Situational awareness – April 11, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Hughes believes there’s enough support for a veto override session. Mitt Romney qualifies for the primary ballot. The LDS Church issues a statement opposing the medical marijuana ballot initiative. Trump wanted to fire Mueller in December.

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Tick Tock

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

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Here are the news stories driving Wednesday

Veto override coming?

House Speaker Greg Hughes says there’s enough support in the House for a veto override session, but the Senate “could go either way.” Legislators have until 5 pm Wednesday to make their decisions [Utah Policy].  

Romney qualifies for the ballot

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney officially has enough signatures to qualify for the GOP primary ballot. He accomplished the feat without the use of paid signature gatherers [Utah Policy].

Cybersecurity for Utah’s elections

Utah is part of a pilot program from the Department of Homeland Security to make election officials aware of potential cyber threats that could disrupt the 2018 midterms [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines

  • The LDS Church issued a statement on Tuesday opposing the ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana [Deseret News, Fox 13].
  • Democrat Ben McAdams narrows the fundraising gap with Republican Mia Love [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake County sues big pharma over the opioid crisis [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Mayor Jackie Biskupski warns of a potential water shortage this summer and issues an advisory to residents to conserve [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Utah’s Senators in Congress get an opportunity to question Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg over the recent controversies surrounding the use of users data [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A new study says Utah has the largest gender wage gap in the country, with women earning just 70% of their male counterparts [Tribune].

National headlines

  • President Trump taunted Russia and Syria on Twitter early Wednesday morning, telling Russia to “get ready” because “nice and new and ‘smart'” missiles will be coming [Axios].
  • President Trump is reportedly considering firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to rein in or even fire special counsel Robert Mueller [CNN].
  • President Donald Trump wanted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller in December following inaccurate media reports that he had issued subpoenas about Trump’s business dealings with Deutsche Bank [New York Times].
  • Senators question Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg over privacy issues and suggest the social media platform’s days of self-regulation may be coming to an end [New York Times].
  • The FBI raid on Michael Cohen’s office sought information related to hush money paid to two women who had affairs with Donald Trump before he became president [New York Times].
  • President Trump canceled a trip to Latin America to deal with the growing crisis in Syria [New York Times].
  • The EPA is examining posts on social media to justify the costly security measures being taken by Scott Pruitt, the agency’s administrator [New York Times].
  • A new poll shows half of Americans support sending troops to the border with Mexico [Politico].
  • Gas prices are expected to rise 14% this summer [CNN Money].

On this day in history

  • 1945 – Allied troops liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.
  • 1947 – Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player to take the field for a Major League Baseball team during an exhibition game. Four days later he made his MLB debut.
  • 1951 – President Harry Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of overall command in Korea.
  • 1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.