Daily Briefing 10-20-17

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 293rd day of the year. There are 72 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 18 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 94 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 139 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 382 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,110 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Ben McAdamsMia LoveJohn CurtisJim BennettKathie AllenOrrin HatchDonald TrumpGary Herbert, and Spencer Cox all get a mention in our rundown of a bananas week in Utah politics [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast version if that’s what you prefer [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says the Trump administration has been “erratic” during the first ten months, but it’s too early to pass judgment on President Trump’s performance [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says Utah Lawmakers are ready to wrest some power away from the executive branch and the fight over a legal opinion about the 3rd CD special election has just strengthened their resolve [Utah Policy].
  • PODCAST: “Beg to Differ” break down Ben McAdams’s decision to run for Congress, the 3rd CD debate and speak with Boyd Matheson about why he’s considering a run for Senate in 2018. Bryan Schott and Mike Winder make you the smartest person in the room when you discuss politics [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Mia Love rips Ben McAdams‘s decision to challenge her in 2018 [Deseret News].
  • Backers of “Our Schools Now” say they have 1/4 of the signatures they need to put a proposed income and sales tax hike to give more money to schools on the 2018 ballot [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Former Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott dies at the age of 66 [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says there’s simply an “honest difference of opinion” at the center of the controversy surrounding a legal opinion prepared by Attorney General Sean Reyes for the Legislature about the 3rd CD special election. Herbert’s office blocked the release of that opinion, and lawmakers want to take him to court in order to get their hands on it [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Utah may bid to host either the 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympic games [Tribune].
  • It may cost Utah $40 million to get Olympic venues ready if the state does win a bid to host another Olympic games [Deseret News].
  • Former Salt Lake City Councilman Eric Jergensen has been found guilty of stealing $2.5 million in an investment scheme [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • The Senate approves a budget deal, which allows Congress to take up their tax reform package [Politico].
  • Former President’s George W. Bush and Barack Obama in separate speeches deliver a stinging rebuke of the current administration without mentioning Donald Trump by name [New York Times].
  • Gen. John Kelly, President Donald Trump‘s chief of staff, says he was “stunned” and “brokenhearted” that a Florida Democratic Congresswoman politicized Trump’s call to the widow of a slain soldier [Fox News].
  • Curious. Former President Bill Clinton asked the State Department for clearance to meet with a board member of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom while he was traveling for a paid speaking engagement in Moscow [The Hill].
  • CIA Director Mike Pompeo says that U.S. intelligence agencies determined Russia’s interference in the 2016 election did not affect the outcome. However, that statement is not true, as a previous report reached no conclusions about the effect of Russia’s meddling [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump promised to deliver an emergency plan to combat the opioid crisis next week. Problem is such a plan does not exist, and his aides are now scrambling to come up with one [Politico].
  • Kathleen Hartnett White, President Trump’s pick to be the White House senior adviser for environmental policy, once called the belief in global warming as a “kind of paganism” for “secular elites” [CNN].
  • President Trump is offering help to three Republican senators who are being targeted for a primary challenge by Steve Bannon in 2018 [Politico].
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi jokes that she wished Mitt Romney were president instead of Donald Trump[Boston Globe].
  • President Trump’s and Vice President Pence released a petition demanding that NFL players stand for the playing of the national anthem [New York Daily News].
  • The number of Americans without health insurance is on the rise again [Huffington Post].
  • A federal judge is refusing to wipe out the guilty verdict against controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio despite the pardon he received from President Donald Trump [Politico].
  • Pollution has killed one out of every six people worldwide since 2015 [CNN].
  • NOAA says this winter may be warmer than average because of La Nina [CNN].

On this day in history:

  •  1803 – The United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1818 – The Convention of 1818 is signed between the U.S. and U.K., which settles the Canada-United States border along the 49th parallel for most of its length.
  • 1947 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevented some from working in the industry for years.
  • 1973 – “Saturday Night Massacre”: President Richard Nixon fires Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Cox was finally fired by Robert Bork.