How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – May 8, 2014

UTA gives bonuses despite not reaching goals. Is there a link between air pollution and a rising rate of deaths among young children? The McCarthey family is “moderately interested” in re-acquiring the Salt Lake Tribune.



  • 47 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 180 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 263 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 544 days to the 2015 elections
  • 620 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 915 days to the 2016 presidential election

Thursday’s Utah political news highlights:

  • The Utah Transit Authority awards partial bonuses to some executives even though they didn’t reach the goals tied to those bonuses [Tribune].
  • A routine audit finds that the Utah Transit Authority failed to renew the registration on some of their vehicles [Tribune].
  • How should we interpret the numerous “legislative report cards” that grade the performance of Utah’s lawmakers? [Utah Policy]
  • Advocates worry that there’s a link between pollution and the rising number of baby deaths in the Vernal area [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch signs on to a measure designed to aid victims of child pornography [Deseret News].
  • Concerns about drought conditions are growing in southern Utah [Tribune].
  • Phil McCarthey says his family is “moderately interested” in buying back the Salt Lake Tribune [KUTV].
  • Salt Lake County wants to take over control of the Utah Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune].
  • South Weber city councilman Michael Poff appears in court on felony communications fraud charges [Standard-Examiner].

On this day in history:

  • 1541 – Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River.
  • 1884 – Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, was born.
  • 1886 – Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented the flavored syrup for Coca-Cola.
  • 1945 – President Harry S. Truman announced that World War II had ended in Europe.
  • 1970 – The album “Let it Be” by the Beatles was released.
  • 1973 – Militant American Indians who held the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered.
  • 1987 – Gary Hart withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination after questions about his relationship with Donna Rice.
  • 1999 – The Citadel, South Carolina’s formerly all-male military school, graduated its first female cadet.