Daily Briefing 11-15-17

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 319th day of the year. There are 46 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 48 days until candidates can declare their intent to gather signatures for the 2018 election (1/2/2018)
  • 68 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 113 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 114 days until the filing period for candidates in the 2018 election opens (3/9/2018)
  • 120 days until the filing deadline for the 2018 elections (3/15/2018)
  • 125 days until the statewide GOP caucus meetings (3/20/2018)
  • 157 days until the GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 223 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 356 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,084 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


Today’s political TL; DR –


  • Bettors in the political futures markets are bullish on the prospect of a Mitt Romney run for Senate in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  • A staffer for Sen. Orrin Hatch says they expect President Donald Trump to reduce the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by 50%. Bears Ears could be shrunk to between 100,000 and 300,000 acres [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Associates of Mitt Romney say he clearly wants to run for U.S. Senate in 2018, but his campaign is in a “holding pattern” until Sen. Orrin Hatchdecides on his political future [Deseret News].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suggests that the Bureau of Land Management could move their headquarters to Salt Lake City [Tribune].
  • Some members of the Salt Lake County Council were caught off guard by Mayor Ben McAdams‘s decision to file suit against opioid manufacturers [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • The stickers given to voters by Provo mayoral write-in candidate Odell Miner are causing problems for Utah County elections officials [Daily Herald].
  • Damage control. Attorney General Sean Reyes pens an op-ed describing his part in a disputed legal opinion about the just completed special election in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District [Deseret News].
  • Utah may have given more than $1 million in tax credits for renewable energy to people who did not earn them [Tribune].
  • A legislative audit says high turnover of staff at the Utah State Board of Education is harming educational oversight efforts [Deseret News].
  • An audit concludes problems at assisted living facilities and child care centers are not always remedied by the state [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency is considering a plan to bring nearly 900 affordable housing units to the city [Tribune].


National headlines:


  • The Russian government sent more than 60 money transfers to embassies around the world with an accompanying note that said: “to finance election campaign of 2016” [BuzzFeed].
  • The revised GOP tax reform plan from the Senate now includes repealing the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most Americans have health insurance. Many tax cuts for individuals would also expire in 2025 [New York Times]. 
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions changes his story about contacts with Russia during the 2016 campaign again but denies that he lied about those contacts during two previous hearings before Congress [New York Times].
  • Poll: Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 46-35% in a hypothetical 2020 election matchup [Politico].
  • The announcement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may appoint another special counsel to investigate the Clinton Foundation has longtime staffers worrying he is politicizing the Justice Department [Washington Post].
  • The jury in the corruption trial of Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez still has not reached a verdict [Politico].
  • Republicans are hoping President Donald Trump will help them salvage the Roy Moore situation [The Hill].
  • Moore says he’s being “harassed” by the media over sexual allegations against him [CNN].
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts that Moore could be expelled if he wins next month’s election [Politico].
  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is reportedly having second thoughts about backing Roy Moore‘s campaign in Alabama [Daily Beast].
  • China is sending an envoy to North Korea following President Trump’s visit [Associated Press].
  • A gunman in Northern California killed ten people at several locations before he was shot dead by law enforcement [New York Times].
  • The United States gave a $2.8 million no-bid contract to a company founded by a former KGB leader to provide security for the American embassy in Moscow [New York Times].
  • There’s been an apparent coup in Zimbabwe. The military says they’ve taken custody of President Robert Mugabe [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1533 – Francisco Pizarro arrives in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.
  • 1777 – After 16 months of debate the Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation.
  • 1864 – Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins Sherman’s March to the Sea.
  • 1939 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.
  • 1969 – More than 500,000 people demonstrated in Washington against the Vietnam War.