Situational awareness – May 23, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake County Democrats in turmoil. No talk of tax hikes on Utah’s Capitol Hill for the next few years. November’s “blue wave” looks like it may be sputtering out.


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


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Chaos in the Salt Lake County Democratic Party

Salt Lake County Democrats attempted to impeach the party secretary on Saturday but failed because of a technicality. The party also sanctioned a member under their new anti-harassment policy for an incident that happened four years ago. Several party members are frustrated and upset by the shenanigans and say they are hurting the ability to elect Democrats [Utah Policy].

No tax hikes

House Majority Leader Brad Wilson, the odds-on favorite to be the next House Speaker, says he does not expect lawmakers to discuss tax hikes for the next few years, even though Utah is facing incredible population growth [Utah Policy].

Candidate shuffle

Abbey Wright, the Democratic nominee to replace retiring Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, withdraws from the race. Democrats probably won’t be able to replace her on the ballot [Utah Policy].


  • Mitt Romney’s campaign rivals, Republican Mike Kennedy and Democrat Jenny Wilson, are crying foul after Romney was invited to keynote an event for a state agency, but they were not invited to speak [Tribune].
  • Rosan Mitchell, who is elections director for Salt Lake County, is taking a leave of absence to challenge her boss, County Clerk Sherrie Swensen, in November’s election [Tribune].
  • State tax officials want the legislature to go into a special session to fix the state’s tax code to help Utah families who will be paying higher state taxes due to tax changes on the federal level [Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch proposes ending caps on employment-based green cards [Deseret News].
  • The Utah County Commission approved a tax break for a mystery company hoping to build a data center in Eagle Mountain [Daily Herald].
  • The LDS Church pulls more than half of their missionaries out of Nicaragua due to unrest in that country [Deseret News].


  • The Democratic advantage in the Reuters rolling generic poll has disappeared, giving Republicans hope they’ll avoid a “blue wave” in November [Reuters].
  • Michael Cohen’s business partner flips, agreeing to cooperate with the government. The move could be used to force Cohen to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election [New York Times].
  • Doubts continue to grow that President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump said during an Oval Office meeting there’s a “substantial chance” the meeting won’t take place [CNN].
  • Just 36% of Americans say they would vote to re-elect President Trump in 2020 according to a new poll. 44% say they would vote for an unnamed Democratic candidate [Politico].
  • Democrats nominate the first black woman gubernatorial candidate in Georgia during Tuesday’s primary elections [Washington Post].
  • Republicans in the Senate say President Trump is losing the trade negotiations with China [The Hill]. Lawmakers in Congress are taking steps to block President Trump’s move to ease sanctions on Chinese phone maker ZTE [CNN Money].
  • The Trump administration moves to deny federal funding tor family-planning clinics that refer patients to abortion providers [The Hill].
  • A federal judge in Virginia ruled a transgender teenager can use the boy’s bathroom at school, saying school officials violated his constitutional rights [Washington Post].
  • Banks in the U.S. posted record profits in the first quarter of 2018 [Wall Street Journal].
  • Privacy advocates are urging Amazon not to sell their powerful facial recognition tool to police departments [ABC News].
  • 40% of Americans say they are unable to afford a $400 emergency expense [CNN Money].


  • 1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.
  • 1788 – South Carolina ratifies the Constitution as the eighth U.S. State.
  • 1911 – The New York Public Library is dedicated.
  • 1934 – Infamous American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
  • 1945 – Heinrich Himmler, head of the Schutzstaffel, commits suicide while in Allied custody.