Situational awareness – May 11, 2018

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City.

Redistricting measure looks like it has made November’s ballot. Utah consumer prices spike. President Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un in Singapore next month.

I had the chance to preview the new “Dave and Buster’s” restaurant, which opens at The Gateway next week. If yesterday was any indication, this will be a fantastic addition to the downtown business ecosystem.


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


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What a week!

Republican on Republican violence. The fight over signature removal gets ugly. The Salt Lake Tribune is facing cutbacks. Plus, Donald Trump, North Korea, Iran, and why Michael Cohen is the worst lawyer in America. Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick run through a wild week in Utah politics! [Utah Policy]

You can also listen to our award-winning week-in-review as a podcast. Download it here [Utah Policy].

Independent redistricting on the ballot

It looks as if the “Better Boundaries” initiative, which establishes an independent redistricting panel, has enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot [Utah Policy].

Turf battle

Bob Bernick says the proposed constitutional amendment allowing the Utah Legislature to call itself into special session should pass in November because it’s good policy [Utah Policy].

Celebrating the “Golden Spike”

Rep. Rob Bishop wants to turn the site of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad into a new national park [Utah Policy].

Consumer prices spike

High gas prices lead to biggest jump in the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index in nearly six years [Utah Policy].


  • Two Weber County politicians’ retirement packages are prompting some harsh questions and tough scrutiny [Standard-Examiner].
  • State leaders are putting much of the funding for the Road Home shelter on hold until the results of a state audit are revealed next week [Deseret News].
  • A new report says violent crime in Utah jumped 17-percent last year [Deseret News].
  • The number of uninsured Utahns jumped by 2.1 percent last year [Tribune (paywall)].
  • The new owners of the Ogden Standard-Examiner laid off five employees on Thursday [Fox 13Tribune (paywall)].


  • President Trump announces he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore next month [CNN]. 
  • Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told colleagues she almost resigned after President Trump berated her during a cabinet meeting, blaming her for failing to secure the nation’s borders [New York Times].
  • A White House communications official mocked Sen. John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis following his statement urging his colleagues to reject the nomination of Gina Haspel as head of the CIA. “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Kelly Sadler was reported as saying according to a White House source [The Hill].
  • AT&T paid Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, $600,000 to consult on the company’s proposed merger with Time Warner. It’s unclear what, if any, expertise Cohen could provide on that subject [Washington Post].
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan is trying to quash an attempt, led by GOP members of the House, to force a vote on several immigration measures [Washington Post].
  • Rep. Mark Meadows is pushing for a federal audit of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in a bid to shake loose a secret memo spelling out the authorized scope of Mueller’s investigation [Washington Post].
  • Republicans are scrambling to find high-profile surrogates who can rally the base on the campaign trail this November [McClatchy].
  • President Trump will unveil his strategy to reduce prescription drug prices, but he will back away from a campaign promise to call for Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers [New York Times].
  • Republican Senators are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel their August recess so they can vote on spending bills and President Trump’s judicial nominations [Washington Post].
  • A group of freshmen members of Congress is pushing a plan to impose term limits in Washington. It would limit House members to six terms and Senators to two terms [The Hill].
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe can no longer count on the United States to protect it [The Hill].
  • Oil prices spike because of potential sanctions on Iran as a result of President Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with that country [Reuters].


  • 1846 – President James K. Polk asks for a Declaration of War against Mexico, starting the Mexican-American War. It is approved on May 13.
  • 1858 – Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd state.
  • 1910 – An act of Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.
  • 1973 – Citing government misconduct, Daniel Ellsberg’s charges for his involvement in releasing the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times are dismissed.
  • 1997 – World chess champion Gary Kasparov was defeated by a computer, IBM’s Deep Blue, in a six-game match.