How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 26, 2014

The criminal investigation into John Swallow may continue for another three to six months. The House GOP discusses SB 54 behind closed doors. Data shows caucus attendees are not more knowledgable about politics than other voters.



  • 15 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 16 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 20 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 20 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 22 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 59 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 118 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 251 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 614 days to the 2015 elections
  • 679 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 985 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • The criminal investigation into former Attorney General John Swallow will not wrap up for another three to six months [Tribune].
  • Utah lawmakers shelved a bill on religious freedom that was similar to the measure causing controversy in Arizona [Tribune].
  • The House GOP closed their caucus on Tuesday to discuss SB 54, which aims to derail the “Count My Vote” citizen’s initiative [Deseret News].
  • Polling shows the belief that caucus attendees are better informed about politics than regular voters is not true [Utah Data Points].
  • Opponents to “Common Core” educational standards have turned their sights on Speaker Becky Lockhart’s plan to increase technology use in the classroom [Tribune].
  • Proposed legislation would prohibit schools from labeling a student who has a 3.5 grade point average as “habitually truant” for missing a lot of school [Utah Policy].
  • A House committee pushes a bill designed to punish motorists who don’t use seat belts to interim study [Tribune].
  • A proposed Constitutional amendment creating a method to recall elected officials moves to the full House for consideration [Tribune]. 
  • A House panel advances a measure to create direct, non-partisan elections for school board members [Deseret News].
  • Farmington officials say they may sue to block the route for the proposed West Davis Corridor freeway [Tribune].
  • An audit finds poor oversight of online education programs [Tribune].
  • A state fund to help crime victims may run out of money this year unless Lawmakers make some changes [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • Napoleon escaped from exile on the island of Elba to begin his second conquest of France in 1815.
  • Congress established Grand Canyon National Park in 1919.
  • Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced Britain had developed an atomic bomb in 1952.
  • The Tower Commission issued its report on the Iran-Contra affair, concluding President Ronald Reagan did not control his national security staff in 1987.
  • A bomb built by Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in 1993.
  • Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012.