Daily Briefing 10-25-17

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 298th day of the year. There are 67 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 13 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 89 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 134 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 377 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,105 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Salt Lake County Republicans call for the resignation of District Attorney Sim Gill. They contend that Gill is taking an unreasonably long time investigating allegations that former county recorder Gary Ott was the victim of elder abuse [Utah Policy].
  • PODCAST: SLCO GOP Chair Jake Parkinson says his call for Gill to step down is not motivated by politics [Utah Policy].
  • Mia Love‘s campaign adds some political heavy hitters to her fundraising operation [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick profiles Greg Hartley, chief of staff for the Utah House of Representatives [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams‘s proposed $1.3 billion budget includes money to re-open the Oxbow Jail next year. The proposal also seeks to cover the county’s $30 million portion of the costs for Operation Rio Grande without a tax hike [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee was one of 17 Republicans who voted “no” on a $36.5 billion disaster relief funding package that included money to pay for fighting wildfires and hurricane relief efforts [The Hill].
  • Sen. Mike Lee and Sen. Marco Rubio want to double the child tax credit as part of the tax reform plan currently under consideration in Congress [Deseret News].
  • The GOP tax reform plan could mean less money for the LDS Church and other faith organizations because it could reduce the amount of money Americans donate to charities [Tribune].
  • Former Attorney General John Swallow has enlisted a free-speech group to defend him against allegations he violated election law by using “straw” donors when raising money. It’s illegal to make political donations through another person [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • The Salt Lake City Council decides to buy the Overniter Motel property along North Temple. The property will be razed and turned into a mix of regular and affordable housing [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah II as part of the current trade mission in the Middle East [Deseret News].
  • University of Utah President David Pershing has apologized to Jon Huntsman Sr. for the recent controversy involving the Huntsman Cancer Institute [Deseret News].
  • The National Park Service is proposing hiking entrance fees to $70 per vehicle. The fee increase would affect four of Utah’s five national parks [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped to fund opposition research that resulted in a dossier that contained allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia. The file also detailed salacious allegations against Trump as well as possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin [Washington Post].
  • Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announces he will not seek re-election in 2018. During his speech announcing his retirement, Flake blasted President Donald Trump saying Trump’s behavior is “dangerous to our democracy” [Washington Post]. Flake also says he does not have the stomach for the kind of campaign he would have to run to win re-election next year. “The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take” [Arizona Republic].
  • Congressional Republicans announce they are opening two new investigations into Hillary Clinton. One will focus on the Justice Department’s investigation into her handling of classified emails while she was Secretary of State. The other will probe the Obama administration’s approval of a 2010 agreement that gave a Russian-backed company control of much of the uranium in the U.S. [New York Times].
  • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is the subject of a new federal investigation into money laundering [ABC News].
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan says he plans to include a fix for the DACA program as part of a year-end spending bill [Huffington Post].
  • The U.S. Senate voted to roll back a rule that allowed American consumers to sue banks and credit card companies [Washington Post].
  • A new national poll finds most Americans think President Donald Trump is “reckless,” “thin-skinned,” and “dishonest” [Politico].
  • Scott Brown, the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, is under investigation for inappropriate comments he made during a trip to Samoa. During a party he attended in the Samoan capital, Brown told attendees they looked “beautiful” and could make hundreds of dollars working in the hospitality industry if they came to the U.S. [The Guardian].
  • A new poll finds a majority of white Americans say they are discriminated against in America, but a much smaller number say they have actually experienced discrimination personally [NPR].
  • Kid Rock, who had been teasing a possible run for U.S. Senate in Michigan, says he was encouraged to run by former White House strategist Steve Bannon. The musician said earlier this week he was not serious about running [Daily Beast].
  • Be careful where you click today. There’s a new ransomware attack making the rounds posing as an Adobe update before locking down computers and demanding money to release files [CNN].

On this day in history:

  • 1854 – Charge of the Light Brigade. 670 British cavalrymen fighting in the Crimean War attacked a heavily fortified Russian position and were killed.
  • 1929 – During the Teapot Dome scandal, Albert B. Fall, who served as President Warren Harding’s interior secretary, was found guilty of accepting a bribe while in office. He was the first presidential Cabinet member convicted of a crime.
  • 1944 – The Japanese military employed its first unit of Kamikaze pilots during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • 1983 – U.S. troops invaded the tiny island of Grenada, rescuing 1,000 American students.
  • 2002 – Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was killed in a small plane crash about 180 miles northeast of Minneapolis.