Politics

Politics
4:06 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Counties, Governor Demand Parks Re-Open

Cedar Breaks National Monument in Iron County, Utah
Dan Bammes

  Several counties in southern Utah have declared a state of emergency over the closure of the state’s national parks and monuments.  And Utah’s governor is among those demanding action now to get them open again.

Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller says the federal government shutdown is causing economic hardship in southern Utah.  If nothing happens in Washington DC to re-open the parks, he says local sheriffs may take action on their own.  Miller doesn’t think federal park rangers will stand in the way.

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Politics
3:25 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Governor Announces Lt. Governor Nominee

Rep. Spencer Cox, R-Fairview, accepts the nomination to be Lt. Governor
Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert introduced Representative Spencer Cox as his nominee to replace Lt. Governor Greg Bell today at the State Capitol. Cox is a lawyer and currently a member of the Utah House of Representatives. He has also served as the mayor of Fairview and is the CEO of a rural telecommunications company. Cox says he is humbled by the opportunity to serve and hopes to live up as best as he can to the legacy of Greg Bell.

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Politics
3:56 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Utah's Governor Blames Federal Shutdown on Lack of Leadership

Governor Gary Herbert (R-UT)
KUED

Dealing with the federal government shutdown dominated  Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s monthly news conference on Thursday.  

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Politics
2:56 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Parks Shutdown Could Hurt Local Governments

Thor's Hammer in Bryce Canyon National Park
Dan Bammes

  The government shutdown is already having a big impact on businesses that serve visitors in rural Utah – and on local governments.

Garfield County depends on tourism for 70-percent of its annual revenue – mostly from visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park.  With the park closed, Commissioner Leland Pollock is hoping visitors won’t cancel their trips – and he says the shutdown underscores the conflict with federal authorities over roads across public land.

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Politics
1:29 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Campaign Underway to Change Utah's System for Nominating Candidates

Supporters of the Count My Vote initiative rally on the steps of Utah's state capitol
Dan Bammes

  A group that wants to change Utah’s caucus-convention system for nominating candidates began its campaign this morning.  Count My Vote wants to allow candidates to qualify for primary election ballots using petitions signed by voters.

The group’s leaders include former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and Norma Matheson, the wife of Utah’s last Democratic governor and the mother of Congressman Jim Matheson.  She says the current system leaves too many voters out of the nomination process.

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Politics
12:20 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Lt. Gov. Greg Bell Stepping Down

Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell
Utah Governor's Office

  Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell announced his resignation Monday.  Bell says financial pressures are making it tough to stay in the job he’s held since 2009. 

Bell told reporters he’s about to turn 65 and he needs to save money for retirement.  He was in the real estate business before he was appointed Lieutenant Governor, and he says the recession was pretty tough.

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Politics
4:39 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

DOJ Closes Case Against AG John Swallow, Won't File Charges

File: Utah Attorney General John Swallow
Brian Grimmett

The investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into Utah Attorney General John Swallow has apparently come to a close without any charges being filed.

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Politics
3:45 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

House Committee Investigating John Swallow Asks For Your Help

Special Counsel Steve Reich of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld addresses the House Special Investigative Committee of John Swallow
Brian Grimmett

The special counsel and investigator for the House Special Investigative Committee of Utah Attorney General John Swallow formally introduced themselves to legislators today and outlined their plan for the investigation.

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Politics
3:19 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Democrat Luz Robles Sets High Fundraising Goal for 2nd Congressional District Race

Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake, announces her candidacy for Utah's 2nd Congressional District
Brian Grimmett

Democratic state Senator Luz Robles officially kicked off her campaign for Utah’s 2nd congressional district today at an event at the state capitol.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Democratic State Senator Luz Robles to Challenge Rep. Chris Stewart in 2014

Utah Senate Democrats

Democratic State Senator Luz Robles says she’s planning to run against Republican incumbent Chris Stewart for Utah’s 2nd Congressional district seat in 2014.

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Politics
3:39 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

House Special Investigative Committee Dives Into Investigation of Utah AG John Swallow

Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, conducts the first meeting of the House Special Investigative Committee
Brian Grimmett

A week before their second meeting, the House Special Investigative Committee is already collecting documents and creating a list of potential witnesses as it looks into allegations against Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

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Politics
9:10 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Many Left Unheard at Congressman Stewart's Salt Lake City Town Hall

Rep. Chris Stewart (R) of Utah's 2nd district speaks to constituents at Avenues Sweet Library in Salt Lake City.
Andrea Smardon

There was a packed house for Utah Congressman Chris Stewart’s Town Hall in Salt Lake City last night. In fact, there were many who didn’t get into the small library conference room in the Avenues neighborhood. Constituents had questions about the Congressman’s stance on environmental protection, immigration reform, and military action in Syria, but a number of people left feeling they did not have their voices heard.

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Politics
6:50 am
Thu August 29, 2013

No Write-In Campaign Planned by Murray Councilman Jim Brass

Murray City Councilman Jim Brass as he declares his candidacy for Mayor.
Credit Brian Grimmett

In the wake of Murray mayoral candidate David Wilde withdrawing from the race for health reasons, voters in Murray will have only one box to check on in November.  The primary’s third place finisher says he won’t mount a ballot write-in campaign.

City Attorney Frank Nakamura says state law prohibits the third place finisher in a non-partisan race from moving up. City Councilman Jim Brass placed a very close third to Wilde. Brass says his campaign was shocked at first by the announcement of a third place finish but he’s fine with it now.

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Politics
6:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

State Audit Says Agencies Have Too Few Auditors

Utah State Capitol
Dan Bammes

  The state auditor’s office released a report this week showing that many agencies don’t have internal auditors even when the law requires them.

State law requires 11 state departments to have internal auditors, and a new report from the state auditor’s office says four of them do not – Agriculture, Commerce, Environmental Quality and Public Safety.

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Politics
11:37 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke Launches Inquiry into Death of Carriage Horse

Collapse of Carriage for Hire horse in downtown Salt Lake City sparked an inquiry into possibly changing ordinances related to horse-drawn carriages.
Credit File: Carriage for Hire website

Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke is moving forward with what he says is a broad scoped inquiry into the death of Jerry the draft horse. The Carriage for Hire horse collapsed on a downtown street nearly a week and a half ago and several days later died. The owners didn't announce the death until Monday. Luke says he met with the owners and horses of the Carriage for Hire Tuesday. He says he’s looking at many factors related to the horse collapse including the specific incident itself and even best practices around the country.

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Politics
10:46 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Tibetan Prime Minister Visits Salt Lake City

Tibetan Prime Minister Dr. Lobsang Sangay
Terry Gildea

Dr. Lobsang Sangay is the Prime Minister of Tibet, but he oversees his country from India as an exile while China continues its Tibetan occupation.  He landed in Salt Lake City on Tuesday and spoke at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.  In the evening the Utah Tibetan Association and Zions Bank hosted a reception for him in downtown Salt Lake.  KUER’s Terry Gildea caught up with Dr. Sangay at the Grand America Hotel to ask him about his role as an exiled leader and about his relationship with Utah’s Tibetan Community.  

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Politics
4:40 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Utah GOP Chairman Deflects Attention Away from County Leader's Inflammatory Comments

Utah GOP Chairman James Evans
Brian Grimmett

Utah Republican Party chairman James Evans addressed the media today about inflammatory comments made by Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Chad Bennion. Evans’ comments come more than a week after Bennion first said that District Attorney Sim Gill might be a cop hater and then helped promote a rally aimed against him.

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Politics
11:52 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Dean Says Utahns Have Much in Common with Democratic Values

Courtesy of the Utah Democratic Party

This week, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean attended two rallies in Utah in an effort to get more voters to register as Democrats.  The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee says he’s not discouraged by the numbers: only 25% of voters in Utah cast ballots as Democrats.  KUER’s Terry Gildea sat down with Dean to talk about the challenges of cultivating Democrats in a red state and about his own political future.  

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Politics
5:09 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Howard Dean Will Visit Utah Supporting Democrats

Former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean

Former Vermont Governor and presidential hopeful Howard Dean will be in Utah today hoping to motivate Democrats more than a year ahead of midterm elections. KUER’s Terry Gildea reports.

Dean served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. His visit to Utah on Monday isn’t under the official banner of the party, but he does hope to get grassroots volunteers excited about recruiting more Democratic voters in a state many believe to be held strongly by Republicans.

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Politics
5:57 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Protestors Clash at Anti-Sim Gill Rally Advertised by Salt Lake County GOP

A group of about 50 people rally against Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill
Brian Grimmett

About 50 people showed up outside the Salt Lake City and County building this afternoon in protest of District attorney Sim Gill, but the demonstrators weren’t without opposition.

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Politics
5:56 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Long List of West Valley City Mayoral Candidates Set for Primary Election Tuesday

Credit Bob Nelson

Seven candidates for Mayor of West Valley City are now running campaigns. That long list may be a good sign the city is set to put an equa lly long list of struggles behind it. From where I’m standing near the new Fairbourne TRAX station in West Valley City, on the water stairs in the park next to the TRAX station, facing east I see the newly restored Valley Fair Mall bustling with shoppers, right in front of me the City Offices and the beautiful new Embassy Suites Hotel is to my left just beyond the TRAX line.

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Politics
4:12 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Ready for a New Salt Lake County District Attorney

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill
Salt Lake County

Last week Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill determined that two West Valley City detectives were not justified in their shooting of an unarmed woman. In response, the County’s GOP Chairman Chad Bennion offered some harsh criticism of Gill that isn’t sitting well with some.

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Politics
5:00 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Mt. Pleasant Election Sees a Crowd of Candidates

Candidates speak at a town forum in Mt. Pleasant, Utah July 31, 2013
Dan Bammes

  Cities and towns across Utah, from Big Water to Smithfield, are holding primary elections August 13th, narrowing the field of candidates for mayor and city council positions.  There’s one town in Sanpete County where the mayoral primary has drawn intense interest this year.  

About a hundred people gathered in the Wasatch Academy gymnasium in Mount Pleasant for a ‘Meet the Candidates’ night on July 31st.  It was another indication of the intense interest in this year’s municipal election – something this town of 28-hundred hasn’t always shown in the past.

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Politics
5:36 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Governor Herbert Appoints New State Planning Coordinator

New State Planning Coordinator Alan Matheson
Credit File: Office of Governor Gary Herbert

Governor Gary Herbert’s Senior Environmental Advisor, Alan Matheson, is adding the duties of the State Planning Coordinator to his job in the governor’s office.  The governor’s communications deputy Ally Isom says demand for Matheson’s experience in balanced resource management will be important in his added role.

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Politics
4:54 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

House chooses Special Counsel for Investigation of John Swallow

File: Utah Attorney General John Swallow
Brian Grimmett

The House Special Investigative Committee is naming Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as the outside counsel they’ll use in their investigation of Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

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Politics
3:31 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Special Investigative Committee of John Swallow Could Go Into Next Year

Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, conducts the first meeting of the House Special Investigative Committee
Brian Grimmett

The House Special Investigative committee of Utah Attorney General John Swallow held their first meeting today and received a general overview their new responsibilities.

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Politics
4:38 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Utahns Against Hunger Prepares for Cuts to SNAP

Credit File: Utahns Against Hunger

Cuts in the food assistance program known as SNAP are looming as fall approaches. Utahns Against Hunger is trying to soften the blow to the 253,000 residents who will be affected. Gina Cornia is the executive director of the Salt Lake City-based non-profit organization. She says this is the first time ever that there has been an across-the-board cut in SNAP.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

House Speaker Removes Rep. Snow From Swallow Investigation

File: Utah Attorney General John Swallow
Brian Grimmett

Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart has removed Representative Lowry Snow from the special investigative committee of Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

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Politics
3:34 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Changes to Caucus/Convention System Taking Shape

While Democrats piece together their own party-specific plans, a Republican group is preparing to file a statewide ballot initiative.  

Utah Democratic Party delegates voted last month to keep the caucus and convention system with the understanding that a committee of Democrats would spend the next year studying possible changes to the status quo.

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Politics
4:55 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Matheson Introduces Wilderness Protection Bill Again

Utah Democrat Jim Matheson introduced legislation in Congress today to protect wilderness and watershed areas along the Wasatch Front.                

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