How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – May 28, 2014

Lawmakers again consider a plan to put electronic devices in the hands of students. Becker says he will wait until after the 2014 election to decide on another term. Herbert taps Harding as his new chief of staff.


  • 27 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 160 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 243 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 524 days until the 2015 elections
  • 600 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 895 days to the 2016 presidential election

Wednesday’s top Utah political news stories:

  • The Education Task Force begins consideration of a plan to put an electronic learning device in the hands of every student in Utah [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The DABC warns it will be tougher to get single-event liquor permits [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says he will wait until after the 2014 election to decide on whether he will run for another term [Utah Policy].
  • The Salt Lake City Council will not boycott the Days of ’47 Parade following the exclusion of a float by a group that wants to foster better relationships between Mormons and the gay community [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City will seek a federal grant to expand the Sugar House Streetcar [Tribune].
  • The Utah GOP sends out a harsh email following the first debate between Mia Love and Dave Owens [Utah Policy].
  • Governor Herbert taps Justin Harding as his new chief of staff. Harding was most recently chief of staff for Rep. Jason Chaffetz [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The LDS Church donates Wall Mansion to the University of Utah. The building will house the U’s Policy Institute and the Bureau of Economic and Business Research [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Provo asks residents for their suggestions on a new city flag [Daily Herald].
  • Former Deseret News movie critic Jeff Vice passed away suddenly over the weekend [City Weekly].

On this day in history:

  • 1533 – The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared the marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.
  • 1863 – The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, made up of freed slaves, left Boston to fight for the Union in the Civil War.
  • 1892 – The Sierra Club was formed in San Francisco.
  • 1929 – The first all-color talking motion picture, “On with the Show,” opened in New York.
  • 1937 – Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain.
  • 1959 – The U.S. Army launched two monkeys aboard a Jupiter missile for a suborbital flight. Both primates survived.
  • 1961 – Amnesty International had its beginnings with the publication of an article in the British newspaper The Observer.
  • 1964 – The charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization was issued in Jerusalem.
  • 1987 – Mathias Rust, a 19-year-old pilot from West Germany, landed his private plane in Moscow’s Red Square.
  • 2003 – President Bush signed a $350 billion tax cut into law; the third largest tax cut in U.S. history.