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were slashed to death outside her Los Angeles home. (Her former husband, football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson, was later acquitted of the killings in a criminal trial, but held liable in a civil action.)