Situational awareness – April 12, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Bishop testing the waters for a possible gubernatorial run. The Utah Legislature votes to hold a veto override session. Paul Ryan heads for the exit.

Spotted at the opening night of Hamilton in Salt Lake City: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney and Democratic Utah House candidate Chris Neville.

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Tick Tock

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

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Here are the news stories driving Thursday

Scoop: Bishop 2020?

Rep. Rob Bishop has been polling to test the waters for a possible gubernatorial run in 2020 [Utah Policy].

Veto override!

Lawmakers vote to hold the first veto override session in Utah in nearly a decade [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines

  • Utah’s congressional delegation reacts to the shock news that House Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election in 2018. Rep. Rob Bishop is being named as a “dark horse” candidate to replace him [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart says there’s a sense of urgency to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons on civilians, but doesn’t think it will lead to a greater confrontation with Russia [Deseret News].
  • A Utah judge nixes a lawsuit brought by environmental groups who alleged county commissioners violated the state’s open meetings law when they met privately with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke [Tribune].

National headlines

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan announces he’s retiring at the end of the current term, stunning many in Washington and sending shockwaves through the 2018 midterms [New York Times].
  • Ryan says he will stay on until January of 2019, but other Republicans want him to step down sooner to give them a leg up on replacing him. Some think Ryan may be forced out sometime this summer [Axios].
  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is pitching a plan to Republicans on how to thwart the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller [Washington Post].
  • The FBI raid on the office of President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, sought records on the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump is heard bragging about sexually assaulting women [New York Times].
  • Senate Republicans will take up a bill to protect the special counsel if President Trump tries to fire him [Politico].
  • President Trump wants to cut some spending out of the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill he signed last month, but he’s running into resistance from congressional Republicans [Politico].
  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg faces another round of questioning from Congress [CNN].
  • A woman who had an affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens accuses him of forcing her into a sexual encounter according to a report from lawmakers investigating his behavior [Politico].

On this day in history

  • 1861 – The Civil War begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.
  • 1865 – Mobile, Alabama falls to the Union Army.
  • 1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies in office; Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes President upon Roosevelt’s death.
  • 1961 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight aboard Vostok 1.
  • 1981 – The first U.S. space shuttle flight takes place.
  • 1999 – President Bill Clinton is cited for contempt of court for giving “intentionally false statements” in a civil lawsuit; he is later fined and disbarred.