Former VP candidate Mindy Finn may leave the GOP. Lee helping to write alternative GOP health care bill. New Utah group targets redistricting.
Happy Wednesday. As a vice presidential candidate, Mindy Finn and her top-of-the-ticket-partner Evan McMullin grabbed 21 percent of Utah’s vote for president in November. Now Finn may be leaving the GOP. "Donald Trump’s Republican Party is not a party I recognize," Finn said, deriding the president as "dangerous" for the country. "It is not a party that I feel very comfortable affiliating with." [Politico]
-> Utah offers 91 sales tax exemptions that keeps the state from $650 million in revenue each year. [Trib]
-> A new political issues committee, Utahns for Responsive Government, is pushing for a ballot initiative that would create an independent commission to redraw political district boundaries. [Trib]
-> If Obamacare is repealed without a replacement, as many as 200,000 Utahns could lose health insurance according to the Utah Health Policy Project and Voices for Utah’s Children. [DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @jackshafer: "The 4th isn’t complete unless some lazy op-ed page publishes a ‘Declaration of Interdependence.’"
-> From @BronzeHammer: "North Korea launched a missile huh? Whoopee doo. Hey Kim, call me when you launch a beloved comedy podcast. Unless you’re scared"
-> From @GeorgeTakei: "Many are concerned there’s no agenda for Donald’s meeting with Putin. Not sure how much time will be left after the arm wrestling match tho."
Happy Birthday: To former state Rep. Johnny Anderson.
In other news: The Utah Supreme Court ruled that a naked self-portrait a father sent to his 5-year-old daughter is not sexually suggestive. [Trib]
-> Josh Holt, a Utah man who has been held in a Venezuelan prison for over a year, was reportedly injured. [ABC4]
-> A former child bride is seeking millions of dollars from Warren Jeffs and the FLDS church. [FOX13]
-> Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke plans to overhaul the BLM’s planning and environmental review procedures. [DNews]
-> Michael Fowlks was appointed interim director of the Division of Wildlife Resources after former Director Greg Sheehan was named head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [DNews]
-> Myton, a tiny Utah city, decided to drop an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and instead negotiate with the Ute Indian Tribe in a border dispute. [Trib]
-> A grass-roots preservation group is working to keep Murray from tearing down four buildings that are more than a century old. [Trib]
-> For someone who starts a wildfire, the maximum penalty is a class A misdemeanor. [Trib]
-> This year was Millcreek’s first Independence Day as a city. [Trib]
-> For 21 Utahns, their first full day as citizens coincided with Independence Day. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley depicts what would have happened if dogs had signed the Declaration of Independence. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly contends that while celebrating Independence Day, citizens shouldn’t forget that the American Dream is still alive for immigrants and refugees like Amandine Akimana. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke argues that state Rep. Mike Noel’s discourse on the Brian Head Fire leads residents away from the truth. [Trib]
Where are they?
- Gov. Gary Herbert takes a natural resources tour with the Six County Association of Governments.
- State Auditor John Dougall spends time in his office and meets with auditors from the legislative auditor general’s office.
-- Thomas Burr and Emily Anderson