How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – May 13, 2014

“Count My Vote” gears up to defend against a legal challenge. The BLM may press charges against protestors who drove into Recapture Canyon over the weekend. Okerlund not sure he’s physically up for another term in Senate leadership.



  • 42 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 175 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 258 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 539 days to the 2015 elections
  • 615 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 910 days to the 2016 presidential election

Tuesday’s Utah political news highlights:

  • Organizers of the “Count My Vote” group are getting ready to defend the compromise reached with lawmakers from a legal challenge [Deseret News].
  • The Bureau of Land Management is weighing possible charges against the protestors who rode ATV’s into Recapture Canyon over the weekend [Daily Herald].
  • Despite the legislature passing a measure prohibiting Utah from complying with the REAL ID Act, the state has passed a number of separate laws that accomplish just that [Tribune].
  • Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund says he’s not sure he will run for another term in that position [Utah Policy].
  • Homelessness in Utah falls 10-percent from last year [Deseret News].
  • The BLM is set to unveil their plan to lease land for energy exploration near Moab [Deseret News].
  • The Salt Lake County Council comes down on the side of preserving open space along the Jordan River [Tribune].
  • The Environmental Protection Agency announces a financial settlement with Chevron for a number of oil spills in Utah [Tribune].
  • Utah leaders kick off their annual campaign to foster respect on the roads for cyclists [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1607 – An English colony was settled at Jamestown in what is now Virginia.
  • 1846 – The United States declared a state of war existed against Mexico.
  • 1958 – Vice President Richard Nixon’s limousine was attacked with rocks thrown by anti-U.S. demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 1981 – Pope John Paul II was shot in St. Peter’s Square by a Turkish assailant.
  • 1985 – Philadelphia police dropped an explosive onto the headquarters of the radical group MOVE; 11 people died in the resulting fire.