Politics

Political news

The View From the Gallery - Week 1

Jan 30, 2015

The 2015 Legislative session has finally arrived, and it’s already looking like there will be plenty to battle over in the next 45 days.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

In the wake of the death of former Utah House speaker Rebecca Lockhart, new speaker Greg Hughes was sworn in today and laid out his agenda for the legislative session.

Brian Grimmett

Utah State Lawmakers will be working through a long list of pressing issues in the next 45 days of the 2015 legislative session including Medicaid expansion, the relocation of the state prison and a state-wide anti-discrimination bill.

Lockhart Funeral Spotlights Her Role as Mother, Wife

Jan 23, 2015
Brian Grimmett

The family of former Speaker of the Utah House Rebecca Lockhart said their final goodbyes Friday at a funeral held in Provo.

Pool: Deseret News

Hundreds of people gathered in the State Capitol Thursday to remember the life of Former Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart.

Brian Grimmett

Former Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives Rebecca Lockhart died Saturday morning from a rare neurodegenerative brain disease.

Brian Grimmett

State Representative Brian King will be running a bill to put limits on campaign donations during the upcoming legislative session.

Utah's Tax Burden Lowest in 20 Years

Jan 14, 2015
Chris Collard
Brian Grimmett

A new report from the Utah Foundation shows that the tax burden on Utahns is the lowest it’s been in 20 years.

Brian Grimmett

Members of the Utah Legislature discussed how they might handle several key issues they’ll be facing this legislative session at the annual pre legislative conference put on by the Utah Taxpayers Association.

Terry Gildea/KUER

  

The Utah Republican Party released a poll over the weekend that shows a majority of voters favor a legal challenge to SB54. That’s the bill approved by the legislature and signed into law last year that will modify the state’s system for nominating political candidates. 

Esther Landa Dies, Leaves Feminist Legacy in Utah

Dec 30, 2014
NCJW Utah Section

Prominent Utah women’s rights advocate Esther Landa has died at the age of 102, but her legacy lives on in those she inspired.

Utah AG Sean Reyes Recuses Himself From Defending SB54

Dec 22, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has recused himself from being involved with the state’s defense of SB54.

SB54 makes changes to Utah election law and allows candidates to bypass the caucus/convention system and appear on a primary ballot by gathering signatures from registered voters. The Utah Republican Party is suing the state over those changes because they say that it’s unconstitutional for a state to dictate to a party how they choose candidates.

Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert has appointed Judge Constandinos Himonas to the Utah Supreme Court.If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Himonas will take the place of Utah Supreme Court Justice Ronald Nehring who is retiring on February 1st.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Republican Party is now saying that they don’t have enough time to make the changes called for in the County My Vote compromise legislation, known as SB54.

Utah GOP Chairman James Evans says SB54 does not give his party long enough to change its bylaws and constitution to fit the new definition of a qualified political party.

Utah Democrats stand behind a 2014 law that amends the state’s caucus and convention system. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Senate Bill 54 was a last minute compromise between Democrats, Republicans and representatives of the County My Vote initiative. It preserves Utah’s caucus and convention system and provides an alternative path for candidates to get their names on the primary election ballot.

Utah GOP to File Lawsuit Challenging SB54

Nov 26, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Leaders of the Utah State Republican Party are filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of  SB 54. The legislation passed this year changes the state’s caucus/convention system for nominating political candidates.

In a statement sent to KUER, Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans says the lawsuit should be seen as a friendly attempt to clarify the Constitutional boundaries between the state and political parties. He argues that the state should not be able to tell individual political parties how to elect their candidates.

A leader of the Count My Vote initiative says he’s concerned the legislature is positioning itself to destroy the intent of a compromise bill, known as SB 54, passed during the last legislative session.

Democrats Lose Three Close Legislative Races

Nov 19, 2014
Dan Bammes

  Democrats in Utah’s state House of Representatives are choosing new leaders at a meeting Wednesday evening.  The minority party lost three close races Tuesday when the final vote tallies were announced.

One of the Republicans who won a hard-fought race is former State Representative Fred Cox, who defeated Democrat Mike Lee in District 30 in West Valley City.  The margin was just 47 votes.  Cox said his opponent was gracious when the results were announced.

Whittney Evans

Davis County voters were more informed and engaged during this mid-term election than in past years according to one Davis County Election Official.

Hughes Chosen as Utah House Speaker

Nov 7, 2014
Utah House of Representatives

  State Representative Greg Hughes will be the new Speaker of the House when the legislature begins its work in January.

Hughes represents District 51 in Draper.  The 60 Republicans in the House met Thursday evening and picked Hughes over two other candidates, Representatives Brad Dee of Ogden and Mel Brown from Coalville.

File: laschoolreport.com

Voters in five counties in Utah are able to register at their polling locations today under a pilot program.

Salt Lake County is one of the five that applied for the Election-Day Voter Registration Pilot Project through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Sherrie Swensen is the County Clerk.

LDS Democrats

LDS Democrats, the largest caucus in the Utah Democratic Party has a launched a new billboard campaign aimed at Mormon swing-voters.

The billboards focus on education, poverty and LDS scripture. One billboard criticizes Utah’s position in the nation for per pupil spending in public education. It reads quote, “Our children deserve better than last place.” End quote.

One billboard states simply Mosiah 4, referring to the LDS scripture that State Representative and Mormon Democrat Brian King says highlights the churches’ focus on service, giving and reserving judgment. 

President Barack Obama committed U.S. support to fighting and pursuing members of the terrorist group ISIS during a nationally broadcast speech Wednesday night. Now candidates in Utah’s 2nd Congressional district are responding to the speech.

Republican Representative Chris Stewart says while he wishes the president would have acted sooner, he’s relieved Obama has finally gotten serious about confronting the growth of ISIS.

Sen. Harry Reid's Name Removed from SUU Center

Sep 1, 2014
Asher Swan, SUUNews.com

  The name of U.S. Senator Harry Reid disappeared from a doorway at Southern Utah University last week, thanks in part to objections from community leaders in Cedar City.

Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada attended Southern Utah University as a young man, and he was pleased when SUU decided to name a campus program in his honor.  But no funds have been raised for the Harry Reid Center, so the program was merged with the existing Center for Outdoor Engagement.

  The Republican primary election for a seat on the Millard County Commission could be decided by the Utah Supreme Court.  State election officials are asking for a quick ruling in the case.

Election night returns on June 24th showed Jim Dyer defeating incumbent County Commissioner Jim Withers by one vote.  But the official canvass a few weeks later gave Withers the victory by five votes.  Dyer then sued Withers in 4th District Court to challenge the results of the election.  But Mark Thomas, who oversees elections in the lieutenant governor’s office, says that was a mistake.

Bob Weston

  The state of Utah may intervene in a lawsuit challenging the results of a primary election in Millard County.  A court decision last Friday raises a number of issues that aren’t addressed by Utah’s current law.

The initial count of votes in the June 24th Republican primary for a seat on the Millard County Commission showed the incumbent candidate, James Withers, losing to Jim Dyer by one vote.  A second count showed Withers winning by five votes.

Courtesy: / Donna McAleer

The democratic challenger vying for Utah’s 1st district congressional seat hopes two big endorsements will help her unseat the incumbent in November. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports.

Brian Grimmett

Alliance for a Better UTAH has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, asking the FEC to investigate allegations that Utah Senator Mike Lee violated election laws.

Brian Grimmett

Democratic Utah Attorney General candidate Charles Stormont officially launched his campaign today with a call for real reform in the office.

Charles Stormont says as a recent employee in the Attorney General’s office he can say with confidence that Sean Reyes hasn’t done enough to fix the problems in the office left over from former AG John Swallow.

AG Sean Reyes Reorganizes Office

May 27, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has reorganized several positions in his office over the past month, including demoting several Division Chiefs. 

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