Situational awareness – March 19, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Welcome to Utah’s must-read daily political news roundup. 

Utahns aren’t seeing a benefit from Trump’s tax cuts. Keep My Voice crosses a line. Massive Facebook data leak.

Tick Tock

  • The statewide caucus meetings for Utah Republicans and Democrats are tomorrow (3/20/2018)
  • 33 days until the Utah GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 40 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 99 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 232 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 315 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 961 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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Here’s what’s driving the day

Poll: Only 1/4 of Utahns have seen a boost in take-home pay from tax reform

Our latest poll finds most Utahns support the Trump tax cuts, but nearly half say they haven’t seen their paychecks get bigger from the sweeping tax overhaul [Utah Policy].

Keep My Voice vs. the Utah County GOP

The Utah County GOP is sanctioning Keep My Voice after the group attacked a sitting Republican lawmaker because he sponsored a bill to undo an illegal bylaw change by the GOP Central Committee [Utah Policy]. 

Dave Bateman alleges dirty tricks against him

Keep My Voice founder Dave Bateman says his political opponents are resorting to dirty tricks against him, but he’s offering very little in the way of evidence [Utah Policy].

Sen. Todd Weiler says he’s the “political lawyer” Bateman is referring to, but Bateman’s pushing a story that is not truthful [Utah Policy].

Grading the 2018 Legislature

Our “Political Insiders” say lawmakers deserve a “C” grade for their work during the 2018 session [Utah Policy].

Political Power bracket rolls on

We’re into Round #2 of our 2018 “Political Power” challenge. Vote for today’s matchups here [Utah Policy].

Here are the results from the final day of Round #1 [Utah Policy].

Can anybody beat Romney?

Jordan Garn says there are a few “candidates” that could give Romney a run for his money in 2018, but you won’t see them on the ballot [Utah Policy].

Trump and millennials

Renae Cowley says millennials in the GOP are big fans of President Trump’s brash style and “take no prisoners” attitude.

Other Utah headlines

  • Gov. Gary Herbert signs the inland port bill but says he will call a special session so lawmakers can make some changes [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The funders behind the Orrin Hatch Center may never be known, since the nonprofit will not be required to disclose donors [Tribune].
  • The special UTA buses to take people to the Capitol during the 2018 Legislature averaged just five riders per trip [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert signed the so-called “free-range parenting” bill [Deseret News].
  • The Utah Rivers Council is alleging Rep. Mike Noel did not disclose financial interests that would allow him to profit from the Lake Powell pipeline project [Tribune].
  • Longtime Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen is being challenged in the 2018 election by one of her employees [Deseret News].

National headlines

  • A data analytics firm that worked with President Trump during the 2016 election stole 50 million Facebook users’ data and employed the information for ad targeting [Reuters].
  • Congress has five days to approve a “must pass” $1.2 trillion government spending bill before another government shutdown on Friday [The Hill].
  • Prelude to 2020. Potential Republican challengers to president Trump are already hitting New Hampshire. The President travels there Monday [Washington Post].
  • President Trump launched a full-throated attack against special counsel Robert Muller on Twitter over the weekend as aides say he’s becoming more emboldened and less-likely to listen to advice from those around him [New York Times].
  • Special counsel Robert Muller’s investigation is reportedly focusing on events that happened after the election rather than during the campaign. Comey is asking President Trump’s lawyers about the firings of former FBI director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn [Axios].
  • Former FBI director James Comey’s forthcoming book flew to No. 1 on the Amazon bestseller list over the weekend [CNN].
  • Here’s a fascinating look at Hope Hicks’ time in the White House before she left the Trump administration less than a month ago [New York Magazine].
  • The government of California is pushing back hard against the Trump administration, trying to keep their disagreements from erupting into full-scale war [New Yorker].
  • States have left unspent hundreds of millions of dollars from the feds to fight the opioid crisis [Politico].
  • Teen organizers are planning another nationwide series of marches against gun violence this coming Saturday [Axios].

On this day in history

  • 1918 – Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time.
  • 1920 – The U.S. Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles for the second time.
  • 1931 – Gambling is legalized in Nevada.
  • 1941 – The 99th Pursuit Squadron also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black unit of the U.S. Army Air Corps, is activated.
  • 1942 – With World War II underway, all U.S. men between the ages of 45 and 64 were ordered to register with draft boards in what was sometimes called the “old man’s draft.”
  • 1962 – Bob Dylan releases his first album.
  • 1966 – Texas Western becomes the first college basketball team to win the NCAA championship with an all-black starting lineup.
  • 1979 – The House of Representatives begins broadcasting its day-to-day business via C-SPAN.
  • 1987 – Televangelist Jim Bakker resigns as head of the PTL Club due to a brewing sex scandal; he hands over control to Jerry Falwell.