Situational awareness – May 7, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Robocall wars. New Utah laws. Trump and Kim may meet in Singapore. 

Happy birthday to Gov. Gary Herbert who turns 71 today.

Twitter is warning all 336 million of its users to change their passwords because of a bug that saved passwords on an unprotected internal log. The issue has been fixed, and the company says there is no evidence passwords have been misused. But, better safe than sorry.


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


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Fighting back

Count My Vote records their own robocall to counter a potentially misleading call from the Keep My Voice group [Utah Policy].

Love vs. McAdams

We asked our “Political Insiders” to weigh in on who they think will win November’s election in CD4 [Utah Policy].

Utah ranks high again

U.S. News and World Report ranks Utah as the #3 overall state, but there are some warning signs for state leaders buried inside the ratings [Utah Policy].


  • More than 400 new laws go into effect on Tuesday [Tribune (paywall)].
  • Utah is using a new funding tool to give teachers extra money in their paychecks [Tribune (paywall)].
  • Last-minute rules changes by the Weber County GOP for their convention has many Republicans saying the party needs to take a hard look at how they conduct their elections [Standard-Examiner].
  • Some Salt Lake County cities are pushing back against a proposed sales tax hike for transportation [Deseret News].
  • It appears that the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative has cleared the threshold to make November’s ballot [Fox 13, Deseret News, Tribune (paywall)].
  • The Utah Transit Authority will not be changing its name to Transit District of Utah right away, even though the law mandating the change goes into effect on Tuesday [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Rob Bishop says he favors statehood for Puerto Rico [Deseret News].
  • Utah makes deals with more online retailers to collect sales taxes [Fox 13].


  • President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will likely hold their face-to-face meeting in Singapore next month [South China Morning Post].
  • North Korean officials say their offer to end their nuclear weapons program is not because of economic sanctions [Reuters].
  • Britain is working to convince President Trump to not abandon the Iran nuclear deal [Associated Press].
  • John McCain doesn’t want President Trump to attend his funeral [NBC News]. McCain says in a new memoir that he regrets picking Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 [The Hill].
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tells Democrats they have the cash available and a favorable environment to take control of the House in November [Mercury News].
  • President Trump’s team wants to turn saving his presidency as the major theme in the 2018 election [Politico].
  • Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, says Trump would not have to comply with a subpoena if special counsel Robert Mueller’s team issued one. He also hinted Trump may invoke the Fifth Amendment in the investigation [CNN].
  • Trump’s legal team is striking a more aggressive stance in dealing with the special counsel’s probe [Wall Street Journal].
  • Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee plan to release thousands of Facebook ads linked to Russian hackers [Wall Street Journal].
  • Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to head the CIA, tried to withdraw her nomination over questions about her involvement in the interrogation of terrorism suspects [Washington Post].
  • The White House plans to ask Congress for $11 billion in spending cuts from the recently passed $1.3 billion omnibus spending bill [The Hill].
  • Younger members of Congress are pushing for term limits [The Hill].
  • There are a record number of women running for office in 2018, but they may not make big gains in November [Bloomberg].
  • Rosie O’Donnell donated more than the legal limit to at least five Democratic campaigns [New York Post].
  • This is a critical week for renegotiating the NAFTA treaty [Reuters].
  • Idaho State University can’t find a small amount of weapons-grade plutonium it was using for research [Idaho Statesman].


  • 1718 – The city of New Orleans is founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.
  • 1789 – The first U.S. presidential inaugural ball, celebrating the inauguration of George Washington, was conducted in New York City.
  • 1846 – The Cambridge Chronicle, America’s oldest surviving weekly newspaper, is published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1952 – The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey Dummer.
  • 1976 – Honda officially launches the Accord car model.
  • 1992 – Michigan ratifies a 203-year-old proposed amendment to the Constitution making the 27th Amendment law. The amendment bars Congress from giving itself a mid-term pay raise.