Situational awareness – April 27, 2018

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City.

The Utah GOP’s big tent is falling. Mia Love’s curious abortion gambit. North and South Korean leaders meet and vow to end hostilities on the Korean peninsula.

BOOMER! The Cleveland Browns selected QB Baker Mayfield from the University of Oklahoma (my alma mater) with the #1 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday [Bleacher Report].


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  • The Utah Democratic State Convention is tomorrow (4/28/2018)
  • 32 days until the last day to register to vote by mail for the 2018 primary election (5/29/2018)
  • 33 days until the last day to change your party affiliation before the primary election (5/30/2018)
  • 39 days until primary election mail-in ballots are sent to voters (6/5/2018)
  • 46 days until in-person early primary voting begins (6/12/2018)
  • 53 days until the final day to register to vote online or in person before the primary election (6/19/2018)
  • 56 days until in-person early primary voting ends (6/22/2018)
  • 60 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 193 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 276 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 921 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


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The Utah GOP’s collapsing big tent

Gov. Gary Herbert says the party divisions that were on display during last weekend’s GOP convention are driving people away and disenfranchising rank-and-file Republicans [Utah Policy].

What a week!

The GOP crap show. Mitt Romney and Mike Kennedy move to a primary. Medical marijuana looks like it’s qualified for the ballot. Plus, it’s totally normal that Michael Cohen is pleading the 5th. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run down the week that was in Utah politics [Utah Policy].

You can also listen to the award-winning podcast version of this program here.

Curious campaign issue

Bob Bernick says Rep. Mia Love’s focus on abortion as a political issue against Democrat Ben McAdams doesn’t make a lot of sense [Utah Policy].


  • Gov Gary Herbert weighs in on the four possible ballot initiatives this November, saying he opposes the medical marijuana and Medicaid expansion measures [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Democrat Ben McAdams must get through four other challengers at Saturday’s Democratic state convention [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A top Republican in Washington says Mitt Romney’s Senate bid will help Rep. Mia Love’s re-election efforts in November [Tribune].
  • Sens. Orrin Hatch and Lee vote against legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Trump. The bill cleared a Senate committee on Thursday [Deseret News].
  • The University of Utah gets a $740,000 grant to study how cannabis affects the brain [Deseret News].


  • North and South Korean leaders hold a historic meeting in South Korea and vow to work toward de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula. They also promise to end the Korean War 65 years after hostilities ended [Bloomberg].
  • The Senate confirms Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State [CNN].
  • During an interview with the “Fox and Friends” program, President Trump seemed to undercut Michael Cohen’s claim that Trump had no knowledge of a $130,000 payment to an adult film actress to keep her quiet during the 2018 presidential campaign [Politico].
  • Lawmakers rip EPA chief Scott Pruitt during a hearing over the lavish spending and scandals that have marked his time at the head of that agency [CNN].
  • A letter from the FBI alleging spousal abuse by former staff secretary Rob Porter casts doubt on the White House’s story about how those allegations were handled [New York Times].
  • President Trump hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday [CNN].
  • Bill Cosby was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault. He faces up to 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced [CNN].
  • Amazon is going to raise the price of an annual subscription to their Prime service to $119 per year [Business Insider].


  • 1521 – Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives of the Pilippine Islands during his attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the globe.
  • 1861 – President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus.
  • 1911 – Following the death of William P. Frye, a compromise is reached to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.
  • 1974 – Ten thousand people march in Washington D.C. calling for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.