ArchiveWhat You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – October 18, 2013Bryan Schott·October 18, 2013· Share Countdown: There are 19 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 103 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 378 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 812 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. The government shutdown was very good for Mike Lee’s fundraising efforts [Tribune]. Lee says he will eventually be vindicated for his efforts to stop ObamaCare [Deseret News]. Sen. Orrin Hatch slams the right-wing Heritage Foundation for becoming too “radical” and pushing for the government shutdown [Tribune]. Gov. Gary Herbert says he’s happy Congress was able to end the shutdown, but they need to come up with a longer-term solution [Tribune]. The shutdown hurt the ability of researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute to secure federal grants [Deseret News]. Some are worried Mia Love’s campaign may be spending too much money, but her campaign manager says they’re building lists for future fundraising [Utah Policy]. Democrat Luz Robles’ fundraising totals suggest she could run a competitive race against Republican Chris Stewart [Utah Policy]. An Idaho Tea Party candidate who opposes Medicaid is using Mormon doctrine to defend the fact he has 10 children who are covered by Medicaid [Tribune]. The National Park Service says they can’t reimburse Utah the money used to open the state’s national parks. Rather, that will be up to Congress [Tribune]. The House panel investigating Attorney General John Swallow says they are pressing forward [Standard-Examiner]. The ACLU submits a “friend of the court” brief supporting a challenge to Utah’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage [Standard-Examiner]. This week the Utah Senate did not approve a judicial nominee from the governor, the first time that’s happened since 2008 [Tribune]. Utah officials want a judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging the state’s so-called “ag gag” law [Deseret News]. Utah residents are still having trouble signing up for ObamaCare online [Standard-Examiner]. Utah teachers attending the UEA convention say they are not happy with the states new school grading system [Tribune]. Utah state parks broke attendance records while the stat’s national parks were closed during the government shutdown [KSL]. An atheist group says they are trying to buy billboards for their upcoming convention in Salt Lake City, but can’t because companies are afraid of the LDS Church [Tribune]. UDOT officials are looking for ways to better meet the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists [Tribune]. The Sugar House streetcar line is up and running on a full test schedule [Tribune].