Morning must reads for Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 178th day of the year. There are 187 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 158th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The Utah GOP’s debt problem is getting deeper. A Medical marijuana initiative launches targeting the 2018 ballot. Trumpcare is on life support following a disastrous CBO score.

The clock:

  • 49 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 133 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 209 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 254 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 497 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,226 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Utah GOP Chairman Rob Anderson had promised to conduct an audit of the party’s finances and make those results public within 30 days of taking office. That will have to wait until Anderson can raise $10,000 to pay for the last audit from two years ago [Utah Policy].
  • A patient advocacy group launches a 2018 ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Utah [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price visits Utah to whip up support for the Obamacare replacement bill currently in the Senate [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Danny Ainge host a fundraiser for his son, Tanner Ainge, who is running for Congress in the August GOP primary election [Deseret News].
  • The family of troubled Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott has asked a court to give them guardianship over him, which could lead to his retirement from office [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The U.S. Supreme Court decision reinstating a softer version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban until they can review the full ban next term will leave a number of Utah refugee programs in limbo [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The new United Utah Party moves one step closer to becoming an official political party in Utah. They are continuing their court battle to place Jim Bennett on the November ballot as their nominee in the special election for Congress [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  • Why are conservative thought leaders meeting in Utah to discuss solutions for the affordable housing crisis? [Utah Policy]
  • Democratic congressional candidate Darlene McDonald argues that Democrats can win in Utah if they start talking about issues that matter to residents of the state [Utah Policy].

National headlines:

  • The Senate version of Trumpcare is on life support after the CBO score showed the plan would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured by 2026. A number of Republicans plan to vote against even bringing the bill up for a vote in its current form [New York Times].
  • The White House claims Syria is preparing to launch another chemical attack against its own citizens and is warning the Assad regime there will be a “heavy price” of they move forward [Politico].
  • This is very weird. White House aide Jared Kushner has hired criminal defense lawyer Abbe Lowell, who represented John Edwards and Jack Abramoff, to represent him in the special prosecutor’s probe of Russian’s involvement in the 2016 election [Politico].
  • The FBI has questioned Trump campaign adviser Carter Paige about his meetings and contacts with Russian officials [Washington Post].
  • The Supreme Court ruled a Missouri church was wrongly denied a state grant for its preschool playground. Many legal observers say the ruling will reignite the debate over using public funds for religious schools [Associated Press].
  • The Supreme Court will hear a case next year involving a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex union [New York Times].
  • A new survey shows the image of the United States has plunged globally under the leadership of President Donald Trump [Reuters].

On this day in history:

  • 1844 – Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Ill.
  • 1893 – The New York stock market crashed.
  • 1950 – The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling on member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.
  • 1969 – Patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, clashed with police in an incident considered to be the birth of the gay rights movement.