Situational awareness – April 20, 2018

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today marks 200 days until the 2018 midterm elections.

GOP Chairman Rob Anderson reflects on his first year in office. Comey memos leak. Giuliani joins Trump’s legal team.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah’s must-read daily political news roundup. If you know someone who would benefit from our newsletter, please have them sign up for our newsletter here.

Got a tip, suggestion or correction? I want to hear from you. Send me a secure email at [email protected].

  Tick Tock  

  • The Utah GOP State Convention is tomorrow (4/21/2018)
  • 8 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 67 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 200 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 283 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 928 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Take a minute and subscribe to the “Bernick and Schott on politics” podcast. Listen to Utah’s best political analysis while you’re on the go. Hosts Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick have more than 60 years combined experience covering Utah politics, so they bring you knowledge and insight that’s unprecedented. You can subscribe using iTunesGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

  Here are the news stories driving Friday  

Anderson’s tumultuous year

GOP Chairman Rob Anderson discusses the fights over party debt and the inter-party battles that marked his first year in office [Utah Policy].

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

What a week!

Veto overrides, the Utah GOP convention, ballot initiatives, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump and Sean Hannity. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott break down the last week in Utah politics [Utah Policy].

You can also listen to our political breakdown on the go with our podcast [Utah Policy].

Curing the Utah GOP

Bob Bernick offers a remedy for what is ailing the Utah Republican Party [Utah Policy].

  Other Utah Headlines  

  • Provo city officials are disputing allegations that the city responded improperly to reports of sexual misconduct by the former police chief [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rep. Mike Schultz wants to stop UTA Jerry Benson from collecting nine months of severance pay after he was suddenly terminated on Wednesday [Deseret News].
  • Mitt Romney will likely receive a mixed reception from Republican delegates at Saturday’s Utah GOP convention [Deseret News].
  • San Juan County is investigating a Democratic county commission candidate after allegations he does not meet residency requirements [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The head of the Utah State University office that deals with sexual assault and discrimination has been removed following an investigation that found misconduct and discrimination in the school’s music department [Deseret News].
  • State agricultural authorities hold hearings on how to implement the medical cannabis measures passed by lawmakers during the 2018 session [Deseret News].

  National headlines  

  • Memos from former FBI director James Comey show that President Trump was concerned about former national security adviser Michael Cohen before he fired him. The memos also show Trump was obsessed with disproving allegations he consorted with Russian prostitutes contained in an unverified dossier [Washington Post].
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly told President Trump that he is not a target of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation or the criminal probe into his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen [Bloomberg].
  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining President Trump’s legal team, saying he hopes to wrap up the Russia investigation in the next few weeks [CNN].
  • North Korea is reportedly dropping its demand that the U.S. withdraw forces from South Korea as a precondition for the north getting rid of its nuclear weapons stockpiles [CNN].
  • The DOJ’s inspector general sends the case of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to federal prosecutors to determine if he should face charges for a “lack of candor” [ABC News].
  • Teachers in Arizona will walk out next week to push for increased school funding [CNN].
  • Federal regulators are set to fine Wells Fargo $1 billion for selling unnecessary products to customers [New York Times].
  • Amazon Prime has 100 million subscribers [Recode]. 

  On this day in history  

  • 1534 – Jacques Cartier begins his first voyage to what is today the east coast of Canada.
  • 1775 – The Siege of Boston begins in the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1789 – George Washington arrives at Grays Ferry, Philadelphia while en route to Manhattan for his inauguration.
  • 1861 – Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.
  • 1871 – Congress passed the Third Force Act, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, authorizing President Ulysses S. Grant to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations and use military force to suppress the Klan.
  • 1898 – President William McKinley signed a joint resolution to Congress for a declaration of War against Spain, beginning the Spanish-American War.
  • 1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80t victims, his final victories before his death the following day.
  • 1999 – Columbine High School massacre. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injured 24 others before committing suicide.
  •  2010 – The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers and beginning of an oil spill that would last six months.