Morning must reads for Monday, June 26, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 177th day of the year. There are 188 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 157th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utahns support Chaffetz’s decision to step down from Congress. Gerrymandering gave the Utah GOP an unfair advantage in 2016. Republicans push to pass their Obamacare repeal bill this week.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,227 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns say they support Rep. Jason Chaffetz‘s decision to leave Congress before his term ends [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” pick Provo Mayor John Curtis to win the August 15 GOP primary [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz says Congress should keep a close eye on special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election [Utah Policy].
  • An analysis by the Associated Press found gerrymandering gave Utah Republicans an unfair advantage in the 2016 election. The Utah GOP picked up three more seats in the Utah Legislature than their overall vote totals should have warranted [Utah Policy].
  • Even though he was not a registered voter when he filed to run for Congress, Tanner Ainge will not lose his ballot spot because nobody challenged his status in time [Utah Policy].
  • On this week’s “Beg to Differ” podcast, Bryan Schott and Mike Winder break down the election in Utah’s 3rd District and have a conversation with Utah GOP Chair Rob Anderson [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz prepares to leave Congress this week after submitting his letter of resignation [Deseret News, Tribune]. Chaffetz says he has no plans to leave the public arena after he retires from Congress [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee is one of five Senators who are not ready to vote for the Senate version of the Obamacare replacement bill. He says he would shift his vote to a “yes” if the bill would give states more flexibility [Tribune].
  • A group plans to officially launch a 2018 ballot initiative on Monday to legalize medical marijuana in Utah [Deseret News].
  • The Salt Lake County Council is considering whether to launch an investigation into whether Recorder Gary Ott actually lives within the county [Tribune].
  • Meet the nine candidates running for Provo Mayor [Daily Herald].
  • New data from the LDS Church shows Salt Lake County is becoming less Mormon while the LDS population in Utah County is growing [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Senate Republicans plan to vote on their Obamacare repeal measure this week, but it’s not for certain the measure will pass before the July 4 recess [New York Times]. Complicating things is the expected CBO score for the bill on Monday. The consensus is the score will show the bill leaves millions more uninsured than Obamacare [Politico].
  • Speculation is swirling that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the reliable swing vote on the court, will announce his retirement on Monday. The court could also rule on President Trump’s travel ban [Associated Press]. Worth noting: Longtime Supreme Court observer David Lat says there’s absolutely no evidence that Kennedy will announce his retirement at the end of the current term [Above the Law].
  • President Donald Trump is reportedly eager to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two are in Germany next month, but some of his advisers are urging caution [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1894 – The American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, called a general strike in sympathy with Pullman workers.
  • 1917 – The first troops of the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France during World War I.
  • 1948 – The Berlin Airlift began in earnest as the United States, Britain and France began ferrying supplies to the isolated western sector of Berlin after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes.
  • 1950 – President Harry S. Truman authorized the Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.
  • 1963 – President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he declared in a speech, “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).
  • 1973 – Former White House counsel John W. Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an “enemies list” kept by the Nixon White House.