U.S. public companies have announced more than $600 billion in stock buybacks, leading to big payouts for CEOs. Outgoing Sen. Orrin Hatch intends to have a role in what may be his final Supreme Court confirmation fight. Utah members of Congress are avoiding town hall meetings for the most part.
Happy Monday! The Trump tax cuts have worked wonders for the bottom lines of Fortune 500 companies — and their executives. So far this year, public companies have announced more than $600 billion in stock buybacks and that means eye-popping payouts for CEOs who receive most compensation in stock. Examples: Mastercard CEO AJay Banga cashed out $44.4 million; Oracle CEO Safra Catz, $250 million; Eastman Chemical CEO Mark Costa, $5.4 million. [Politico]
Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch, who President Ronald Reagan once considered naming to U.S. Supreme Court, has had a hand in the confirmation of every sitting justice and is actively trying to boost current nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the senator retires. [Trib]
-> Citing the rowdiness of town hall meetings in the past, Utah’s members of Congress are holding fewer traditional town halls. Only two are scheduled for the August recess, in Manti and Moab. [Trib]
-> After a survey showed that two-thirds of Salt Lake City’s roads are in poor or worse condition, the City Council is preparing to put an $87 million bond on the November ballot. A likely vote will be held Tuesday. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @CyrusMMQueen: “Remember, Rudy Giuliani made his name getting mobsters to rat out their bosses... Now that Michael Cohen’s ratting out his mob boss, Giuliani’s tryna argue such testimony can’t be trusted?”
-> From @JonahNRO: “Look, maybe he [Trump] has no factual reason to worry about what Mueller might find. But he’s spent a year talking like he’s stone cold guilty of something.”
-> From @katyperry: “'Who Is America' by @SachaBaronCohen is the BEST and most worrisome thing on television”
Happy Birthday: To Sen. Orrin Hatch’s spokeswoman Heather Barney and one-time lawmaker and former Republican congressional candidate Morgan Philpot.
-> The LoveLoud Festival at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, conceived by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ individuals, drew more than 30,000 people on Saturday. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews]
-> The festival received an official endorsement from Gov. Gary Herbert, with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox reading a formal proclamation acknowledging Utah’s high youth suicide rate and naming July 28, 2018, “LoveLoud Day in Utah.” [Trib]
-> Mormon feminists launched a letter-writing campaign urging LDS authorities to issue a “statement of support for nursing mothers” to remind local leaders that breastfeeding is not sexual in nature. [Trib] [ABC4]
-> Tribune reporter Taylor W. Anderson rode with the 999 Ride biking group on their weekly ride after 22-year-old Cameron Hooyer was hit and killed at a railroad crossing while biking with the group on July 19. His first-person account is worth the read. [Trib]
-> SLC bike riders can now register their bikes free online as part of a new program started by the Salt Lake Police Department to help riders recover lost or stolen bikes. [Trib]
-> Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, against whom charges of bribery and public corruption were dismissed two years ago, is seeking $60 million for emotional distress and $20 million in lost wages, claiming the investigation was politically motivated. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Pat Bagley says the trickle-down growth predictions from President Donald Trump’s tax cuts may not pan out. [Trib]
-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss a constitutional amendment that will be on November’s ballot that would give the state Legislature the authority to call itself into special session, and also discuss the possibility of former Rep. Jason Chaffetz running for governor. [DNews
-> The president met privately with A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, to discuss Trump’s anti-press rhetoric, with the Times exec warning that declaring journalists “enemies of the people” is toxic and dangerous. [NYTimes] [Politico]
-> Within hours after the meeting was revealed, Trump was back on Twitter attacking the NYT, Wapost and others, saying they had been “driven insane by their Trump Derangement Syndrome” and accused them of revealing internal deliberations of government that “truly puts the lives of many, not just journalists, at risk! Very unpatriotic!” [Wapost]
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— Dan Harrie and Connor Richards