Thursday’s Talking Points – February 25, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 56th day of the year. There are 310 days left in 2016.

The last GOP debate before “Super Tuesday” is tonight. Romney says Trump’s tax returns may be hiding a “bombshell.” Dunnigan’s Medicaid expansion bill is introduced.

The clock:

  • Two days to the South Carolina Democratic Primary (2/27/2016)
  • Five days to the “Super Tuesday” primaries and caucuses (3/2/2016)
  • 14 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 25 days to the GOP presidential debate in Salt Lake City – (3/21/2016)
  • 26 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 34 days to the last day the governor may sign or veto bills (3/30/2016)
  • 58 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 74 days to the last day a veto override session may begin (5/9/2016)
  • 124 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 144 days to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (7/18/2016)
  • 151 days to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (7/25/2016)
  • 257 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. The GOP presidential field faces off in their final debate before next week’s “Super Tuesday” primaries [CNN, Politico].
  2. President Barack Obama is reportedly considering Nevada Republican Governor Brian Sandoval for the Supreme Court [Washington Post].
  3. Mitt Romney suggests Donald Trump‘s tax returns might contain a “bombshell.” Trump fired back on Twitter (of course) [Politico, New York Times, CBS News].
  4. A new national poll shows 8 out of 10 Hispanic voters have an unfavorable view of Trump [Washington Post].
  5. Rep. Jim Dunnigan‘s long-awaited Medicaid expansion bill finally emerges on Utah’s Capitol Hill, but advocates say it doesn’t go far enough to extend health coverage to needy Utahns [Deseret News, Tribune]. A new poll shows 68% of Utahns support lawmakers passing some sort of Medicaid expansion, but that support is not as robust among Republicans [Utah Policy].
  6. Lawmakers move ahead with a plan to repeal Salt Lake City’s ability to raise sales taxes which was initially passed as a way to help mitigate the impacts of moving the prison to Salt Lake City [Tribune, Deseret News].
  7. Two bills allowing the state to collect sales taxes for online purchases move forward on the Hill [Tribune].
  8. Utah Senators vote to repeal the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of U.S. Senators. Instead, that power would fall back to state legislatures [Tribune, KUER].
  9. A Utah House committee kills a proposal to provide equal treatment of married gay couples who want to adopt or be foster parents [Tribune, Deseret News, Fox 13].
  10. The Utah Senate approves Sen. Todd Weiler‘s resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1791 – The First Bank of the U.S. at Philadelphia became the first national bank chartered by Congress.
  • 1836 – Samuel Colt patented his revolver.
  • 1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Miss., was sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African-American to sit in Congress.
  • 1948 – Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.
  • 1913 – The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.
  • 1964 – Underdog Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) stunned the boxing world with a TKO of Sonny Liston, winning the world heavyweight championship.