What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 13, 2014

“Count My Vote” raises big bucks. Swallow uses campaign money to pay legal fees. Feds will recognize Utah same-sex marriages.


  • 14 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 59 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 162 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 295 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 658 days to the 2015 elections
  • 723 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1029 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • Backers of the “Count My Vote” citizen’s initiative raised more than $800,000 last year, which is more than any other political cause or candidate in 2013 [Tribune].
  • Former Attorney General John Swallow used more than $230,000 of campaign money to pay off legal fees [Tribune]. 
  • An in-depth look at Jason Powers who is at the center of some allegations in the Swallow investigation [Tribune].
  • Attorney General Sean Reyes shakes up his leadership team [Tribune].
  • The federal government will recognize those same-sex marriages that took place in Utah prior to the Supreme Court stay [Tribune].
  • Same-sex marriage proponents rally at the Capitol asking Gov. Gary Herbert to not appeal the decision that struck down Amendment 3 [Tribune].
  • The LDS Church calls for civility in the debate over same-sex marriage [Deseret News].
  • Don Gale says the LDS Church needs to change their approach to the same-sex marriage debate [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee calls for more bipartisanship in Washington [Tribune].
  • A report to the Salt Lake City Council finds Youth City programs don’t reach too many kids on the west-side of the city [Tribune].
  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart discusses the upcoming legislative session [Utah Policy].
  • Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb chew over whether the state should move the prison [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Jim Dunnigan is proposing legislation to raise the speed limit to 80 mph on more Utah freeways [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers will consider limits on how people can use public voter information after a list of registered voters popped up online this week [Tribune].
  • The Holladay City Council will vote on a proposed non-discrimination measure based on sexual orientation next month [Tribune].
  • More bad water news for Utah as the state’s reservoirs are at just 35% of capacity [Standard-Examiner].

On this day in history:

  • President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag after Vermont and Kentucky joined the Union in 1794.
  • American songwriter Stephen Foster passed away in 1864.
  • Novelist James Joyce died in 1941.
  • Robert C. Weaver, the first black Cabinet member, was named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966.
  • Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey died at the age of 66 in 1978.
  • Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the nation’s first elected black governor in 1990.