Morning must reads for Thursday, May 18, 2016

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 11:00am
Utah Policy

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning must reads for Thursday, May 18, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 138th day of the year. There are 227 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 119th day of Donald Trump's presidency.

Utahns disapprove of Donald Trump's job performance. The fight between Gov. Herbert and the legislature is turning nasty. Robert Mueller tapped as special counsel to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

The clock:

  • 2 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)

  • 30 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)

  • 173 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)

  • 249 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)

  • 294 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)

  • 537 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

  • 1,265 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today's political TL; DR -

  • NEW POLL: President Donald Trump is not gaining any traction in Utah. 54% of Utahns say they disapprove of his job as president, while 45% say they approve of his job performance. Trump won Utah in November with 45% of the vote, so it looks like his base of support hasn't grown at all [Utah Policy].
  • Most Utahns would like all voters, not just party delegates to pick the nominees in a special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Most Utahns also say they would rather the process take longer in order for all voters to have a say [Utah Policy].
  • The fight between Utah lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert over the process to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz if he steps down is getting nasty. Lawmakers are threatening to pass a number of changes to Utah's election laws if Herbert refuses to call a special session so they can set the rules for a special election to replace Chaffetz [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County officials reportedly threatened to cancel the contract the Utah GOP had to rent the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy for Saturday's GOP convention over an unpaid balance on their rental contract. Party Chair James Evans says the party will make good on the outstanding balance before the event [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch pushes back against the growing scandal engulfing the Trump administration saying the whole issue with Russia is "overblown" [Utah Policy].
  • LaVarr Webb says voters don't want party delegates making important electoral decisions for them anymore [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz wants fired FBI Director James Comey to testify before his House Oversight committee next week [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Bombshell #1 - The Trump campaign was in contact with the Kremlin at least 18 times during the final months of the 2016 election [Reuters].
  • Bombshell #2 - Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told President Trump's transition team he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign. Trump hired him anyway [New York Times].
  • The Justice Department taps former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to head up the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election [Wall Street Journal].
  • President Donald Trump did not learn about Mueller's appointment as special counsel until shortly after deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein signed the order [Politico].
  • The appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel could be President Donald Trump's "worst nightmare" [Politico].
  • The highly classified information President Donald Trump shared with Russian diplomats last week was ISIS operatives have figured out how to hide explosives in laptop batteries [USA Today].
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said last summer he believed Donald Trump was on Vladimir Putin's payroll according to a tape of his remarks. House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately stopped the discussion and swore the other Republicans present to secrecy [Washington Post].
  • The upheaval in Washington has rattled global financial markets. The world's 500 richest people have lost $35 billion on Wednesday alone because of the market volatility [Bloomberg].
  • Here's an in-depth look at how Russian intelligence operatives used social media to influence the 2016 election [Time].
  • Boring but important. Federal immigration agents are arresting more than 400 immigrants a day, with the sharpest increase among non-criminals [Washington Post].
  • Denver emerges as a finalist to host the Outdoor Retailers Show which is leaving Salt Lake City [Denver Post].
  • Lawmakers are starting to do the heavy lifting on tax reform [Tribune].
  • Utah lawmakers are looking at making minor changes to Utah's DUI law which lowered the threshold to .05%, lowest in the nation [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Legislators take a hard look at a proposal to enact "ranked-choice voting" in some Utah elections [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City officials discuss their plans to clean up crime in the Rio Grande District in downtown [Fox 13].
  • County officials are asking the legislature to put up more funds to help them pay for implementing the reforms from the 2015 criminal justice reform bill [Deseret News].
  • More Utah school districts are hiking salaries in order to attract and keep teachers [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1804 - The French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.
  • 1860 - The Republican Party convention in Chicago nominated Abraham Lincoln for president.
  • 1896 - The Supreme Court endorsed the concept of "separate but equal" racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson, a precedent that was overturned in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
  • 1980 - The Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state erupted, killing 57 people.



Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Most Utahns disapprove of Trump's job performance
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
President Donald Trump has been in office for four months, but Utahns have not warmed up to him at all....


Chaffetz: What 'crime' is Mueller supposed to investigate?
By Golden Webb
Democrats are cheering the appointment of Robert Mueller to investigate supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But Rep. Jason Chaffetz vocalizes what a lot of peopleare wondering inthe wake of Mueller's appointment: what "actual crime" is the former FBI D...

Saturday's Utah GOP convention is reportedly in danger over unpaid rental fee
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Salt Lake County officials have reportedly threatened to cancel the Utah GOP's contract to rent the South Towne Expo center on Saturday for their convention because the party still owes about $13,000 on their contract to rent the facility this year....

Think twice before giving delegates control of Utah election process
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
Here’s a prediction: There will be an enormous backlash if the Legislature enables political party delegates to select nominees to replace Congressman Jason Chaffetz, instead of allowing all party voters to make the selection in a primary election.  ...

Weekly survey: Firing James Comey
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Do you think President Donald Trump made the right move when he fired FBI Director James Comey? Let us know in our weekly survey....

Legislators lobbing threats at Herbert in the fight over a special election to replace Chaffetz
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Within the bounds of Utah Republican congenial politics, what’s happening now on Capitol Hill between GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and Republicans lawmakers is about as bad as it’s been in recent years....

Hatch: Allegations against Trump are 'overblown' (with video)
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Orrin Hatch says the current scandal engulfing President Donald Trump and fired FBI Director James Comey is "overblown."...

Poll: Utahns say all voters, not just party delegates, should pick nominees to replace Chaffetz
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Who should pick the candidates to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz if he resigns his seat in Congress early? One option is a primary election where voters select the nominees. The other is leaving it up to party delegates to put forward their preferred candidate.  A new poll...

Policy News

Breakfast with British Consulate Head of Trade & Investment
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake Chamber, is delighted to welcome the Honorable Carlo Cavagna, Head of Trade & Investment for the British Consulate....

Local Headlines


Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Sheriff, commission undermine public trust in San Juan County

Gehrke: GOP lawsuit has left a party saddled with debt, scraping for donors

Legislators, county clerks tussle over 'ranked-choice voting' proposal

Hill Air Force Base's F-35s said to have performed well in training abroad despite a few glitches

More Utah school districts approve pay hikes for educators

Utah Legislature continues wrestling with tax reform, possible food tax hike

Utah's flawed sex offender treatment program facing drastic reforms, officials say

New DUI law bans new immigrants from driving after even a drop of alcohol

Chaffetz's resignation expected soon, Legislature-governor tiff escalates over how to replace him

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Will the Wasatch Front end up like the Bay Area?

Editorial: SB 54: Time for the GOP to drop its legal challenge

Editorial: Mr. Chaffetz, are you staying or going?

Lawmakers want to set rules for replacing Chaffetz

This false internet rumor suggests Orrin Hatch will be our next president

Utah legislators looking at unintended consequences of .05% DUI law

Researcher says Uinta Basin's high ozone likely to result in EPA action

Counties seek state funds to offset burden of criminal justice reform

Draper councilwoman hires Shurtleff in feud with city leaders

F-35 training exercise deemed successful, Hill AFB officials say


Syracuse leaders say no to holding multiple elective posts at the same time (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Media Reach Peak Meltdown Over Comey Memo, Russian Disclosure (PoliZette)

Trump Considering Joe Lieberman for FBI Director (NBC News)

Ryan: 'Some people ... want to harm the president' (Politico)

Democratic leaders seek to stifle impeachment talk (Politico)

Early morning raids end in arrests of nearly two dozen MS-13 gang suspects (Los Angeles Times)

Manning leaves US prison seven years after giving secrets to WikiLeaks (Reuters)

Sheriff David Clarke Says He'll Take a Top Homeland Security Job (New York Times)

Immigration arrests soar under Trump (Washington Post)

Bipartisan group of senators push back on Sessions's order to pursue most severe penalties (Washington Post)

US and EU Confer on Possible Laptop Ban on Trans-Atlantic Flights (New York Times)

Today's oil prices are helping US drillers beat OPEC. Goldman's Jeffrey Currie explains how (CNBC)

Wise Words

"A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation." Thomas Paine

Lighter Side

Voter Fraud
"Donald Trump signed an executive order to establish a commission to investigate voter fraud. Trump says that he and his commission want to make sure every American gets a vote, and that every Russian gets two." James Corden