Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 318th day of the year. There are 47 days remaining in 2017.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 1:45pm
Utah Policy

Daily Briefing


Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 318th day of the year. There are 47 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 49 days until candidates can declare their intent to gather signatures for the 2018 election (1/2/2018)
  • 69 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 114 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 115 days until the filing period for candidates in the 2018 election opens (3/9/2018)
  • 121 days until the filing deadline for the 2018 elections (3/15/2018)
  • 126 days until the statewide GOP caucus meetings (3/20/2018)
  • 158 days until the GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 224 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 357 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,085 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


Today's political TL; DR -


  • POLL: Most Utahns say Confederate monuments should not be taken down [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore should step aside after allegations he pursued sexual relationships with teenagers [Utah Policy].
  • If Mitt Romney runs for Senate in 2018 and wins, he'll set a record in the modern era for longest gap between a losing Senate bid and a victory [Utah Policy].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says even if President Donald Trump dramatically reduces the size of the Bears Ears National Monument, it will still be larger than the combined size of Zion and Bryce national parks [Tribune].
  • John Curtis is sworn in as Utah's newest member of Congress [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A group of Utah politicians wants to convince Mitt Romney to jump into the 2018 U.S. Senate race [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County officials announced plans to sue the manufacturers of opioids [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A Senate committee advances the nomination of Paige Petersen to become the newest Utah Supreme Court Justice [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • LaVarr Webb argues the tax reform plan under consideration in Congress would give the U.S. economy a boost if it passes [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake City is considering hiring 27 new police officers to deal with the increased workload from Operation Rio Grande [Tribune].
  • The family of former Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott is embroiled in a court battle with his former secretary/caregiver/fiancee over his estate [Deseret News].
  • A new study says nearly 1,800 fewer people would die on the nation's roads if every state adopted Utah's lowest in the nation DUI threshold [Deseret News].
  • The new arena at the Utah State Fairpark needs about $1.1 million in upgrades and repairs [Deseret News].


National headlines:


  • The Justice Department is looking into whether to appoint a special counsel to probe the Clinton Foundation and a 2010 decision by the Obama administration to allow a Russian group to buy a company that owned access to uranium in the U.S. [New York Times].
  • Woah! Donald Trump Jr. was in contact with Wikileaks at the time the website was publicly releasing emails Russian hackers stole from the Clinton campaign. Most of the messages from Wikileaks went unanswered by Trump Jr., but he did make other top officials in the Trump campaign aware of the communications [Atlantic].
  • The latest Roy Moore news:
    • A fifth woman has come forward alleging that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager and Moore was in his 30's [New York Times].
    • More Senate Republicans call on Moore to leave the race, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [Washington Post].
    • Some Senate Republicans are threatening to expel Moore if he wins December's election. The Senate has not expelled a member in more than 150 years [Politico].
    • Despite the Republican National Committee ending a joint fundraising agreement with Moore, there are still several paid Republican staffers on the ground in Alabama helping out with Moore's campaign [BuzzFeed].
    • Moore was allegedly banned from a local mall in Alabama because of his habit of hitting on teenage girls there [New Yorker].
  • It wasn't just Russia! Governments in 30 countries spread disinformation online to quell unrest or influence elections [Recode].
  • Whoops! A Trump judicial nominee failed to disclose he's married to a White House lawyer on a list of family members who might present a conflict of interest [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump taps Alex Azar, a former executive with pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services [New York Times].
  • The number of hate crimes in the U.S. rose for the second straight year [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1666 - The first blood transfusion took place in London. Blood from one dog was transfused into another.
  • 1899 - Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completed the trip in 72 days.
  • 1969 - NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.
  • 1986 - The White House acknowledged the CIA's role in secretly shipping weapons to Iran.
  • 1995 - A budget standoff in Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.



Today At Utah Policy

Big majority of Utahns say Confederate monuments should not be taken down
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utahns are not interested in having mostly-Southern states remove their Civil War Confederate monuments, a recent poll finds....

Tax reform will be good for the country
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
The Republican Congress and Trump administration are to be commended for embarking on a difficult quest to reform the muddled U.S. tax code, simplifying it and giving middle-class Americans a nice tax cut....

A Romney Senate run would set a record for the modern era
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
If Mitt Romney does run for Senate in 2018, he would be a shoo-in to win a seat in Washington. But, a run would set a record for the longest gap between a losing Senate run and a subsequent victory....

Hatch calls for Moore to withdraw from Senate race
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Orrin Hatch has joined the chorus of Republicans calling on Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to quit the race following allegations he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl....

Policy News


Hatch statement on announcement of Alex Azar to lead Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued the following statement after President Trump announced his intent to nominate Alex Azar to serve as HHS Secretary:...


Curtis names Ryan Leavitt Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director
Congressman John Curtis announced that Ryan Leavitt, a long-time Senate legislative staffer, will be joining his Washington, DC office as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director....


Reps. Stewart, Polis, Senators Flake, Heinrich introduce bipartisan legislation to complete parks, wilderness areas and increase revenues for schools
Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT), Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced H.R. 4257, the Advancing Conservation and Education (ACE) Act....


Press release: Hatch adds muscle to DC office
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the senior Republican in the United States Senate, announced a number of key hires to his Washington office....

Fox Files: 'Section 201'
At 4:50 on Friday we received an email from a site selection consultant with a large, out-of-state firm....


Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: We can limit gun deaths without offending the Second Amendment

Editorial: Sex ed doesn't belong online

Sex education could move out of the classroom and onto the internet under Utah lawmaker's proposal

In celebratory Utah visit, Trump administration official promotes new Medicaid flexibility that will increase treatment beds

After a generation as Sandy mayor, Tom Dolan - deal-maker supreme - says he has no regrets after election loss

Chaffetz's premature exit set up Utah for yet another problematic special election

After Trump shrinks Bears Ears, it will still be larger than Zion and Bryce combined, says interior secretary

Utah's proudly conservative Black Rifle coffee gets a boost from upset Sean Hannity viewers after Keurig pulls its TV ads

Salt Lake City police want to hire 27 more officers, say Operation Rio Grande is driving the need

A group of Utah politicians want Mitt Romney to run for Senate, replacing Orrin Hatch

Salt Lake County to sue Big Pharma over the toll of opioid addiction

Utah's Rep. John Curtis is sworn into office, casts first votes less than a week after the election

Deseret News

Editorial: Saving victims from domestic violence requires more action

John Curtis sworn in, casts his first vote as Utah congressman

Lawmakers behind effort to push Romney for Senate run say now is the time

Salt Lake County to sue 'Big Pharma' for 'irresponsible' distribution of opioids

Retiring Utah court justice leaves behind pioneering legacy

New legal battle begins over late Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott's estate

Lower legal blood alcohol content for driving would save lives, study shows

Health leader announces Medicaid expansion milestone in Utah visit


John Curtis sworn in as member of 115th Congress (Daily Herald)

Orem state senator launches petition to get Mitt Romney to run for U.S. Senate (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

Liberals Are Becoming Knee-Jerk Anti-Trumpists (New Republic)

Sessions considering second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows (Washington Post)

Trump to visit House GOP for in-person tax push (Washington Post)

Former Eli Lilly Executive Is Trump's Choice for Health Secretary (New York Times)

George Bush Snr 'groped 16-year-old girl' during 2003 photo op (BBC News)

Rand Paul: 'No justification' for 'hitting somebody from behind and breaking their ribs' (Washington Examiner)

Joe Biden: 'I'm not closing the door' on a presidential run in 2020 (Today)

Army lifts ban on cutters, mentally ill and drug abusers to meet recruiting goals (FOX News)

Supreme Court takes case on free speech rights of antiabortion counseling centers (Washington Post)

Senate reaches deal to cut number of systemically important banks (Reuters)

Google Is Being Investigated By Missouri Attorney General (Fortune)

Wise Words


"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." Mark Twain


Lighter Side

Hidden Valley

"The salad dressing company Hidden Valley is now offering actual kegs of ranch dressing. The kegs cost $50 and a lifetime of medical bills." James Corden