Morning must reads for Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 228th day of the year. There are 137 days remaining in 2017.

John Curtis appears to have won the GOP primary in Utah’s 3rd CD. Utah election officials tell Julie Dole to remove some social media posts. Donald Trump defends white supremacists and neo-Nazis during a press conference.

The clock:

  • 83 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 159 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 204 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 447 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,175 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • It certainly looks like Provo Mayor John Curtis has won the three-way GOP primary election in Utah’s 3rd District. Curtis has a 12-point lead over Chris Herrod. There are still ballots to be counted, though and Herrod has not conceded the race. Tanner Ainge is about 15-points back [Utah Policy, Washington Post, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • State elections officials have told acting Salt Lake County Recorder Julie Dole to remove some social media posts that recycle old endorsements from a race she ran six years ago. Dole has not yet complied [Utah Policy].
  • Draper City Councilwoman Michelle Weeks prevailed in the runoff election for that city’s mayoral race and will face incumbent Troy Walker in November. Polygamist Joe Darger was in fourth place on Tuesday night [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The first day of Operation Rio Grande to crack down on lawlessness in downtown Salt Lake City netted 87 arrests. Officials say they plan to continue the enhanced police presence over the long term [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The focus on the Rio Grande area has unexpectedly disrupted a substance abuse treatment program for current inmates in Salt Lake County. Officials are scrambling to resume that program [Tribune].
  • Rosie Rivera was sworn in as Salt Lake County’s first female sheriff on Tuesday [Tribune].
  • The LDS Church issues a statement explicitly condemning white supremacist views, saying they are “morally wrong and sinful” [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • President Donald Trump caused jaws to drop and ignited a backlash when, during a Trump Tower press conference, he offered a defense of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups who were responsible for a domestic terrorist attack in Virgina over the weekend that left dozens injured and one woman dead [New York Times, Washington Post, Politico].
  • TV hosts were stunned and reacted with disgust immediately following the president’s remarks on Tuesday [New York Times].
  • During his news conference, Trump tried to blame the “alt-left” for being equally as disruptive and violent as the “alt-right.” However, experts say the “alt-left” isn’t really a thing and is just a morally-equivalent boogeyman created by supporters of extreme right-wing groups [USA Today].
  • Evangelical favorite Roy Moore and Luther Strange, who is backed by President Donald Trump, have advanced to the final election for U.S. Senate in Alabama to replace Jeff Sessions [Politico].
  • If President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to end certain subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, premiums would skyrocket by 20% and the federal deficit would jump by $194 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office [New York Times].
  • The first major overhaul of the NAFTA agreement in 23 years begins on Wednesday [Bloomberg].
  • A federal court invalidated two congressional districts in Texas on Tuesday saying the maps discriminate against minorities [Texas Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1812 – During the war of 1812, American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit without a fight to the British Army.
  • 1858 – President James Buchannan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
  • 1966 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigations of Americans who have aided the Viet Cong. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 people are arrested.
  • 1977 – Singer Elvis Presley died at Graceland Mansion in Memphis. He was 42.