Morning must reads for Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 171st day of the year. There are 194 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 151st day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utahns have an unfavorable opinion of President Trump. Lawmakers step up the battle over the rules in Utah’s special Congressional election. Democrats hope to pick up a Republican Congressional seat in Georgia Tuesday.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,233 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns hold a negative opinion of President Donald Trump. 52% say they see him unfavorably, which is up slightly from April when 50% had an unfavorable opinion of the president [Utah Policy].
  • Legislators will meet Tuesday to hear from their own attorney about the legality of the special election process established by Gov. Gary Herbert. Herbert previously blocked the Attorney General from giving the Legislature a legal opinion on the issue [Utah Policy].
  • A new Census report shows Utah still spends the least in the nation in per-pupil education funding [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz takes a swipe at the Trump administration, saying their tendency to stonewall investigations is just like the Obama White House [Utah Policy].
  • Chaffetz says he will not endorse any of the three Republicans running in the GOP primary to replace him in Congress [KUTV].
  • HBO’s John Oliver mocks Sen. Orrin Hatch and Senate Republicans over the secretive way they’re drafting their Obamacare replacement bill [Utah Policy].
  • There are at least three candidates who are already gearing up to run to replace Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder when he resigns to take the police chief position in Moab [Deseret News].
  • Lawmakers aren’t likely to repeal Utahs new toughest-in-the-nation DUI law, but some groups are hoping to refine the statute [Fox 13].
  • This could be the final year for the Summer Twilight Concert Series following years of cost overruns for the popular downtown event [Deseret News]. 
  • A lack of skilled workers could lead to a slowdown in the economy [Utah Policy].
  • Mary Beckerle speaks about the controversy that led to her firing, and re-hiring at the Huntsman Cancer Institute [KUTV].

National headlines:

  • Voters go to the polls today for a special Congressional election in Georgia. Democrats hope to pick up the seat that’s been in Republican hands for decades [The Hill].
  • Senate Republicans plan to hold a vote on some version of their Obamacare repeal bill next week. Senators could finally see the bill at the end of this week, which would give them just a few days before they cast a vote on the measure [Politico].
  • The Supreme Court agrees to hear a case from Wisconsin about whether partisan gerrymandering violates the Constitution. The case could drastically reshape American politics [New York Times].
  • Spicer out! White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is reportedly set to take a less public role in the White House, meaning he would no longer head up the daily press briefings [Associated Press]. Possible replacements include radio talk show host Laura Ingraham and Daily Mail editor David Martosko [Politico].
  • A GOP digital firm left millions of voter’s personal information completely exposed online for nearly two weeks [Los Angeles Times].
  • President Donald Trump met with tech executives at the White House on Monday. Trump called for an overhaul of government technology to keep pace with the private sector [ReCode].
  • A new national poll shows less than a third of Americans agree with President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement [Associated Press].
  • The Russia investigation is still simmering. Investigators are now looking at the business partners for former national security adviser Michael Flynn [Reuters].

On this day in history:

  • 1837 – Queen Victoria ascended the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.
  • 1863 – West Virginia became the 35th state.
  • 1963 – The United States and Soviet Union signed an agreement to set up a hot line communication link between the two superpowers.
  • 1967 – Boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. (The conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court.)
  • 1994 – O.J. Simpson pleaded innocent in Los Angeles to the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman.