Situational awareness – May 3, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

GOP vice-chair candidates. Paul Ryan is coming to SLC to honor Orrin Hatch. Giuliani admits Trump reimbursed Cohen for payment to an adult film actress.

It’s World Press Freedom Day. Take a moment today to expand your horizons and read some news publications that you may not agree with.


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  • 26 days until the last day to register to vote by mail for the 2018 primary election (5/29/2018)
  • 27 days until the last day to change your party affiliation before the primary election (5/30/2018)
  • 33 days until primary election mail-in ballots are sent to voters (6/5/2018)
  • 40 days until in-person early primary voting begins (6/12/2018)
  • 47 days until the final day to register to vote online or in person before the primary election (6/19/2018)
  • 50 days until in-person early primary voting ends (6/22/2018)
  • 54 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 187 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 270 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 915 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


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A crowded race for GOP vice-chair

Who are the candidates running to fill the vacant Utah GOP vice-chair position? We handicap the race for you [Utah Policy].

Romney not joining the Resistance

Don’t expect Mitt Romney to be leading the resistance to President Trump if he’s elected to the Senate. Romney offered praise for Trump’s first year in office at the recent Utah GOP convention [Utah Policy].

Ryan coming to Salt Lake City

House Speaker Paul Ryan is announced as the keynote speaker for the “Giant in our City” award ceremony honoring Sen. Orrin Hatch [Utah Policy].


  • Sen. Orrin Hatch unveils plans for his foundation on South Temple in Salt Lake City. The facility will feature a full-sized replica of Hatch’s Senate office [Daily Herald, Deseret News, Tribune (paywall)].
  • The Utah Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the severance package for former Utah Transit Authority boss Jerry Benson, who was fired last month [Deseret News].
  • South Salt Lake is close to missing a deadline on the new homeless shelter, which may force the state to step in [Deseret NewsTribune (paywall)].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart holds a rowdy town hall in West Valley City [Tribune (paywall)].
  • The Sandy City Council rejects a proposal to set term limits for themselves [Tribune (paywall)].
  • Utah will receive $12.7 million in federal grants to fight pollution [Deseret News].
  • Planned Parenthood of Utah joins a lawsuit that claims the Trump administration is illegally trying to change a program to provide birth control and reproductive healthcare for Americans [Fox 13, Associated Press].
  • Granite School District boosts starting teacher salaries for the second year in a row [Tribune (paywall)].


  • Rudy Giuliani admits that Donald Trump repaid Michael Cohen $130,000 that went to an adult film actress to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual affair [New York Times]. Trump defended the payments on Twitter Thursday morning, saying the payments had nothing to do with his presidential campaign [The Hill].
  • President Trump shakes up his legal team, hiring the same lawyer who represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment [New York Times].
  • President Trump threatens to get involved after the Justice Department denied a request from some House members for access to some sensitive documents related to the special counsel’s investigation. DOJ officials said they think some lawmakers want the intelligence to share it with the White House and undermine politically charged investigations [New York Times].
  • Democrats are calling for a new generation of leaders in the House, breaking with longtime leader Nancy Pelosi [Washington Post].
  • A former lobbyist helped plan a trip to Australia for EPA head Scott Pruitt, then tried to hide his involvement. The trip was eventually canceled because of Hurricane Harvey [New York Times]. More congressional panels are digging into Pruitt’s spending and ethical problems [Politico].
  • One year ago the House voted to repeal Obamacare and held a victory press conference at the White House. Now, Democrats are hoping to make Republicans pay politically for that vote [New York Times].
  • Data firm Cambridge Analytica is filing for bankruptcy following the scandal surrounding the company’s misuse of Facebook data [New York Times].
  • Iowa lawmakers passed the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which bans the procedure once a fetal heartbeat is detected [CNN].
  • Boring but important: The Fed votes to keep interest rates steady, but says there are signs that inflation is rising [CNBC].
  • Facebook is starting to rank news organizations by how trustworthy they are [BuzzFeed].
  • Criminals steal $37 billion a year from the elderly in America [Bloomberg].


  • 1802 – Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city.
  • 1913 – The California Alien Land Law of 1913 (Webb-Haney Act) passed the California state Senate. The bill forbade immigrants from owning any land for agricultural or gardening purposes.
  • 1921 – West Virginia becomes the first state to legislate a broad sales tax, but does not implement it until some years later due to enforcement issues.
  • 1948 – The Supreme Court rules in Shelley v. Kraemer that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable.
  • 1952 – Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict of the United States land a plane at the North Pole.
  • 1957 – Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
  • 1978 – The first unsolicited bulk email (which would later become known as “spam”) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.
  • 1979 – Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party won the British general election, making her the first woman prime minister of a major European nation.