Special counsels, liquor laws and the Russia investigation. Your Thursday morning political briefing from UtahPolicy.com

Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 12:30pm
Utah Policy

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning must reads for Thursday, July 13, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 194th day of the year. There are 171 days remaining in 2017.

A new poll Utahns support the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. A pro-liquor group publishes an offensive ad targeting Utah's strict new DUI law. Republicans are set to roll out their latest Trumpcare proposal. 

The clock:

  • 12 days until ballots for the August primary are mailed to voters (7/25/2017)
  • 33 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 117 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 193 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 238 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 481 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,209 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today's political TL; DR -

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns support the appointment of Robert Meuller as a special counsel to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 election [Utah Policy].
  • The conservative think tank Sutherland Institute authored the anti-Bears Ears resolution that lawmakers fast-tracked through the 2017 Utah Legislature [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee told a tele-town hall on health care that he still hasn't seen the latest Obamacare repeal bill [Tribune].
  • While his colleagues pressed Donald Trump's nominee to head the FBI about the growing Russia scandal, Sen. Orrin Hatch used his time during Christopher Wray's confirmation hearing to ask him about Hillary Clinton's emails and DNA testing [Deseret News].
  • A pro-liquor group is publishing a controversial ad critical of Utah's .05 DUI law. The ads use pictures of Utah lawmakers who are over the age of 65 and suggest that elderly drivers are more dangerous than those who have a BAC of .05 [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City is backing off a plan to publicly call out building owners who don't use renewable energy after business leaders, lawmakers and a business arm of the LDS Church pushed back on the proposal [Tribune].
  • Cottonwood Heights has banned aerial fireworks hoping the Utah Legislature takes notice [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rep. Paul Ray is planning legislation to cover the costs of birth control for poor women who aren't covered by Medicaid [Associated Press].
  • Two studies say Utah state government is in great financial shape [Tribune].
  • Utah's largest teachers union is suing the state school board over a new website that allows the public to review disciplinary actions taken against teachers [Associated Press].
  • The Utah Transit Authority is working on a new mission statement [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Bombshell: in 2015, U.S. intelligence intercepted conversations from Russian government officials discussing associates of Donald Trump. This was before Trump became a candidate for president [Wall Street Journal].
  • President Donald Trump says he does not fault his son, Donald Trump Jr., for taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer who was offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. The elder Trump also says he was not aware of the meeting until a few days ago [Reuters].
  • Buried in the Trumpcare proposal is a provision that would bar some immigrants from buying health insurance on the federal exchanges [Washington Post].
  • The Trump White House is working on a proposal to dramatically cut legal immigration into the country [Politico].
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will re-examine Obama-era guidelines on how colleges and universities investigate sexual violence as many victims say the current rules make it too hard for those accused of crimes [New York Times].
  • The State Department spent more than $15,000 to book 19 rooms at the new Trump hotel in Vancouver when members of Trump's family were on hand to open the hotel earlier this year [Washington Post].
  • Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman has introduced an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, accusing the president of obstructing justice [The Hill].
  • An iceberg the size of Delaware broke away from Antarctica this week. It's one of the largest icebergs ever observed and is raising worries about the effect of global warming [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1863 - Rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City; about 1,000 people died over three days.
  • 1923 - A sign consisting of 50-foot-tall letters spelling out "HOLLYWOODLAND" was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills to promote a subdivision (the last four letters were removed in 1949).
  • 1967 - Race-related rioting broke out in Newark, N.J.; 27 people died in four days of violence.
  • 1977 - A 25-hour blackout hit the New York City area after lightning struck upstate power lines.
  • 1985 - Live Aid, a concert to raise money for Africa's starving people, was held in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, Australia.



Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns overwhelmingly support independent investigation into Russian election meddling
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utahns overwhelmingly agree with the appointment of Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.Utahns overwhelmingly agree with the appointment of Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia's invol...

Sutherland Institute authored resolution urging Trump to overturn Bears Ears
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Conservative think tank Sutherland Institute authored the resolution urging President Donald Trump to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument. Lawmakers fast-tracked the resolution through the first days of the 2017 Utah Legislature....

Weekly survey: Did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians?
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Donald Trump Jr. admitted this week he met with a Russian lawyer who promised to provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to aid his father's campaign. ...

Policy News

Optimism, workforce and tax reform: CEOutlook 2017 Pre-Test - Quarter 2 released
Making sure we present the business perspective on the future of the economy is critical....


Sutherland Institute: No taxation without innovation
 Sutherland Institute called for a renewed focus on education with real innovation by launching the website OurStudentsNow.org...


Hatch praises the nomination of Randal Quarles as Vice Chairman for Supervision of the Federal Reserve
 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)-the senior Republican in the United States Senate and the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee-released the following statement on the nomination of Randal Quarles to serve as Vice Chairman for Supervision of the Federal Reserve:...

Local Headlines


Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist Mumford: Most of us are too busy to care who wins an election

Editorial: Utah treasurer is right to question use of mineral royalty money

Hoping to help create thousands of new rural jobs, Utah officials are hitting the road to network

Utah vet's lawyers work to collect $8 million settlement from alleged terrorist Omar Khadr

Two studies give Utah state government Top 5 financial ratings

Utah rancher has a beef with state's mandatory fees for marketing

One Utah city is banning aerial fireworks for Pioneer Day, hoping it 'sends a message to the Legislature'

Move the downtown liquor store? Sure, employees say - but not because of homeless customers.

National booze group targets Utah governor and other 'impaired' older drivers to show 'how silly' Utah's strict DUI law is

Fourth Street Clinic gets $550K to anchor network of homeless health services

State employee accidentally fires handgun at Utah attorney general's office

Judge rejects Utah ranchers plea to evict wild horses

Utah's Mike Lee compares Obamacare to car insurance in online town hall discussing health care bill

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Utah Amazon fulfillment center is a sign of the times, but don't fear the future

A. Scott Anderson: Sensible financial regulatory reform will better serve consumers

Op-ed: Utah doesn't have laws about leaving your pets in hot cars. Don't reprimand me for my choices

Editorial: Utahns should engage early in special election process

Trump mulls spending $10 million to defeat Arizona senator, but the BYU grad embraces 'tougher path'

Hatch questions FBI director nominee on Clinton emails, encryption

National beverage group likens Utah's .05 DUI law to 'driving while old'

Here's how a rollback of net neutrality could affect your internet

A key to health insurance in Utah? U.S. citizenship

Holland at British Parliament: UVU model fixes divisions in education that abet broader social divide


Editorial: What's obvious to city hall isn't always clear to everybody else (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Democrats intentionally used disinformation from Russia to attack Trump, campaign aides (Washington Times)

Amid Defeats, ISIS Shifts Narrative From Invincibility to Victimization (Free Beacon)

Between Trump and Dems, a center lane opens (CBS News)

Sources: Cohn is Trump's top candidate to replace Yellen at Fed (Politico)

Paying Professors: Inside Google's Academic Influence Campaign (Wall Street Journal)

Delaying August Recess, Senate Republicans To Release Updated Health Care Bill (NPR)

US THAAD missile defenses hit test target as North Korea tension rises (Reuters)

Majority of Republicans say colleges have negative impact on country, poll says (USA Today)

Seattle is sticking it to the rich with a tax on the wealthy - in a state with no income tax (Los Angeles Times)

Trump administration limits government use of Kaspersky Lab software (Reuters)

Controversial Alaskan gold mine could be revived under Trump's EPA (Washington Post)

Wise Words


"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." Marcus Aurelius


Lighter Side

Yoga Pants

"Someone invented a pair of yoga pants that vibrate when your yoga pose is incorrect. Which explains the new trend, "incorrect yoga poses". Conan O'Brien