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Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 12:30pm
Utah Policy

Daily Briefing


Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 284th day of the year. There are 81 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 6 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 27 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 103 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 148 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 391 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,119 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


Today's political TL; DR -


  • POLL: Most Utahns say the state is headed in the right direction, but a majority say the country is on the wrong track [Utah Policy].
  • A new nationwide poll finds President Donald Trump's approval has dipped in all 50 states, but he's still in positive territory in Utah [Utah Policy].
  • The three leading candidates for the open Congressional seat in CD3 participated in a broadcast debate on Tuesday. The discussion focused on Donald Trump, healthcare and gun control [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera says Operation Rio Grande is putting an enormous strain on the county jail. She's hoping to temporarily re-open the Oxbow Jail to handle the increased load, but that will cost around $9 million [Deseret News].
  • One of the Salt Lake City police officers who arrested a University of Utah nurse who refused to comply with their request to draw blood from an unconscious patient has been fired, while the other has been demoted [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A meeting to discuss consolidating two elementary schools in Orem descends into chaos, causing the Alpine Board of Education to cut off public comment on the issue [Daily Herald].
  • The University of Utah will get half of the electricity used on campus from renewable sources [Tribune].


National headlines:


  • Woah! President Donald Trump reportedly wanted to increase America's nuclear arsenal by nearly tenfold. During the same meeting, Trump also expressed a desire to increase U.S. troop numbers and military equipment [NBC News].
  • North Korean hackers reportedly targeted U.S. power companies recently with spearphishing emails, designed to download malware into their networks [NBC News].
  • The U.S. military flew bombers over the Korean peninsula on Tuesday [Reuters].
  • Republicans in Washington are worried Steve Bannon's effort to recruit hardline challengers to primary sitting Republican Senators could put the GOP's majority in Congress at risk [The Hill].
  • Senate Democrats are worried Russia is poised to meddle in the upcoming 2018 election, which could put their chances of breaking the GOP majority in jeopardy [Politico].
  • Trump confidant Carter Page says he will not cooperate with any requests to testify before Congress as part of the Russia probe. A friend of Page says he plans to plead the Fifth Amendment if he's called before an investigative panel [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump is poised to unveil proposals for modifying the NAFTA agreement that could put efforts to update the treaty in jeopardy [Axios].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is coming under increasing scrutiny for mixing official trips with political activities. Zinke attended two fundraisers while traveling on official government business shortly after he took over the Interior Department [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump has been in office for 263 days during which time he made more than 1,300 false or misleading statements. That averages out to nearly five per day [Washington Post].
  • A new nationwide poll finds 58% of Americans support stricter gun laws following the massacre in Las Vegas [Politico].
  • Israel hackers who got inside the servers of Russian cyber security company Kaspersky discovered evidence that the company may have breached the NSA, then warned the U.S. about the possible intrusion. The U.S. has since warned government agencies to stop using Kaspersky products [Washington Post].
  • The toll from the Northern California wildfires continues to rise. 17 people have died, and 2,000 structures have been destroyed [Los Angeles Times].
  • Many sick people in Puerto Rico are in "mortal peril" because of the lack of electricity and supplies for medical care [New York Times].
  • The NFL is considering a rule change that would require players to stand at attention during the national anthem, but there is no penalty for those who do not stand [Bleacher Report].

On this day in history:

  • 1906 - San Francisco public school board sparks a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Japan by ordering Japanese students to be taught in racially segregated schools.
  • 1910 - Former President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane.
  • 1968 - NASA launches Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham on board.
  • 1975 - Saturday Night Live debuts with George Carlin as host and musicians Janis Ian and Billy Preston.
  • 1986 - President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Reykjavik, Iceland, in an effort to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe.
  • 2002 - Congress gave President George W. Bush authorization for using military force against Iraq.



Today At Utah Policy

Most Utahns say they're not confident U.S. is heading in the right direction
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utahns are mostly an optimistic bunch, but not so when asked if the United States is on the right or wrong track....

Weekly survey: Gun legislation following Las Vegas
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Do you think either Congress or the Utah Legislature will address meaningful gun legislation following the massacre in Las Vegas? Let us know what you think in our weekly survey....

CYBER24 Ep. 2: Cybersecurity in the workplace is everyone's business
By Marty Carpenter
The second week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on making cybersecurity in the workplace is everyone's business and this week on the CYBER24 podcast sit down with Phil Bates, the Chief Information Security Officer of the State of Utah....


Nominees announced for 2nd District Court vacancy
By Press Release
The 2nd District Judicial Nominating Commission has selected nominees for a vacancy on the 2nd District Court....

Trump's approval rating drops across the USA, including Utah
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A new nationwide poll finds President Donald Trump's approval ratings have fallen in every state in the nation, including Utah....

New Utah GOP leadership surveying members, but the questions are loaded ones
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The Utah Republican Party, now under new leadership, has sent out email/web-based survey to 80,000 of registered Republicans in the state....

Policy News


Hatch statement on EPA Administrator Pruitt's announcement to repeal the Clean Power Plan
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)-the senior Republican in the United States Senate-released the following statement after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan. ...


New commissioner joins the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission
The Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC) announced the addition of a new commissioner, Curtis M. Jensen, a founding partner of Snow Jensen & Reece, P.C., one of the largest locally owned and headquartered law firms in St. George, and a former president ...

You're invited: Join us for a diplomatic luncheon with the Spanish ambassador
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake Chamber, is delighted to welcome His Excellency Pedro Morens Eulate, Spanish ambassador to the United States, for a diplomatic luncheon on Friday, October 20&nbs...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Police should work with prosecutors

Will 'Negro' name stick to Utah canyon?

Gehrke: If Steve Bannon's party purge is aiming to take down Orrin Hatch, he has truly lost it

Utah congressional front-runner John Curtis says he supports Trump agenda, ignores the 'distractions'

Three cities exit Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Service Area

Salt Lake City bids $4M to buy back blighted State Street housing project

Deseret News

Ralph Hancock: Ethics, morality and us

Jay Evensen: With Weinstein vilified, will Polanski be next?

S.L. district attorney asks FBI to probe fatal police shooting

Matheson says he met with Bannon, but hasn't decided on Senate run

S.L. sheriff: Operation Rio Grande has put squeeze on already strained county jail

Congressional candidates debate gun control, health care, partisan politics


With record-number voter turnout, Highland to hold candidate debates (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

Roger Goodell tells NFL owners 'everyone should stand for the national anthem' (Kansas City Star)

In victory for Trump, Supreme Court dismisses travel ban case (USA Today)

Conservationists take nine flights a year, despite knowing danger to environment, study shows (Telegraph)

Ronan Farrow on Harvey Weinstein Story: 'I Was Threatened With a Lawsuit' (Variety)

After delay, Clinton and Obamas rip Weinstein (The Hill)

Black Man Beaten During Charlottesville Rally Charged With Felony (New York Times)

5 big things Trump is doing to reverse Obama's climate policies (Politico)

Rare bipartisan gun control bill on bump fire stocks introduced following Las Vegas massacre (CNN)

Trump discusses 'range of options' on North Korea with security team (The Hill)

Drexel professor put on leave after Las Vegas tweets (Associated Press)

New Nobel Prize economist Thaler stumped by record markets (Reuters)

Wise Words


"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." Peter Drucker


Lighter Side

Google Translate

"Google just released a pair of headphones that can translate 40 languages instantly. They say it's a great way to travel to a new country and find out everyone's making fun of you." Jimmy Fallon