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

Protesters ride ATV’s into Recapture Canyon. Chaffetz left off Benghazi committee. New laws to take effect on Tuesday.


  • 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.