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

Recordings show an aide to John Swallow tried to keep a deal to help accused businessman Jeremy Johnson under wraps. Same-sex marriage takes front and center at the annual Pride parade. The Salt Lake County Council will ask the Legislature to accept Medicaid expansion.



  • 15 days to Utah’s 2014 primary election
  • 148 days until the 2014 midterm elections
  • 231 days to the opening day of the 2015 legislature
  • 512 days until the 2015 elections
  • 588 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 886 days until the 2016 presidential election

Monday’s Utah political news highlights:

  • Newly released recordings show John Swallow aide Jason Powers tried to keep a proposed deal to help Jeremy Johnson a secret lest it harm his 2012 election chances [Tribune].
  • The issue of same-sex marriage was front and center during the annual Pride parade and festival in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker holds a wedding reception for the same-sex couples he married last year [Tribune].
  • Billionaire Jon Huntsman says he’s interested in buying the Salt Lake Tribune, but any sale is on hold while the Justice Department investigates the changes made to the paper’s joint operating agreement with the Deseret News [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The Salt Lake County Council is again urging the legislature to go along with Medicaid expansion [Tribune].
  • If Orrin Hatch decides to run for an eighth term in Washington he still would have a long way to go be the oldest serving U.S. Senator [Tribune].
  • The State School Board is holding off on a decision to request another waiver to keep the state from having to meet some of the requirements of No Child Left Behind [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Seven Utah counties will vote mostly by mail in this month’s primary election [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1870 – Author Charles Dickens died at the age of 58.
  • 1989 – China agreed to lease Hong Kong to Britain for 99 years.
  • 1911 – Carrie Nation, the hatchet-wielding temperance crusader, died at age 64.
  • 1954 – Army counsel Joseph Welch confronted Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Senate-Army hearings, asking “Have you no sense of decency?”
  • 1969 – The Senate confirmed Warren Burger as chief justice of the United States.
  • 1978 – After 148 years, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints finally allowed black men to become priests.
  • 1986 – The Rogers Commission released its report on the Challenger disaster, criticizing NASA and rocket builder Morton Thiokol for management problems that led to the explosion that claimed the lives of seven astronauts.