Daily Briefing 11-3-17

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 307th day of the year. There are 58 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 4 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 80 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 125 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 368 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,096 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • What happened and why? Watch our Utah political week-in-review to get up to speed quickly [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast version if you’re on the go [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says the right-wing “wackos” in the GOP may try to oust Chairman Rob Anderson after the decision to drop the lawsuit against SB54, but those efforts will probably fail [Utah Policy].
  • Democratic legislative candidate Jacquelyn Orton failed to disclose some campaign donations in a timely manner, and now faces some possible fines from the state [Utah Policy].
  • Utah’s Republican delegation in Congress heaped praise on the GOP tax reform bill which was unveiled Thursday [Tribune].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart says Russian troll farms engaged in “cyberwarfare” during the 2016 campaign, but the online posts were designed to make Americans mad at each other, not help Donald Trump [Deseret News].
  • The LDS Church is donating $10 million to build shelters for homeless people in Utah [Deseret News].
  • A coalition of environmental organizations is suing the Trump administration over the plan to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments [BuzzFeed].
  • A group of Utah residents started an online petition saying President Trump is not welcome in Utah ahead of the president’s planned visit to the Beehive State in December [Fox 13].
  • Six Utah school districts are asking voters to approve bond proposals on election day totaling $800 million [Tribune].
  • Angry Ballpark residents vented at Speaker Greg Hughes Thursday night over the number of displaced homeless people who were now in their community following the crackdown downtown [Deseret News].
  • An independent panel says Utah lawmakers should get a pay raise from $273 per day to $285. Lawmakers have not received a boost in pay since 2013 [Tribune].
  • A judge awarded the United Utah Party $115,000 in attorney fees resulting from their lawsuit against the state to secure a spot on Tuesday’s special congressional election ballot [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake City Council candidate Amy Fowler says she received threatening and sexually explicit messages on her Facebook page. She has filed a police report because of the incident [Deseret News].
  • The State School Board voted to reconsider science teaching standards in Utah schools despite objections that the new standards did not include teaching intelligent design and seemingly push a political agenda on climate change [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • Republicans in Congress took the wraps off of their tax reform package. Businesses, corporations, and wealthy Americans would benefit most from the plan [New York Times].
  • Middle-class Americans may not see the big tax cut they have been promised under the GOP tax reform proposal [New York Times].
  • The Republican tax reform proposal could have a rocky path to winning approval in the Senate, where the GOP’s margin of error is razor thin [Politico].
  • Both President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions keep insisting they knew nothing about alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. However, documents keep surfacing that cast doubts on those claims [New York Times].
  • Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Paige testified that he told Jeff Sessions that he was traveling to Russia during the 2016 campaign. Sessions twice told a Senate panel under oath he did not know of campaign contacts with Russia [CNN].
  • Democratic Senators want Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appear before a Senate panel again to answer more questions about Trump campaign contacts with Russia following the guilty plea this week by ex-campaign adviser George Papadopoulos [Politico].
  • Former Trump campaign aide Sam Clovis withdrew his nomination for a top post at the Department of Agriculture after his name surfaced in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election [New York Times].
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren says the Democratic presidential nomination contest was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton after a bombshell report this week that the Clinton campaign was basically in control of the Democratic National Committee during the primaries [CNN].
  • Several female members of Congress say they were subject to sexual harassment by their male colleagues [Associated Press].
  • Investigative reporter David Corn was investigated by Mother Jones magazine for inappropriate workplace behavior when he headed up their Washington bureau in 2014. Corn is most famous for publishing Mitt Romney‘s infamous 47% video [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump is heading to Asia on Friday for a week-long tour of Japan, China, and South Korea [New York Times].
  • An outgoing employee at Twitter shut down President Donald Trump’s account for 11 minutes on Thursday [CNN].

On this day in history:

  • 1493 – Explorer Christopher Columbus first sights the island of Dominica in the Caribbean.
  • 1534 – English Parliament passes the first Act of Supremacy, making King Henry VIII head of the Anglican Church, supplanting the pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1783 – The Continental Army is disbanded.
  • 1789 – The first District Court established by the Constitution opens in New York City.
  • 1868 – John Willis Menard was the first African American elected to Congress. Because of an electoral challenge, he was never seated.
  • 1948 – Harry S. Truman defeated Republican Thomas Dewey. Truman had been given no chance in pre-election polls pulled off the greatest upset in American political history.
  • 1957 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika.
  • 1986 – The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been secretly selling weapons to Iran to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.