Morning must reads for Friday, August 18, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 230th day of the year. There are 135 days remaining in 2017.

“Count My Vote” is planning another ballot initiative to end the caucus system. Salt Lake County Republicans pick Adam Gardiner to be the new county recorder; Gardinier plans to fire acting recorder Julie Dole. Terror in Spain leaves 13 dead and dozens injured.

The clock:

  • 81 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 157 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 202 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 445 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,173 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • The organizers of “Count My Vote” are readying a brand new ballot initiative for 2018 to eliminate the caucus/convention system for nominating candidates [Utah Policy].
  • Understand the what and why of the biggest political stories from the last seven days as Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott break down the Utah political zeitgeist [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast version of our conversation if you prefer that [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick argues that even though John Curtis was able to prevail because of the signature route to the ballot, the caucus/convention system is not dead yet [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake County Republicans pick Rep. Adam Gardiner to replace Gary Ott as county recorder. Gardiner says he plans to fire acting recorder Julie Dole when he assumes the office on Friday morning [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County election officials count another 14,000 mail-in ballots, but the new numbers don’t have much of an impact on the outcomes of races [Tribune].
  • Aaron Butler, a special forces soldier from Monticello, was killed clearing a booby-trapped building in Afghanistan on Wednesday [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller and her family pledged to match up to $10 million in donations for the three new homeless shelters set to open in Salt Lake County in 2019 [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • World Trade Center Utah CEO Derek Miller says Utah may feel the effect of the business community pulling back support for President Donald Trump [Deseret News].
  • A new study finds Utah’s economy reaped big benefits from the NAFTA agreement. The Beehive State exported more than $3 billion worth of goods to Mexico and Canada in 2015 [Tribune].
  • The effort to crack down on crime in the Rio Grande area of downtown Salt Lake City has forced drug dealers out of the area, but law enforcement warns they may set up shop in surrounding cities [City Weekly].
  • Business owners in downtown SLC are divided over how effective Operation Rio Grande will be in quelling criminal behavior [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • Back-to-back terrorist attacks rock Spain. Terrorists plowed a van into pedestrians in Barcelona, killing 13 people. Shortly after that, police shot five people wearing fake bomb vests who were responsible for a car attack in the Catalonia region [Associated Press].
  • This is astonishing. Indiana Republican Todd Rokita’s staff has assembled an eight-page document detailing how to escort him around his home district properly. The list includes such missives as always have hand sanitizer and gum ready for him and don’t bother with “unnecessary conversation” [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump called for the preservation of Confederate statues on public grounds, sparking another round of controversy [Washington Post].
  • Some of Donald Trump‘s top aides are reportedly unhappy and disappointed with his rhetoric on race over the last week, but they plan to stay put [Politico].
  • Republican Sen. Bob Corker rebuked President Donald Trump said he has not shown sufficient stability or the competence to be successful as president [USA Today].
  • Julius Krein, an ardent supporter of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, now says he cannot “stand by this disgraceful administration any longer,” and urges other supporters to stop defending him [New York Times].
  • South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, condemned President Donald Trump‘s response to the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, questioning Trump’s moral authority and said: “I’m not going to defend the indefensible” [Vice].
  • Donald Trump‘s attacks on Senators from his own party could leave him on an island if Congress ever decides to impeach him [Reuters].
  • The Anonymous group posted what it says are the private cellphone numbers and email addresses for 22 members of Congress in a bid to push for Trump’s impeachment [Washington Post].
  • A Missouri state senator says she has no plans to resign after sparking outrage when she said she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated [Huffington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1227 – The Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan died.
  • 1587 – Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil in the Roanoke Colony.
  • 1590 – John White, the governor of the Roanoke Colony, returns from a supply trip to England and finds his settlement deserted.
  • 1920 – The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.
  • 1963 – James Meredith becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
  • 1969 – The Woodstock Music and Art Fair concluded with a mid-morning set by Jimi Hendrix.
  • 1991 – Soviet hardliners launched a coup aimed at toppling President Mikhail Gorbachev.