Morning must reads for Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 172nd day of the year. There are 193 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 152nd day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Nearly half of Utahns oppose the plan to replace Obamacare. Utah lawmakers push back against Gov. Gary Herbert’s plan for November’s special election. Republicans hang on to a Congressional seat in Georgia.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,232 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Nearly half of Utahns say they oppose the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, even though nobody really knows what’s in the bill [Utah Policy].
  • Utah lawmakers hold an unprecedented joint House Caucus meeting to slam Gov. Gary Herbert over the process he set up in the special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz. However, those same lawmakers say they probably won’t use legal maneuvering to disrupt what they feel is an illegal process [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says he hasn’t seen the GOP health care proposal in the Senate, even though he’s supposed to be helping to draft the bill [Tribune].
  • Some Utah advocacy groups say they feel like Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee are ignoring them as the Senate continues work on their version of health care reform [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake City Councilman Derek Kitchen takes aim at Mayor Jackie Biskupski‘s failure to hire a new transportation director for the city. The post has remained vacant for almost a year [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers say they will pay extra attention to special districts around the state after several audits found waste, fraud and abuse inside many of these agencies [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee argues the U.S. should re-evaluate its membership in the Organization of American States because the group has strayed from its initial purpose [Utah Policy].
  • Basketball considerations creep into the race in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. Tanner Ainge, whose father Danny runs the Boston Celtics, says he hopes Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward stays in Utah instead of bolting for another city…like Boston [Deseret News].
  • Democrat James Singer, a Navajo who was running for Sen. Orrin Hatch‘s Senate seat, is dropping his bid because he doesn’t have the financial means to compete [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants the liquor store near the downtown homeless shelter to be relocated [Deseret News].
  • An audit says the Utah Charter School Board improperly gave $124,000 to a Herriman charter school before its charter was approved [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The State Charter School Board shut down Kairos Academy in West Valley City, which was geared toward teen mothers [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The new 10,000-seat arena at the Utah State Fairpark is nearing completion and will be ready for this year’s Days of ’47 Rodeo [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Republicans hold on to a Georgia Congressional seat after a stiff challenge from Democrats. It was the most expensive Congressional race in history [New York Times]. Democrats are now 0-5 in special elections since President Donald Trump took office [Associated Press].
  • Senate Republicans could finally unveil their proposal for repealing and replacing Obamacare on Thursday of this week [Politico]. A fight over reducing Medicaid spending and finding funding for curbing the opioid epidemic is threatening to derail the legislation [New York Times].
  • Arizona Sen. John McCain blisters the secrecy surrounding the Republican health care proposal saying he hasn’t seen the bill, but “I’m sure the Russians have been able to hack in and gotten most of it” [Bloomberg].
  • Alarming! Despite warnings that he may vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians, former national security adviser Michael Flynn was allowed to sit in on a number of highly classified intelligence briefings [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump admitted on Twitter that China had failed to keep the North Korean regime in check, which was part of his plan for reigning in the rogue country [New York Times].
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be keeping his options open for a possible White House bid in 2020 [The Hill].
  • Make America great again? Ford Motor Company plans to move its production to China in 2019 despite promising President Donald Trump they would stay in Michigan [Huffington Post].
  • Boring but important. President Donald Trump‘s net worth has dropped below $3 billion as his real estate properties aren’t performing as well as they used to [Bloomberg].

On this day in history:

  • 1788 – The U.S. Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.
  • 1964 – Three civil rights workers disappeared in Philadelphia, Miss. Their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later.
  • 1973 – The Supreme Court ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.
  • 1982 – John Hinckley Jr. was found innocent by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three others.
  • 1989 – The Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest is protected by the First Amendment.