State House and Senate leaders told the Utah Democratic Party yesterday, they will have to pay more than nine thousand dollars if they want to see the remaining redistricting documents they asked for in a GRAMA request. The party had requested a fee waiver based on the argument that release of the records was primarily in the public interest. But the Legislative Records committee rejected the Party’s request for a fee waiver in a 3 to 1 vote. House Democratic leader David Litvack voted against his own party, saying the request primarily benefits the political interests of Democrats.
The latest GOP national figure showed up in Utah Thursday night to support Saratoga Springs Mayor and congressional candidate Mia Love. Arizona Senator and former Presidential hopeful John McCain rallied with Love in West Valley City.
Close to three hundred people gathered in the amphitheater outside the Utah Cultural Celebration Center to see what McCain had to say about the GOP candidate in the state’s fourth congressional district. The Senator broke the ice with a few jokes about his failed presidential bid in 2008 and then offered his support to Love.
For the past year, the Utah Judicial Council has been looking into two rule changes that could increase the media’s video access to courts and permit the use of electronic devices within the courtroom.
Two bins of documents related to Utah’s controversial redistricting process remain hidden from the public. That’s mainly because Utah’s Democratic Party is refusing to pay thousands of dollars to let them go. The legislature’s Records Committee put off a decision Monday on whether to waive the fee for the records request. The committee decided it needs more information to determine whether the request primarily serves the public or the Democratic party.
Special interest groups from Utah and other states gathered Thursday to voice their concerns over the corporate-lobbyist group, ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council is currently hosting their 39th annual conference in Salt Lake City through Saturday.
Republicans leaders from various parts of Salt Lake County met in Murray today to announce their support for Ben McAdams, the Democratic candidate for Salt Lake County Mayor.
The announcement comes just two weeks after Republican candidate, Mark Crockett, officially defeated primary opponent Mike Winder to become the GOP candidate. Mayors of Sandy, West Jordan, Riverton and Taylorsville were just a few on hand to show their support. Mayor Russ Wall of Taylorsville says, unlike Crockett, McAdams represents the best chance to bring both parties in Salt Lake County together.
This week the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, will hold its four day conference at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. But the group isn't without those who oppose their agenda and plan to protest the meeting.
In honor of Pioneer day, Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Peter Cooke has introduced new policy initiatives that focus on community service and helping college graduates pay off student loans. Cooke presented his plan this morning at This is The Place Heritage Park, where Brigham Young first saw the Salt Lake Valley one hundred and sixty five years ago.
A state Representative from Price has withdrawn her membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council – known as ALEC - just before the group convenes in Salt Lake City next week. Democrat Christine Watkins says the goals of the conservative Council no longer align with the values of her district.
Utah’s Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, spoke with High School students from around the U.S. Thursday, to help raise awareness of child sex trafficking. The students are in Salt Lake City for one week to learn how to create awareness campaigns when they return to their hometown schools.
It’s official, Mark Crockett is the Republican Nominee for Salt Lake County Mayor. The Salt Lake County Clerk’s office announced Tuesday that Crockett defeated West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder in the June Primary election according to official results.
“Mark Crockett 38, 387 votes, Mike Winder, 37,368 votes for a difference of 1,119 votes.”
Republican leaders in Utah were uniformly critical of Thursday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, saying it threatens the nation's economic recovery and could sharpen the partisan divide.
In his monthly news conference on KUED, Utah Governor Gary Herbert said, "This has divided the country terribly and taken our eye off the ball on economic recovery. I do believe, if you want to repeal Obamacare, you need to repeal Obama."
Senator Orrin Hatch won the Utah Republican primary, and spent 10 million dollars in the process. Now, Democratic challenger Scott Howell aims to turn that money against the incumbent Senator. Howell says Hatch’s significant campaign war chest is not a problem for him. It’s a problem for the people of Utah.
“When you see that big money, that drives the behavior that we’ve seen in Washington DC, that gives loopholes to businesses and industries that have access that you and I don’t,” said Howell, “We’re going to end that in this campaign.”
The KUER News team spent last night covering the biggest races in the GOP Primary Elections. We sent reporters and interns to election night events across the Salt Lake Valley and they used our new twitter account, @KUERnews, to keep you updated throughout the night of the latest results and to help give you a broader view of each candidates thoughts.
John Swallow defeated Sean Reyes in the Republican primary for Utah Attorney General last night. Swallow is the current Chief Deputy Attorney General and will face Weber County Attorney Dee Smith in the general election.
The race took an ugly turn when ads attacking Reyes’ background aired in the weeks leading up to the primary. Reyes’ campaign in turn issued a rarely successful cease and desist order to remove the ads from television. Despite the negative campaigning and lost election, Reyes explained how he felt about the last two weeks.
The outcome of the GOP primary race between West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder and Holladay businessman Mark Crockett is still uncertain. Although Crockett ended the night with a slight lead, a vote recount is likely.
Senator Orrin Hatch won the GOP Primary Tuesday night, defeating former state senator Dan Liljenquist with more than 60 percent of the vote after a campaign stoked by anti-incumbent sentiment. Hatch told supporters at his election night gathering that he was relieved that the primary is behind him.
"You know I’ve learned that you can’t take anything for granted. No matter how good you are, no matter how much you’ve done. There’s always going to be somebody who's going to find fault with you and I think that’s kind of good in some ways," Hatch said.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on Arizona’s immigration law, but the implementation of Utah’s similar “show me your papers” legislation - HB 497 - is still awaiting a federal court decision. The law gives police officers authority to check suspects’ immigration status, but immigrant advocates say the US District Court in Utah needs to consider racial profiling arguments that were not heard by the Supreme Court.
The Tea Party revolution swept through Utah in 2010, when conservative favorite Mike Lee ousted three-term Republican Sen. Bob Bennett at the state party convention.
Perhaps the person watching the upset closest that day was Utah's longest-serving senator, Orrin Hatch. Now 78, Hatch is trying to keep his job in an anti-incumbent atmosphere that led to the defeat last month of his colleague Richard Lugar of Indiana.
KUER News has a new twitter account (@KUERnews) and yesterday's special session of the Utah Legislature proved to be a great way to break it in. We sent three reporters to the capitol and throughout the day they took advantage of twitter to keep you updated.
Utah may be getting 90 new liquor licenses. The State Legislature is expected to vote this afternoon on a bill that would allow 50 full-service and 40 limited-service restaurants to obtain licenses. The amendment to the Alcohol Beverage Control Act, sponsored by Senator John Valentine, was presented to the Business and Labor interim committee this morning. Representative Don Ipson urged the committee to approve it.
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Peter Cooke says he’ll limit individual contributions to his campaign, if Governor Gary Herbert will join him. Cooke and his running mate Vince Ramptom stood with Utahn’s for Ethical Government Tuesday at the State Capitol to propose a series of ethics reforms, including an overhaul of Utah’s campaign finance laws.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced on Monday that he’s calling a special legislative session to begin Wednesday. He plans to tackle a number of issues that include education funding and the shortage of liquor licenses available in the state.
Voter turnout in Utah has dropped dramatically in recent elections, and a new study by the Utah Foundation looks at some of the reasons why.
In the presidential election of 1992, 67% of Utah's registered voters took part, while only about 50% turned out in 2008. A study by the non-partisan Utah Foundation suggests fewer close races and barriers to voter participation such as the state's closed Republican primary could be among the reasons. Research director Morgan Lyon Cotti says the strident partisanship of recent years also plays a part.
Senator Orrin Hatch and Dan Liljenquist faced off Friday in the only debate scheduled before the primary election later this month.
Hatch and Liljenquist debated for an hour on KSL Newsradio’s Doug Wright Show. Hatch claims his 36 years in the Senate position him to continue being a powerful voice for Utah. But Liljenquist says Hatch has already had more than three decades to fix problems and has failed. During the debate he attacked Hatch’s voting record.
Draper city residents expecting to vote in favor of a $29 million tax bond for the construction of a recreation center in the June primary will be disappointed to see it won’t be on the ballot. Draper City Council is withdrawing the measure amid concerns from the Draper business community.
Republican Dan Liljenquist vented his frustration last night over the fact that Senator Orrin Hatch will not debate him multiple times before the June 26th Primary. Hatch has agreed to one radio debate before then, but the former state senator held a mock debate anyway without the incumbent present.
Liljenquist was unapologetic about holding the event where he debated pre-selected video clips of Senator Hatch on policy issues. He said the incumbent’s refusal to engage in more than one debate between now and the election won’t stop him from getting his message out.