Situational awareness – April 23, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Romney stumbles. GOP squabbles grab the spotlight. Trump’s team worried Cohen might flip. won eight awards in the “Top of the Rockies” contest this year, a journalism contest for news outlets in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Of note, our podcast “Bernick and Schott on Politics” won first place in “General Podcast Excellence.” You can see the full list of our winning entries here.

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  Tick Tock  

  • 5 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 64 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 197 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 280 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 925 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 Monday  

Romney/Kennedy primary

GOP delegates force Mitt Romney into a June primary against Mike Kennedy. Rep. John Curtis will face Chris Herrod in a primary in CD3 [Utah Policy].

Republican party brawl

Utah GOP delegates fight over party rules for more than three hours before pushing a decision over internal party battles to next year’s convention [Utah Policy].

Out of touch

Bob Bernick says Saturday’s GOP convention showed once again Utah GOP delegates are not representative of the Republican mainstream [Utah Policy].

McCay, Lyman win GOP nominations

Rep. Dan McCay wins a three-way contest for the GOP nomination in SD11. The win means Rep. LaVar Christensen will not be back in the legislature next year. San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman wins the GOP nomination in the race to replace Rep. Mike Noel [Utah Policy].

Medical marijuana qualifies for the ballot

The medical marijuana initiative has crossed the threshold for qualifying for the ballot in November. Count My Vote is closing in on a ballot spot, too [Utah Policy].

The LDS Church and medical cannabis

Our “Political Insiders” weigh in on the effect the LDS Church’s opposition may have on the medical marijuana ballot initiative [Utah Policy].

  Other Utah headlines  

  • Mitt Romney was noncommittal when asked if he would support Donald Trump as the GOP nominee in 2020, saying he would make that decision “down the road” [CNN].
  • A new report shows Utah is tops in the nation for job growth [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].

  National headlines  

  • On Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether President Trump’s travel ban targeting people from Muslim-majority countries is constitutional [Reuters].
  • President Trump’s legal team is worried Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime “fixer,” may flip and cooperate with federal investigators [New York Times].
  • The Democratic National Committee filed suit on Friday alleging collusion between Russia and operatives with the Trump campaign, members of the Trump family and Wikileaks [ABC News].
  • A Senate panel is poised to vote down Mike Pompeo’s nomination as Secretary of State. If he’s eventually confirmed by the full Senate, Pompeo will become the first Secretary of State to be confirmed without committee approval [Wall Street Journal].
  • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway lashes out at CNN’s Dana Bash for asking about tweets critical of President Trump authored by Conway’s husband [Mediaite].
  • New national security adviser John Bolton chaired a think tank that promoted false and misleading news about Muslims [NBC News].
  • Facebook spent $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2018 to lobby Congress [Recode].
  • President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will host the President of France Emmanuel Macron and his wife at Mount Vernon [ABC News].
  • A reporter for a Sinclair-owned station was fired for refusing to “balance” her stories on climate change in a more conservative-leaning direction [BuzzFeed].
  • Some Chinese smartphones that are thought to be a security risk are being sold on U.S. military bases [Stars and Stripes].
  • Oil prices are heading toward $70 per barrel, but many think that will benefit the U.S. economy [Wall Street Journal].
  • A Texas court rules a law to stop “revenge porn” violates the First Amendment [Dallas Morning News].
  • Thousands of girls are joining the ranks of the Cub Scouts as the organization begins welcoming girls into the organization [Associated Press].

  On this day in history  

  • 1635 – The first public school in the U.S., Boston Latin School, is founded in Boston.
  • 1898 – The first movie theater opened at the Koster and Bials Music Hall in New York City.
  • 1914 – First baseball game at Wrigley Field, then known as Weeghman Park, in Chicago.
  • 1985 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market less than three months.