Ten Things You Need to Know for Tuesday – December 9, 2014

Torture report set to be released. Herbert reverses his position on SB 54 lawsuit. Lee names new chief of staff.


  • Days until the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 48
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 93
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections – 245
  • Days to the 2015 election – 329
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – 405
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election – 700

Tuesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. A report on whether the U.S. government used torture on foreign detainees following the September 2001 terrorist attacks is set to be released today [New York Times].
  2. Gov. Gary Herbert reverses his position, says SB 54 is constitutional after a spokesperson tells the Utah GOP State Central Committee he supported the party's lawsuit against the law [Deseret News, Tribune].
  3. Sen. Mike Lee hires Neil Ashdown as his chief of staff. Ashdown previously served as chief of staff for former Gov. Jon Huntsman [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. The Florida-based group fighting against the Healthy Utah plan launches a similar attack in Wyoming [Utah Policy].
  5. Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who worked on Obamacare, is set to testify in front of a Congressional committee Tuesday [Politico].
  6. A group of GOP mega donors want to "clear the field" for one presidential candidate in 2016 [Bloomberg].
  7. The Utah government launches a new website for ethics complaints [Utah Policy].
  8. The speed limit officially rises to 70 mph along Utah's urban freeways [Tribune, Deseret News].
  9. Tooele County officials say they're open to having the new state prison there…kinda [Tribune].
  10. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James wore an "I can't breathe" t-shirt before Monday night's game in New York  in solidarity with protesters who are demonstrating against the killing of an unarmed black man who died after a police officer put him in a choke hold [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1958 – The anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.
  • 2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt in the Florida presidential vote recount.
  • 2008 – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested for scheming to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Blagojevich was later convicted of lying to the FBI.