How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – October 9, 2013

Countdown:  There are 28 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 112 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 387 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 821 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • Gov. Gary Herbert taps freshman legislator Spencer Cox as Utah’s new Lt. Governor [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News]. Here’s video of the announcement.
  • The House committee investigating John Swallow moves behind closed doors after announcing they’ve interviewed 60 witnesses so far [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says he’s not convinced the nation will hit the debt limit on October 17 [Tribune].
  • Gov. Herbert asks the federal government to let the state reopen national parks [Tribune].
  • Officials in San Juan County are mulling taking over Lake Powell and other national parks in order to re-open them during the shutdown [Tribune].
  • More than 500 employees in Salt Lake City’s Veteran Benefits Administration office are working without pay during the shutdown [Tribune].
  • A Utah group “adopts” the highway leading to the NSA data center in Bluffdale as a form of protest [Tribune].
  • There are hints the NSA data center is having some massive problems that may delay its opening by a year [Tribune].
  • Sen. Pat Jones looks to the future as her legislative tenure is coming to an end [Deseret News].
  • A Cottonwood Heights police officer raised concerns in 2010 that city employees were deleting emails in a potential violation of state law [City Weekly].
  • Utah recoups more than $11 million in improper Medicaid payments [Tribune].
  • Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak in Salt Lake City on Friday [Tribune].
  • Riverton will conduct next month’s municipal election entirely by mail-in ballot [Standard-Examiner].
  • Salt Lake City voters overwhelmingly say corporations should not have the same legal rights as people [Tribune].
  • The Salt Lake County Council asks Gov. Herbert to shut down a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake County purchases land in downtown Salt Lake City to build new offices to house the district attorney’s office [Tribune].