How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – September 27, 2013

Countdown:  There are 40 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 124 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 399 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 836 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • The House committee investigating Attorney General John Swallow issues two subpoenas demanding his office turn over records of air travel or other gifts provided to him or his family, and details of any personal use of office resources [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Sen. Mike Lee is getting heat from both sides of the aisle for delaying a procedural vote on a measure to fund the government [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he’s still “weighing the options” on whether Utah will accept Medicaid expansion [Deseret News].
  • Dan Liljenquist argues Obamacare is another step down the road toward single-payer healthcare [Deseret News].
  • Oh noes! Utah drops to third place in the latest Forbes rankings on “Best States for Business” [Tribune].
  • The latest count turns up 622 local governments in Utah, which is up from 588 five years ago [Tribune].
  • The State Auditor’s Office identifies a number of issues with bookeeping by Kaysville city [Standard-Examiner].
  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart holds a fundraiser even though she has publicly said she will not run for re-election in 2014, fueling speculation she is readying a run for Governor in 2016 [Tribune].
  • A expert says a proposed nuclear power plant near Green River is a “non-starter” because the company behind the project will not be able to raise the financing or find a market for their electricity if it ever does get built [Tribune].
  • The Army Corps of Engineers is backing off a little from their previous criticisms of the West Davis Corridor freeway [Tribune].
  • The state liquor commission awards club licenses to two applicants while 11 others are still waiting [Tribune].
  • Utah students are passing Advanced Placement exams at a higher rate than the national average [Tribune].
  • On Saturday, activist Erin Brockovich will take part in a rally opposing a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake [Tribune].
  • A dispute between a North Ogden city councilman and a resident is continuing over an application for a permit to run a home-based auto repair business [Standard-Examiner].