Daily Briefing 10-19-17

 Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 292nd day of the year. There are 73 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 19 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 95 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 140 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 383 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,111 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • ALERT! Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams announces he’s running for the 4th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Mia Love [Utah Policy].
  • McAdams’s candidacy immediately puts the 4th CD into play. Inside Politics changed their rating of the contest from “Safe Republican” to “Lean Republican” [Utah Policy].
  • During an update about Operation Rio Grande, state leaders said curbing the opioid epidemic would play a big role in its long-term success [Utah Policy].
  • Boyd Matheson, president of the Sutherland Institute, talks about why he’s mulling a Senate run in 2018 [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast of our conversation with Matheson [Utah Policy].
  • The 104 Utah legislators will have the opportunity to get their hands on tickets to the smash hit musical “Hamilton” when it comes to Utah, as long as they pay face value for the tickets [Utah Policy].
  • The Utah Senate names state elections chief Mark Thomas as their new chief of staff [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says he opposes a bi-partisan health care bill that he says is nothing more than a bailout of Obamacare. Hatch’s opposition essentially dooms the legislation [Roll Call].
  • The three leading candidates in November’s special Congressional election face off in a televised debate [Deseret News].
  • The U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy visits Salt Lake City to throw his support behind Republican John Curtis in next month’s special Congressional election [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers decide to sue Attorney General Sean Reyes to force him to release his legal opinion about the special Congressional election process [Deseret News].
  • State Treasurer David Damschen warned lawmakers that if the state takes control of the Utah Transit Authority could emperil Utah’s credit rating [Tribune].
  • Utah submits their bid to possibly land Amazon’s second headquarters [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • Members of the Trump campaign team pushed out social media content from one of the most notorious Russian “troll farms” during the run-up to the 2016 election [Daily Beast].
  • Sen. John McCain will join two Democrats in calling for regulations on Facebook and increase disclosures for online political ads. Russia was able to influence voters last year through social media targeting [Axios].
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to discuss his conversations with President Donald Trump before he fired former FBI Director James Comey during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday [New York Times].
  • Former Trump campaign chief Corey Lewandowski met with Senate investigators on Wednesday as part of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump is under fire for allegedly making an insensitive remark to the widow of a US serviceman killed during an ambush in Niger. The widow, along with a Florida Congresswoman, claim Trump told the woman her husband “knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt,” during a phone call. Trump vehemently denies saying that [CNN].
  • Trump offered to send the grieving father of a US soldier killed in Afghanistan $25,000 from his personal account, but the check was not mailed until yesterday after the media started asking questions about it [Washington Post].
  • President Trump may visit the DMZ during a trip to South Korea next month, but there are some in the White House who don’t think that’s a good idea [Washington Post].
  • A new national poll shows most Americans think North Korea is the most pressing threat facing the U.S. right now [NBC News].
  • Drain the swamp? Not so much. Trump’s administration has only followed through on one of five proposed ethics reforms he promised to implement [Politico].
  • Worth watching. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is rankling the feathers of his fellow justices, most notably Justice Elena Kagan [Slate].
  • Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran, who is 79 years-old, says he will not retire from Congress despite speculation that his mental acuity is failing. Recently, Cochran needed a staffer to remind him where the Senate chamber was [Politico].
  • Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore says NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem are breaking the law (they’re not) [Time].

On this day in history:

  • 1781 – At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British Commander Lord Cornwallis hand over his sword and formally surrender to George Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau.
  • 1789 – John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
  • 1933 – Germany withdraws from the league of nations.
  • 1960 – The United States imposes a near-total trade embargo against Cuba.
  • 1973 – President Richard Nixon rejects an Appeals Court decision that he turn over the Watergate tapes.
  • 1987 – Black Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%.