ArchiveHow to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – July 30, 2014Bryan Schott·July 30, 2014· Share Swallow and Shurtleff to appear in court. Val Hale named the new head of GOED. Utah consumer confidence is on the rise. Countdown: 97 days until the 2014 midterm elections 180 days to the opening day of the 2015 legislature 461 days until the 2015 elections 537 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative) 832 days until the 2016 presidential election Wednesday’s top news stories: The legal case against John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff kicks off today as the two men will make their first appearance in court [Deseret News]. The U.S. Senate passes a bill to temporarily fund highway projects, but the measure is likely DOA in the House [Roll Call]. Gov. Gary Herbert taps former BYU athletic director Val Hale as the new head of GOED [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News]. Liquor sales in Utah grew by $20 million last year, another record high [Tribune, Deseret News]. Critics get their chance to speak out about Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal to impose a fee on customers who have solar panels on their homes [Tribune]. Utah consumer confidence is on the rise again [Deseret News]. Privacy advocates give a plan to reform the NSA a cautious thumbs-up [Time]. On this day in history: 1619 – The first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown, Virginia. 1956 – The phrase “In God We Trust” was adopted as the U.S. national motto. 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law. 1975 – Former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in Detroit. His remains have never been found. 2002 – Former Rep. James Trafficant, Jr. was sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption after being expelled from Congress a week earlier.