Daily Briefing 11-14-17

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 318th day of the year. There are 47 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 49 days until candidates can declare their intent to gather signatures for the 2018 election (1/2/2018)
  • 69 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 114 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 115 days until the filing period for candidates in the 2018 election opens (3/9/2018)
  • 121 days until the filing deadline for the 2018 elections (3/15/2018)
  • 126 days until the statewide GOP caucus meetings (3/20/2018)
  • 158 days until the GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 224 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 357 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,085 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • POLL: Most Utahns say Confederate monuments should not be taken down [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore should step aside after allegations he pursued sexual relationships with teenagers [Utah Policy].
  • If Mitt Romney runs for Senate in 2018 and wins, he’ll set a record in the modern era for longest gap between a losing Senate bid and a victory [Utah Policy].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says even if President Donald Trump dramatically reduces the size of the Bears Ears National Monument, it will still be larger than the combined size of Zion and Bryce national parks [Tribune].
  • John Curtis is sworn in as Utah’s newest member of Congress [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • A group of Utah politicians wants to convince Mitt Romney to jump into the 2018 U.S. Senate race [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Salt Lake County officials announced plans to sue the manufacturers of opioids [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • A Senate committee advances the nomination of Paige Petersen to become the newest Utah Supreme Court Justice [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • LaVarr Webb argues the tax reform plan under consideration in Congress would give the U.S. economy a boost if it passes [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake City is considering hiring 27 new police officers to deal with the increased workload from Operation Rio Grande [Tribune].
  • The family of former Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott is embroiled in a court battle with his former secretary/caregiver/fiancee over his estate [Deseret News].
  • A new study says nearly 1,800 fewer people would die on the nation’s roads if every state adopted Utah’s lowest in the nation DUI threshold [Deseret News].
  • The new arena at the Utah State Fairpark needs about $1.1 million in upgrades and repairs [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • The Justice Department is looking into whether to appoint a special counsel to probe the Clinton Foundation and a 2010 decision by the Obama administration to allow a Russian group to buy a company that owned access to uranium in the U.S. [New York Times].
  • Woah! Donald Trump Jr. was in contact with Wikileaks at the time the website was publicly releasing emails Russian hackers stole from the Clinton campaign. Most of the messages from Wikileaks went unanswered by Trump Jr., but he did make other top officials in the Trump campaign aware of the communications [Atlantic].
  • The latest Roy Moore news:
    • A fifth woman has come forward alleging that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager and Moore was in his 30’s [New York Times].
    • More Senate Republicans call on Moore to leave the race, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [Washington Post].
    • Some Senate Republicans are threatening to expel Moore if he wins December’s election. The Senate has not expelled a member in more than 150 years [Politico].
    • Despite the Republican National Committee ending a joint fundraising agreement with Moore, there are still several paid Republican staffers on the ground in Alabama helping out with Moore’s campaign [BuzzFeed].
    • Moore was allegedly banned from a local mall in Alabama because of his habit of hitting on teenage girls there [New Yorker].
  • It wasn’t just Russia! Governments in 30 countries spread disinformation online to quell unrest or influence elections [Recode].
  • Whoops! A Trump judicial nominee failed to disclose he’s married to a White House lawyer on a list of family members who might present a conflict of interest [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump taps Alex Azar, a former executive with pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services [New York Times].
  • The number of hate crimes in the U.S. rose for the second straight year [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1666 – The first blood transfusion took place in London. Blood from one dog was transfused into another.
  • 1899 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completed the trip in 72 days.
  • 1969 – NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.
  • 1986 – The White House acknowledged the CIA’s role in secretly shipping weapons to Iran.
  • 1995 – A budget standoff in Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.