ArchiveHow to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – May 12, 2014Bryan Schott·May 12, 2014· Share Protesters ride ATV’s into Recapture Canyon. Chaffetz left off Benghazi committee. New laws to take effect on Tuesday. Countdown: 43 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections 176 days to the 2014 midterm elections 259 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature 540 days to the 2015 elections 616 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative) 911 days to the 2016 presidential election Monday’s Utah political news highlights: Protesters illegally drive their off-road vehicles into Recapture Canyon, which is closed to motorized vehicles [Tribune]. Rep. Jason Chaffetz is not named to the special committee investigating the attack on Benghazi [Deseret News]. EnergySolutions has donated nearly half-a-million dollars to Utah politicians from 2011 to now [Fox 13]. Audio recordings of accused fraudster Jeremy Johnson reveal he offered to help the investigation into former Attorney General John Swallow [Tribune]. More than 350 new laws take effect in Utah on Tuesday [Tribune]. While Utah waits for a ruling, many other states are now defending their own bans on same-sex marriage [Tribune]. Utah Councy Commission candidate Greg Graves, who has several bankruptcies in his past, expects a write-in candidate to challenge him in November [Daily Herald]. The Salt Lake City Council is moving ahead with plans to build taller buildings along the streetcar line in Sugar House [Tribune]. The state school board may hire a headhunter to help them find a new state superintendent [Tribune]. The Salt Lake City School District is considering ways to reduce class sizes [Tribune]. On this day in history: 1820 – Florence Nightingale was born in Italy. 1932 – The body of the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindberg was found in New Jersey. 1937 – King George VI ascended to the British throne. 1943 – Axis forces in North Africa surrendered during World War II. 1949 – The Soviet Union ended the Berlin blockade. 1970 – The Senate voted unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice. 2002 – President Jimmy Carter became the first present or former U.S. president to visit Cuba since Fidel Castro took power in 1959.