Situational awareness – May 21, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

McAdams says Love is an “empty seat.” Utah’s job growth is best in the nation. Trump demands an investigation into whether the FBI spied on his campaign.


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


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McAdams vs. Love

Democratic 4th CD candidate Ben McAdams has some harsh criticism of his Republican opponent, Mia Love, calling her an “empty seat” who is not listening to the needs of her constituents. He says Love’s attempts to link him to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are “rote partisan attacks” designed to scare people into voting for her [Utah Policy].

You can listen to the podcast of our conversation with McAdams here.

Ballot fight

Our “Political Insiders” expect the efforts to block medical marijuana and Count My Vote from the November ballot to fail [Utah Policy].

Roaring economy

Utah’s job growth was tops in the nation in April, adding 49,000 jobs to the economy [Utah Policy].


  • Talks between Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City officials over changes to a controversial inland port bill break down just days before Herbert was set to call a special session on the issue [Deseret News, Tribune]. 
  • Opponents of the medical marijuana ballot initiative filed a lawsuit on Friday to block the proposal from reaching the November ballot [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Utah GOP Central Committee ousted several minority and female members of the group at their quarterly meeting. They also chose Kera Birkeland as the party’s new vice-chair [Tribune].
  • Payroll fraud is so widespread in Utah’s construction industry that legitimate companies are having a hard time competing [Tribune].
  • North Logan mayor John Bailey is taking a leave of absence to undergo cancer treatment [Associated Press].


  • President Trump demands the DOJ investigate whether the FBI spied on his campaign during the 2016 election. Instead, the DOJ asked its inspector general to determine whether there was a political motivation for the FBI investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign [Washington Post]. The FBI informant was sent to talk to Trump campaign advisors after law enforcement received evidence of suspicious contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia [New York Times].
  • Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer for the Russia investigation, says special counsel Robert Mueller is hoping to wrap up his investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice by September [New York Times].
  • Longtime Donald Trump confidante Roger Stone says he’s prepared to be indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller [NBC News]. Stone also suggests Trump may not run for re-election in 2020 [Washington Examiner].
  • President Trump is reportedly getting cold feet about his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump is worried the meeting could turn into a political embarrassment and is pressing advisors on whether he should proceed [New York Times].
  • The U.S. and China agree to put their brewing trade war on hold to work on a larger trade deal [Reuters]. Critics say Trump is giving up the farm and not getting anything in return in the trade talks with China [New York Times].
  • Congress is not keen to approve President Trump’s plan to claw back $15 billion in spending from the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill [The Hill].
  • Before the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign officials met with a group from Middle East countries who offered to help the Trump team win the matchup against Hillary Clinton [New York Times].
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss the Trump administration’s plan for dealing with Iran now that the U.S. has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with that country [CNN].
  • Rumors that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire after the current term are shifting into overdrive [The Hill].
  • The average price of a gallon of gas jumps to $3 per gallon [Yahoo].


  • 1832 – The first Democratic Party national convention convened in Baltimore.
  • 1856 – Lawrence, Kansas, was burned by pro-slavery forces.
  • 1881 – The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C.
  • 1904 – The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris.
  • 1927 – Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1932 – Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1934 – Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the U.S. to fingerprint all of its citizens.
  • 1961 – Civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
  • 1992 – After 30 years Johnny Carson hosted his penultimate episode and last featuring guests (Robin Williams and Bette Midler) of The Tonight Show.