Situational awareness – April 5, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Reyes gets good approval ratings from Utahns. Miller talks about challenges and opportunities as he prepares to take over the Salt Lake Chamber. The White House tries to calm fears as the trade war with China heats up.

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Tick Tock

  • 11 days until the signature-gathering deadline for statewide ballot initiatives (4/16/2018)
  • 16 days until the Utah GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 23 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 32 days until the final day a veto override session may begin (5/7/2018)
  • 82 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 216 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 299 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 945 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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Here are the news stories driving Thursday

Poll: Reyes needs to work on his name ID

Utahns give Attorney General Sean Reyes positive job approval ratings, but about 1/4 of Utahns don’t know who he is. Reyes needs to improve those numbers if he wants to run for governor in 2020 [Utah Policy].

Miller says 2020 could shape Utah’s economic future for years to come

Incoming Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Derek Miller says there are three projects slated for 2020 that will have a tremendous impact on Utah’s economy for decades [Utah Policy].

Here’s a podcast of our conversation with Miller [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines

  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee say they did not violate ethics rules when they used Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller’s courtside seats [Tribune].
  • Lehi police drop their investigation into claims by Entrata’s Dave Bateman that Sen. Todd Weiler tried to bribe an employee to make false sexual harassment claims against him [Fox 13].
  • Sen. Jim Dabakis reflects on his time in the Utah Legislature [City Weekly].
  • Salt Lake and Utah County officials may bring back the proposed sales tax hike for transportation that was previously rejected by voters [Deseret News].
  • Utah and Idaho officials have filed an application to control of 400,000 acre-feet of water in Bear Lake [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Utah’s snowpack is in a dismal state at the end of a very dry year [Deseret News].

National headlines

  • President Trump is finding that a lot of the easy promises he made on the campaign trail are much more complicated to put into action [Washington Post].
  • The White House is trying to downplay fears of a trade war with China as that country prepares to retaliate for U.S. tariffs on Chinese products [New York Times].
  • Facebook admits that nearly all of its 2 billion users had information scraped from their profiles by outside companies [Washington Post].
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller is questioning Russian oligarchs who are traveling to the U.S. [CNN].
  • A federal judge appears to not be buying Paul Manafort’s argument that special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election is not valid [Washington Post].
  • The White House is backing away from a plan to immediately withdraw troops from Syria, instead instructing military commanders to come up with a plan to wrap up U.S. military operations in a few months [New York Times].
  • Incoming national security adviser John Bolton is running into ethics conflicts just days ahead of him taking that job [CNBC].
  • Bizarre story. A Las Vegas political adviser is being accused by his ex-fiancee of enslaving and abusing her [Las Vegas Review Journal].
  • Woah! The average house price in San Francisco is now $1.6 million [Bloomberg].

On this day in history

  • 1614 – In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe.
  • 1768 – The first U.S. Chamber of Commerce was founded in New York City.
  • 1792 – President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.
  • 1922 – The American Birth Control League, forerunner of Planned Parenthood, is incorporated.
  • 1951 – Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for spying for the Soviet Union.