ArchiveHow to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – October 3, 2013Bryan Schott·October 3, 2013· Share Countdown: There are 34 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 118 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 393 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 830 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. Mitt Romney speaks in Utah and decries the government shutdown as the wrong way to fight Obamacare [Tribune, Deseret News]. Sen. Mike Lee bows to pressure and now says he will donate his Congressional pay during the shutdown. Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jim Matheson also say they will donate their salaries [Tribune]. Furloughed mechanics at Hill Air Force Base plan to protest the shutdown at Rep. Rob Bishop’s office [Standard-Examiner]. Bishop is not happy with how the Interior Department decided to shut down national monuments, insinuating there may have been a political motivation behind the closures [Tribune]. Utahns who have signed up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act worry the federal shutdown could hurt their health plans [Tribune]. The federal stoppage is hitting some low-income Utah mothers hard [Tribune]. Utah tourism officials worry the shutdown will slow an important industry for the state [Tribune]. Some critics say the shutdown will make things easier for undocumented workers to evade efforts to verify their immigration status [Tribune]. Local charities and governments are making plans on how to proceed if the government shutdown extends for a longer period of time [Deseret News]. The shutdown could delay the court case against accused fraudster and John Swallow accuser Jeremy Johnson [Deseret News]. Rep. Jack Draxler has a plan to hike beer taxes every year to keep pace with inflation [Tribune]. If you want to vote in November’s municipal elections, the deadline to register is rapidly approaching [Tribune]. A new program aims to reduce panhandling in Salt Lake City [Tribune]. Clean air advocates say some areas of Utah should ban wood burning stoves to help cut down on pollution [Tribune]. Tempers are flaring between some Cottonwood Heights businesses and city officials [City Weekly].