Thursday’s Talking Points – March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Salt Lake City. Today is the 77th day of the year. There are 289 days left in 2016

The presidential debate in Salt Lake City is scrapped. Obama nominates Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Bernie Sanders is coming to Utah on Friday.

The clock:

  • The Utah candidate filing period closes today- (3/17/2016)
  • Five days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 13 days to the last day the governor may sign or veto bills (3/30/2016)
  • 37 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 53 days to the last day a veto override session may begin (5/9/2016)
  • 103 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 123 days to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (7/18/2016)
  • 130 days to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (7/25/2016)
  • 236 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)
  • 312 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (1/23/2017)
  • 357 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (3/9/2017)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. The GOP scuttles next week’s presidential debate in Salt Lake City after Donald Trump and John Kasich say they won’t attend [Utah Policy, New York Times, ABC News, 2 News, Fox 13, Tribune, Deseret News].
  2. President Barack Obama nominates Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court [Washington Post, New York Times, Reuters, Politico].
  3. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee double down on their vow to block Garland’s appointment [2 NewsDeseret News]. However, in 2010, Hatch called Garland a “consensus” pick, and in 1997, he called Garland a “fine nominee” [Tribune, Talking Points Memo].
  4. Bernie Sanders will hold a town hall meeting in Salt Lake City on Friday [Utah Policy].
  5. Sanders had a bad night on Tuesday, which makes his path to victory much more challenging [Washington Post]. However, even if he does not win the Democratic nomination, he may have a lasting impact on the political landscape [Bloomberg Politics]. 
  6. The Utah Republican Party has extended the deadline to register online for next week’s GOP caucus meetings [Deseret News].
  7. The housecleaning in Salt Lake City’s government after Jackie Biskupski won the mayor’s office carries a hefty $1 million price tag [Tribune].
  8. After defeat during the 2016 Utah Legislature, medical marijuana proponents say they will pursue a ballot initiative this year and legislation next year [Daily Herald].
  9. Rocky Mountain Power says they will request a “slight price decrease” for customers, but that doesn’t mean you will see it on your bill [Tribune].
  10. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman will be this year’s commencement speaker at Utah State University [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 461 – According to tradition, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul. Some sources list the year as 493.
  • 1776 – The Continental Army under Gen. George Washington forced British troops to evacuate Boston.
  • 1959 – The Dalai Lama flees Tibet for India.
  • 1969 – Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel.
  • 2003 – President George W. Bush gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave the country. That ultimatum was rejected.