Situational awareness – April 24, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Keep My Voice backers are still fighting Count My Vote. Is Romney in trouble following his convention loss? French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to convince President Trump not to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

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  Tick Tock  

  • 4 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 35 days until the last day to register to vote by mail for the 2018 primary election (5/29/2018)
  • 36 days until the last day to change your party affiliation before the primary election (5/30/2018)
  • 42 days until primary election mail-in ballots are sent to voters (6/5/2018)
  • 49 days until in-person early primary voting begins (6/12/2018)
  • 56 days until the final day to register to vote online or in person before the primary election (6/19/2018)
  • 59 days until in-person early primary voting ends (6/22/2018)
  • 63 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 196 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 279 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 924 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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  Here are the news stories driving Tuesday  

Playing defense against Count My Vote

The organizers of Keep My Voice are pulling out all the stops to keep the “Count My Vote” proposal from qualifying for the ballot [Utah Policy].

A bump in the road

Don’t read too much into Mitt Romney’s loss to Mike Kennedy at the Utah GOP convention on Saturday. Despite the setback, Romney is still an overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nomination [Utah Policy].

  Other Utah headlines  

  • Just who is Mike Kennedy, the man who bested Mitt Romney at Saturday’s Utah GOP convention? [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Mitt Romney hits the campaign trail after his loss to Mike Kennedy at the GOP convention [Fox 13].
  • The primary race between Rep. Ray Ward and former Utah GOP vice chair Phill Wright is a microcosm of the internal battles within the party right now [Tribune].
  • The Salt Lake County Council may let cities decide whether to revive a sales tax hike to pay for transit projects [Deseret News].
  • Embattled Utah County Commissioner Greg Graves says a female employee who claims he sexually harassed her is defaming and slandering him [Daily Herald].
  • Rep. John Curtis holds a school safety summit in Utah County [Daily Herald, Deseret News].

  National headlines  

  • President Trump hosts French President Emmanuel Macron in Washington on a state visit where the French leader is expected to try and convince Trump not to pull out the Iran nuclear deal [The Hill]. Iran has warned they may pull out of a 2015 nuclear non-proliferation treaty if the Trump administration cancels the agreement [Reuters].
  • President Trump’s nominee to be the head of the VA could be in trouble as Senators agree to delay hearings on his confirmation to examine new information about his background. Allegations that Adm. Ronny Jackson fostered a hostile work environment, plus reports of excessive drinking on the job and improperly dispensing medications prompted the delay [CBS News].
  • The FBI raid on President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, has many of Trump’s allies worried that the feds seized presidential communications [Fox News].
  • The White House stresses that President Trump has “no intention” of firing special counsel Robert Mueller [The Hill].
  • A new study finds that people voted for President Trump in 2016 not because they were worried about losing their job or falling income, but because they were anxious about losing their place in society [The Atlantic].
  • Sen. Rand Paul unexpectedly flipped on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to become Secretary of State, which led to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voting in favor of his bid to take over the cabinet post [New York Times].
  • The Supreme Court will hear arguments on another redistricting case, this time from Texas, which claims Hispanic and black voters were discriminated against when lawmakers redrew political lines [The Hill].
  • Arizona voters go to the polls in a special election for Congress. Republicans have been spending big to hold on to the seat and avoid another stunning upset like they experienced in Alabama and Pennsylvania [Politico].
  • Trouble brewing? The White House is warning Republicans to turn down the volume of their defense of embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, which may signal that support from the Trump Administration may be waning [Bloomberg].
  • The elder George Bush has been hospitalized one day after the funeral of his wife, Barbara. Bush, 93, is in intensive care, but officials say his health is improving [Houston Chronicle].
  • Incumbent Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn will not be on the November ballot after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled he violated state law when gathering signatures for his re-election bid [Denver Post].
  • Fourteen states report record-low unemployment numbers [The Hill].
  • The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules went into effect on Monday [National Review].
  • Scientists discover a new type of DNA that is formed into a “knot” instead of the double helix [The Independent].

  On this day in history  

  • 1704 – The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.
  • 1800 – The U.S. Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.”
  • 1967 – Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland says in a news conference that the enemy had “gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily.”
  • 1980 – Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue 52 U.S. embassy staff held captive in Tehran, ends with the death of eight servicemen when a helicopter crashed into a transport aircraft.
  • 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • 2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.