Situational awareness – May 17, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Missing signature packets. No name change for the Utah Transit Authority. The Mueller investigation finishes its first year.


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


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Transit tensions

Utah lawmakers tell the Utah Transit Authority to nix the name change to Transit District of Utah, saying the controversy was being used to draw attention away from more pressing issues [Utah Policy].

SCOOP! That’s where those went! first reported that more than 100 missing signature packets for Count My Vote were discovered and sent to Utah County with a demand that they be processed immediately [Utah Policy].

Ballot bonanza

The Better Boundaries ballot initiative claimed victory, saying they have enough signatures to be included on November’s ballot [Utah Policy].

Print problems

Jared Whitley says the Salt Lake Tribune’s troubles are worrisome, but Salt Lake City has been lucky to be a two-newspaper town for so long [Utah Policy].


  • Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office gives in to lawmakers and says they will sue opioid manufacturers [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Legislators may make it possible for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to take the Bar exam [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund underwent a heart and kidney transplant [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Lawmakers plan to take another crack at legislating water issues next year [Deseret News].
  • The state asks a federal appeals court to reject the Utah GOP’s request for a review of the recent court decision on SB54 [Deseret News].
  • The Provo Municipal Council is starting their budget process for next year. Proposals include adding new police officers and a cost of living raise for city employees [Daily Herald].
  • The Herriman City Council votes to leave the United Police Department, saying the amount of money they pay into the UPD exceeds the service they get back. The city will now form their own police department [Deseret News, Fox 13].


  • Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed one year ago today. Here’s what he has been looking into over the past year [Washington Post].
  • The FBI investigation into the Trump’s campaign possible ties with Russia started in the summer of 2016 and is codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.” The probe began just days after the FBI closed their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server [New York Times].
  • President Trump’s layer Rudy Giuliani says special counsel Robert Mueller’s team would not indict the president if he discovers wrongdoing in his investigation [New York Times].
  • A law enforcement official leaked financial information about Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, because other records highlighting unusual financial activity by Cohen had gone missing from a government database [New Yorker].
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee released thousands of pages of testimony about the June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin. The testimony shows the campaign was eager to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton [CNN].
  • President Trump acknowledges he repaid his lawyer, Michael Cohen, more than $100,000 during the 2016 presidential election, most likely for the payment to keep adult film actress Stormy Daniels quiet in the final days of the campaign [CNN].
  • Republican leaders in Congress are scrambling to stop an effort to force a vote on several immigration issues [Reuters].
  • Republicans are not keen on cutting $15 billion in spending from the massive $1.3 billion omnibus spending bill because they fear it would cost them in the midterm elections [Washington Post].
  • The Senate passes a bill to save net neutrality rules, but the measure still must get past the House and President Trump [CNN].
  • A whistleblower says Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the Trump campaign in 2016, engaged in voter suppression activities online [CNN]. That same whistleblower says the firm shared data with companies linked to Russian intelligence {AFP].
  • President Trump’s massive infrastructure overhaul plan appears to be on ice [The Hill].
  • Oil prices spike to the highest level since November of 2014, hitting $80 a barrel [Reuters].
  • It’s looking more and more likely that a revamp of NAFTA will not get done this year [Politico].


  • 1792 – The New York Stock Exchange is formed under the Buttonwood Agreement.
  • 1940 – Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1954 – The Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The decision held that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students are unconstitutional.
  • 1973 – Televised hearings on Watergate begin in the U.S. Senate.