Situational awareness – June 7, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Love and McAdams get high approval ratings from voters, but McAdams’s numbers are better. Herrod’s puzzling robocall. House leaders hope to head off a revolt on immigration.

I’m back on the beat following a nice vacation to Washington, D.C. Watch this space as I’ll bring you my podcast interview with McKay Coppins, staff writer for The Atlantic, and the man who arguably is responsible for Donald Trump in the White House.


  • 5 days until in-person early primary voting begins (6/12/2018)
  • 12 days until the final day to register to vote online or in person before the primary election (6/19/2018)
  • 15 days until in-person early primary voting ends (6/22/2018)
  • 19 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 152 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 235 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 880 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


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Love/McAdams approval ratings

Our newest survey finds voters in the 4th District give both Mia Love and Ben McAdams good job approval ratings, but McAdams’s numbers are noticeably higher [Utah Policy].

“Like the bad guy from the Bible”

Republican congressional candidate Chris Herrod is pushing a robocall to voters where he tries to get listeners to remember his name by invoking the name of the man who tried to kill Jesus when he was an infant [Utah Policy].


Provo chef Chad Pritchard is making up some politically themed bacon, and the names are pretty hilarious [Utah Policy].


  • Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is suing everyone involved in the public corruption investigation against him. He’s asking for $60 million in damages [Fox 13, Tribune].
  • Bills from all four of Utah’s House members advance out of a House committee on Wednesday [Deseret News].
  • Sam Granato’s widow, Ann, takes his place on the Salt Lake County Council [Tribune].
  • Cities within Salt Lake County are deciding whether they’ll hike sales taxes to boost transit funding [Tribune].
  • Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is hired as the director of the new Central Wasatch Commission [Deseret News].
  • Utah courts have changed the way bail is set for defendants accused of a crime, and the state’s bail bondsmen are not happy [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski floats the idea of a publicly funded rideshare to help get residents to public transit [Fox 13].
  • The Sandy City Council approved a plan to raise police salaries by approximately by $1 million [Tribune].
  • A new study says Utah is the 4th safest state in the nation [Daily Herald].


  • House leadership will try to reach a deal on an immigration bill Thursday to head off a revolt that would force a vote on legislation to protect immigrants that were brought to the U.S. when they were children [The Hill].
  • Illegal immigration is on the rise as arrests of immigrants trying to cross the border exceeded 50,000 for the third month in a row [Washington Post].
  • President Trump wrongly suggested Canada burned the White House during the War of 1812 during a tense phone call about American tariffs with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau [CNN].
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan says there’s no evidence to support President Trump’s claim of a broad conspiracy against him by law enforcement, specifically that the FBI placed a “spy” inside his presidential campaign [New York Times]. 
  • Yikes! The White House allowed Iran to access $5.7 billion in frozen assets by allowing the country to convert the funds through an American bank despite promises Iran would not be allowed access to America’s financial system [Associated Press]. 
  • A draft report from the DOJ’s internal watchdog claims former FBI Director James Comey defied orders from his superiors and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server [ABC News].
  • Even though the “blue wave” may be fizzling, the Democrats odds of retaking control of the House improved significantly following favorable primary election results earlier this week [New York Times].
  • EU officials say they will impose retaliatory tariffs on American imports starting in July [The Guardian].
  • EPA head Scott Pruitt has been eating lunch at an exclusive restaurant inside the White House so much that officials have asked him to curtail his visits [Politico].
  • More American diplomats are falling ill to a mysterious malady that officials cannot explain. It started in Cuba and has now spread to workers in China [New York Times].
  • President Trump commuted the life sentence of a woman for a first time drug offense after being lobbied by celebrity Kim Kardashian West [Reuters].
  • Boring but important: UPS workers could go on strike if a new labor contract isn’t reached by August 1. Shipments by UPS account for about 6-percent of America’s GDP [Inc.].


  • 1776 – Richard Henry Lee presents the “Lee Resolution” to the Continental Congress. The motion is seconded by John Adams and will lead to the Declaration of Independence.
  • 1862 – The United States and the United Kingdom agree in the Lyons-Seward Treaty to suppress the African slave trade.
  • 1892 – Homer Plessy is arrested for refusing to leave his seat in the “whites-only” car of a train; he lost the resulting court case, Plessy v. Ferguson.
  • 1899 – American Temperance crusader Carrie Nation begins her campaign of vandalizing alcohol-serving establishments by destroying the inventory in a saloon in Kansas.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Midway ends in American victory.
  • 1965 – The Supreme Court hands down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, prohibiting states from criminalizing the use of contraception by married couples.
  • 1967 – Israeli troops captured Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.
  • 1971 – The Supreme Court overturns the conviction of Paul Cohen for disturbing the peace, setting the precedent that vulgar writing is protected under the First Amendment.
  • 1998 – Three white supremacists killed James Byrd Jr. by dragging him for 3 miles behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas. The three men were convicted of murder.