How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – September 6, 2013

Countdown:  There are 61 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 145 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 420 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 857 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • The Utah AG’s office turns over an investigation into a real-estate development near a Draper FrontRunner station over to the feds due to a potential conflict of interest involving former AG Mark Shurtleff [Tribune].
  • Attorneys for accused fraudster Jeremy Johnson alleges federal prosecutors may be withholding evidence from them [Tribune].
  • Even though the state spent $30,000 to drug test some welfare applicants, the Department of Workforce Services says the program saved the state nearly $400,000 [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City unveils the Sugar House Streetcar line which is scheduled to open in early December [Tribune].
  • Bob Bernick says Count My Vote will have no trouble getting the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot in 2014, but the real battle comes after those signatures are turned in [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Todd Weiler proposes a ban on the burning of medical waste in Utah [Standard-Examiner].
  • Defense contractor L-3 Communications, which happens to be Utah’s fourth-biggest private employer, lays off 420 people because of sequester-related budget cuts [Tribune].
  • Davis County officials are eyeing a vote-by-mail program to combat low voter turnout [Standard-Examiner].
  • Salt Lake City police deny reports that illegal activity is on the rise in the area around Pioneer Park [KSL].
  • State officials are worried about the number of fatal rollover accidents that happened in Utah over the summer [Tribune].
  • A group is planning an LGBT pride festival in Provo later this month [Tribune].
  • The tens of thousands of people descending on Salt Lake City for Comic Con could make a giant impact on Utah’s economy [KSL].