Utah Politics

Signature Books

From the tempestuous fight for statehood to the evolution of Utah voters from Democrats to Republicans, Rod Decker analyzes the intersection of politics and faith in the complex political culture of modern Utah. Beginning with the state’s roots as a communal theocracy, Utah Politics deftly examines how Mormon morality influenced and continues to shape conflicts on both the local and federal levels.

Salt Lake Tribune

A majority of Utah lawmakers in the House have approved a plan they hope will reduce air pollution in Utah by encouraging more people to use trains and buses.

Utah Representative Mia Love
en.wikiquote.org

  In conservative Utah, the first black female Republican in Congress is trying to fend off a strong challenge from a well-known Democratic mayor in a largely suburban district where many are wary of President Donald Trump.

U.S. Rep. Mia Love has separated herself from the president on immigration and trade while challenger Ben McAdams criticizes her record and pitches himself as a moderate in the tight race.

Fox 13

Scott Howell and Thomas Wright, co-chairs of the Utah Debate Commission will join me to talk about the debates, which are airing on Utah Public Radio, and the political climate in Utah and the nation as we head into the midterm elections, now less than three weeks away. Scott Howell is a former state senator and senate minority leader, and candidate for the U.S. Senate. Howell is CEO Howell Consulting Group and a retired IBM Executive. Thomas Wright is former chairman of the Utah Republican Party and current President & Principal Broker, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty.

LDS Church News

The November election ballots hit mailboxes this week, with 27 of Utah's 29 counties voting primarily by mail. Plus, comments by Latter-day Saint leader Dallin H. Oaks about the LGBTQ community stir up controversy. And President Donald Trump's approval rating in Utah keeps falling.   

Mia Love
wikipedia.org

Republican Utah Congresswoman Mia Love is hosting a campaign rally with the state's beloved adopted son, Mitt Romney, as she gears up for the final months of a tight election race.

The rally at Friday night at Thanksgiving Point will also include more than 40 local elected officials.

U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney defended himself at a debate Tuesday from attacks on his status as a recent Utah transplant who has previously criticized President Donald Trump.

Mitt Romney under criticism for comments about pastor.
upr.org

Utah Senate candidate Mike Kennedy is defending a prominent Baptist minister who has come under fire from Mitt Romney and others for his past criticism of Mormonism, Islam and Judaism. 

Kennedy said that it was "embarrassing" for Romney to call Pastor Robert Jeffress a "religious bigot."

Mitt Romney
NPR.org

A group of conservative Republicans has hired a firm to persuade Utah voters to remove their names from a ballot initiative petition that would cement Utah's candidate nominating system.

Fundraising disclosure forms show Keep My Voice spent $174,000 on the effort. Backer Dave Bateman says that he's heard voters were misled, believing it was for other causes like to get Mitt Romney on the ballot.

Business Insider

Utah Congressman John Curtis is accused of ignoring sexual harassment allegations against his chief of police while he was Mayor of Provo. State Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, gets flack for not disclosing how he could benefit from the Lake Powell Pipeline project he advocated for in the legislature. And a number of Utahns are deciding whether or not to break ties with Facebook, as a global movement to delete accounts gains steam. 

KUTV

Thousands of Utah high school students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday in protest of gun violence. We get the reaction to that, as well as the reaction to the many Utah legislators who announced they will not be running for reelection. All of this and more on this edition of Behind The Headlines. 

At 9 a.m. Friday, Salt Lake Tribune reporters Lee Davidson and Benjamin Wood, and columnist Robert Gehrke join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to reflect on the session and talk about the week’s top stories.

corrections.utah.gov

Utah lawmakers are working to find out more about deaths in Utah's jails after a series of inmate deaths last year.

Republican Sen. Todd Weiler's proposal requires jails and prisons to submit annual reports on jail deaths, how they treat inmates who are addicted to opioids and what prescribed drugs are not given to inmates while they're incarcerated.

Mitt Romney makes his candidacy for Utah Senate seat official.
strbase.nist.gov

Republican Mitt Romney is trying for a political comeback as he launches a Senate campaign in Utah.The former presidential nominee confirmed his widely anticipated plans Friday in an online video. The announcement features his leadership of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and says the conservative state and its residents can show Washington how to govern respectfully.

Deseret News

The latest attempt to strengthen Utah's hate crime laws at the State Legislature dies without even getting a hearing. Although science points to the burning of fossil fuels as a driver of climate change, Utah lawmakers refuse to acknowledge the concept. And Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who advocated for a reduction to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, failed to disclose that he owned land within the monument. 

tribtalk.org

Utah lawmakers are once again considering getting rid of the death penalty, two years after legislators came close to making the move.

A bill sponsored by Republican state Rep. Gage Froerer of Huntsville would prohibit Utah prosecutors from seeking the death penalty starting May 8. The nine men currently on death row would still be executed.

utahstatecapitol.utah.gov

A committee of lawmakers in Utah's House of Representatives has signed off on the creation of a new legislative oversight committee that would have broad power to investigate state and local governments, ranging from the governor's office down to an individual school.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Keven Stratton of Orem was rejected earlier this month as some Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the measure citing worries that the committee would go too far in expanding the Legislature's power.

Salt Lake Tribune

St. George Republican Rep. Jon Stanard abruptly resigns from office, citing a desire to spend time with his ailing father. But soon after the announcement, allegations that he paid a prostitute for sex surface. Rob Porter, a Trump administration official with ties to Utah's senators, quits after his ex-wives accuse him of physical abuse. And the Utah House advances a $1.72 million tax break proposal for EnergySolutions, a radioactive waste company. 

A pair of lawsuits by two former state prosecutors alleging they were retaliated against and forced out of their jobs at the Utah Attorney General's Office for reporting wrongdoing and harassment raises new questions about an office that is only four years removed from a major scandal.

Former Assistant Attorney General Paul G. Amann alleges in his lawsuit that he was wrongly fired in late 2016 for reporting office employees who misused funds and retaliated against whistleblowers.

One of two halfway houses in Utah providing services to exclusively women
Utah Department of Corrections

House Bill 126 seeks to change where paroled inmates are housed. If passed, the number of offenders being sent to halfway houses in Utah would be capped depending on the population of the community. 

Network Of Victim Assistant

Utah's religious leaders advocate for a bill that would enhance penalties for hate crimes. Utah House Republicans retaliate against Gov. Gary Herbert after disagreeing on the process of the 2017 Third Congressional District special election. And Rep. Chris Stewart pays a visit to the legislature to tell lawmakers that the real scandal in Washington isn’t Russian election meddling, but that intelligence agencies are choosing sides in politics.

The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes announces that he won’t seek re-election, stoking speculation that he will run for Utah governor in 2020.

The Dailywire

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro's appearance at the University of Utah stirs controversy and draws protesters. Provo Mayor John Curtis, the Republican candidate for Utah's Third Congressional District, receives criticism for Facebook ads demonstrating a far-right position on immigration. And Sen. Orrin Hatch offers a plan to give young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.

At 9 a.m. Friday, Salt Lake Tribune reporters Courtney Tanner and Benjamin Wood as well as columnist Robert Gehrke join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories.

Dennis Stock

A group aiming to reduce gerrymandering held a series of public hearings throughout Utah last week.

doi.gov

Correction: A previous version of this story claimed that the public comment period ended with the submission of Sec. Zinke's report last Thursday. The formal comment period actually ended July 10. The story has been changed to reflect this.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to shrink two Utah National Monuments is expected to face major legal fights if adopted by President Trump.

Fox 13

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends boundary adjustments to some national monuments, but he doesn't suggest eliminating them altogether. Operation Rio Grande's efforts to curb crime near the downtown homeless shelter could take two years. And Rep. Chris Stewart has his eyes on Sen. Orrin Hatch's seat in 2018 -- if Hatch chooses not to run for re-election.

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