How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – May 9, 2014

Reyes re-structures the Attorney General’s office. New law to crack down on cell-phone use behind the wheel goes into effect next week. Twilight Concert lineup announced.



  • 46 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 179 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 262 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 543 days to the 2015 elections
  • 619 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 914 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • Attorney General Sean Reyes announces a restructuring of the attorneys in his office [Tribune].
  • Utah’s new law cracking down on drivers who dial a cell phone or text goes into effect next week [Tribune].
  • Utahns are more likely to ride a bike to work than those in other cities, but the overall rates of bikers remains small [Tribune].
  • Some are wondering if a proposed study into whether air pollution is causing a spike in deaths among babies and small children in Vernal is doomed before it even starts [Tribune].
  • LaVarr Webb reflects on some Utah debate history [Utah Policy].
  • The State Records Committee wants to increase the amount of time the state is required to hold on to certain types of emails [Daily Herald].
  • Bob Bernick looks at the future prospects of Utah politicians [Utah Policy].
  • Federal land managers say threats against their government workers are unacceptable. The move comes after an employee was threatened at gunpoint [Tribune].
  • The money in a Riverton pension fund remains frozen because government regulators say $20 million is missing [Tribune].
  • The domestic violence rate is on the rise in Brigham City [Standard-Examiner].
  • Salt Lake City announces the line-up for this year’s Twilight Concert Series [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1502 – Christopher Columbus left Spain on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1914 – Mother’s Day became a public holiday.
  • 1936 – Italy annexed Ethiopia.
  • 1960 – The Food and Drug Administration approved use of a birth control bill.
  • 1961 – Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow called TV programming a “vast wasteland” in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters.
  • 1974 – The House Judiciary Committee opened hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
  • 1994 – South Africa’s newly-elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country’s president.
  • 2012 – President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage.