Morning must reads for Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 200th day of the year. There are 165 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns don’t think the Utah GOP should endorse candidates in primary elections. Donald Trump finally nominates Jon Huntsman to be ambassador to Russia. Trump had another previously undisclosed meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit.

The clock:

  • 6 days until ballots for the August primary are mailed to voters (7/25/2017)
  • 27 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 111 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 187 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 232 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 475 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,203 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Utahns say the Utah GOP should not endorse candidates in primary elections, no matter which route they used to get on the primary ballot. However, Utah Republican voters are divided on the issue [Utah Policy].
  • Democrat Kathie Allen‘s monster fundraising machine has slowed down significantly, but she’s still outpacing any and all Republicans in Utah’s 3rd CD [Utah Policy].
  • President Donald Trump has officially nominated former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to be ambassador to Russia. Huntsman called for Trump to drop out of the presidential race after the Access Hollywood tapes, where Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women, came to light [Utah Policy, Reuters].
  • 3rd District candidate Chris Herrod scores an endorsement from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz may come to Utah to campaign for Herrod, too [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch is upset that Senate Republicans “blinked” in the showdown over a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sen. Mike Lee wants to repeal the bill now and replace it later [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A left-leaning group is suing the Utah attorney general’s office because they claim the AG is hiding information about their work with conservative political organizations [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski lays out her plan to address the homeless problem in the Rio Grande area [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Organizers of the Our Schools Now ballot initiative, which seeks to boost school funding through a sales and income tax hike, will hold a second round of public hearings around the state because the legal notice for their previous meetings did not comply with state law [Tribune].
  • Officials with the Provo Freedom Festival is refusing to completely explain why they removed an LGBTQ group from their July 4 parade at the last minute, claiming they were well within their legal rights to do so [Daily Herald].
  • Rep. Mia Love sees a bipartisan opportunity for Congress to work on criminal justice reform [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • Uh oh! President Donald Trump had another undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit. Trump sat and spoke with Putin for more than an hour with Putin while the only other person at the meeting was Putin’s translator, which is a major breach of security protocol [Associated Press].
  • Bad news for the GOP. Just 12% of the people who helped propel Donald Trump into the White House favor the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare [NBC News].
  • Here’s how the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare collapsed [New York Times].
  • President Trump now says he wants to let Obamacare fail in the wake of the Senate’s inability to pass a replacement for the health care law [New York Times].
  • Republicans in Congress are hoping to increase their numbers in next year, which they hope will help their efforts to get rid of Obamacare [Washington Post].
  • The eighth person in the Trump Tower meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump Jr. has been identified as a U.S.-based employee of a Russian real estate company [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump wants a corporate tax rate “in the 20s” as part of his tax reform proposal [Politico].
  • We’re finally starting to hear rumblings about Donald Trump‘s long-promised “secret plan” to fight ISIS [Daily Beast].
  • The U.S. military is paying $130,000/month to lease space in Trump Tower [Wall Street Journal].

On this day in history:

  • 1969 – Apollo 11, with Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins on board, went into orbit around the moon.
  • 1979 – The Nicaraguan capital of Managua fell to Sandinista guerrilas.
  • 1989 – A United Air Lines DC-10 crashed while making an emergency landing at Sioux city, Iowa, killing 112 people; 184 survived.
  • 1993 – President Bill Clinton announced the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which allowed homosexuals to serve in the military, but not openly.