How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – March 12, 2014

House to present final report on John Swallow investigation. Lee not worried about dual-track nominating system. Herbert says he’s an “action figure” on Medicaid.



  • Tomorrow is the last  day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 2 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 6 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 8 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 8 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 44 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 104 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 237 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 600 days to the 2015 elections
  • 665 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 971 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • The House wraps up the investigation into former Attorney General John Swallow, will present their final report on Wednesday [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says he’s not worried about the dual-track nominating system that came out of a compromise between the Legislature and “Count My Vote” [Tribune].
  • Sen. Stuart Reid says the new dual-track nominating will lead to the death of the Democratic party in Utah [Deseret News].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert takes a swipe at Speaker Becky Lockhart saying he’s an “action figure” when it comes to negotiating on Medicaid with the federal government [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  • Senators approve a bill allowing the use of cannabis oil in the treatment of seizures, sending the measure to the governor [Deseret News, Tribune]
  • The Senate moves forward on a measure allowing the Stericycle medical waste incinerator to move from North Salt Lake to Tooele [Tribune].
  • Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee introduce legislation calling on the federal government to reimburse Utah for the cost of opening the state’s national parks during the government shutdown [Deseret News].
  • Utahns are rushing to sign up for Obamacare as the March 31 deadline looms [Tribune].
  • The Utah Senate advances a bill to give tax incentives for the construction of a convention center hotel in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers reveal their own stories of being abused during emotional debate over a bill to help educate schoolchildren on how to avoid sexual abuse [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  • There’s a high-stakes fight over electrical power lines is brewing on the Hill [Tribune].
  • BYU names Kevin Worthen as the school’s 13th president. He will replace Cecil Samuelson in May [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1862 – Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to general-in-chief of the Union armies.
  • 1912 – The Girl Guides, the forerunner of the Girl Scouts, was founded.
  • 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his first radio “fireside chat.”
  • 1987 – The musical “Les Miserables” opened on Broadway.
  • 1994 – The Church of England ordained its first female priests.
  • 2002 – Homeland security chief Tom Ridge unveiled the color-coded system for terror warnings.
  • 2003 – Elizabeth Smart was found alive nine months after vanishing from her bedroom.
  • 2008 – New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after reports surfaced he was a customer of a prostitution ring.
  • 2009 – Financier Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme.