Morning must reads for Friday, June 23, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 174th day of the year. There are 191 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 154th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Herbert defends the process he set up for November’s special election. Tanner Ainge was not registered to vote in Utah when he filed to run for Congress. Republicans unveil their plan to gut Obamacare.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,230 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Gov. Gary Herbert defends the process he set up for electing a replacement for Rep. Jason Chaffetz, saying he gave voters more choice by allowing signature-gathering candidates to get on the ballot [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says he’s not ready to get behind the Senate Republican health care bill unveiled on Thursday. Sen. Orrin Hatch says he’s supportive of the measure [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Whoops! 3rd District Republican candidate Tanner Ainge was not registered to vote in Utah when he filed to run for office. His campaign says it was simply a misunderstanding from when Ainge moved back to Utah in November [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick argues that Gov. Gary Herbert‘s rationale for blocking Attorney General Sean Reyes from making his opinion on the legality of November’s special election doesn’t stand up to scrutiny [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz releases a terrifying voicemail left by a man who threatened to lynch him [Utah Policy].
  • Get smart fast! Watch our Utah political week-in-review to understand what happened and why [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast version of the program [Utah Policy].
  • The Utah GOP’s lawsuit against SB54 is slated to be heard by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in September [Deseret News].
  • Republican Tanner Ainge kicks off his campaign for November’s special election, highlighting his business background and conservative credentials [Daily Herald].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he is not yet leaning toward banning fireworks over the 4th of July holiday due to the dry conditions in Utah. However, he may still take that action if the situation does not improve [Deseret News, Tribune, Fox 13].
  • Some big corporations are requesting $2.5 billion in property value decreases this year, which could shift that financial burden to taxpayers [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • Senate Republicans unveil their plan to replace Obamacare. The bill is a boon for young people who don’t need much health care, but it takes a meat cleaver to Medicaid, which disproportionally affects the poor and elderly [Axios]. The bill also is a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to those with higher incomes [New York Times].
  • In a new Friday interview, President Donald Trump casts doubts on special counsel Robert Mueller‘s objectivity, saying he’s “very, very good friends” with fired FBI Director James Comey [The Hill].
  • President Trump finally admits he was lying when he suggested there were tapes of his conversation with fired FBI Director James Comey [Politico].
  • Democrats are turning on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, but she remains defiant [Politico].
  • The Yellowstone grizzly bear is being removed from the endangered species list after 42 years [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1931 – Aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane.
  • 1947 – The Senate joined the House in overriding President Harry S. Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act, which allows the president to intervene in labor disputes.
  • 1972 – President Richard Nixon and White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman discussed a plan to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI’s Watergate investigation.