Political Cornflakes: Amazon to begin taking voice-controlled donations to 2020 presidential campaigns

(AP Photo | Mike Stewart) In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, photo a child holds his Amazon Echo Dot in Kennesaw, Ga.

Next month, making a political donation to a 2020 presidential candidate will be as easy as dictating it out loud for users of the voice-controlled home assistant Amazon Alexa. Even as it increases convenience, the latest evolution in campaign technology also raises new questions about how contributions will be screened to ensure they’re legal. [WaPost]

Happy Thursday!

Topping the news: A candidate for Utah’s 1st Congressional District who was charged with four felonies in 2010 and pleaded guilty to sexual battery in 2010 now says he’s the victim, “just like Brett Kavanaugh.” [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]

-> Members of the Stop the Polluting Port Coalition are calling on state lawmakers to support and fund a health impact assessment of the inland port development planned for Salt Lake City’s northwest side. [Trib] [DNews]

-> State lawmakers will explore tightening the rules for medical marijuana use among “vulnerable populations” following a presentation about the dangers of cannabis on Wednesday. [Trib]

-> Officials are taking a break on state utilization of facial recognition technology as officials conceded Wednesday that Utah’s system is out of date and prone to errors. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [ABC4] [KUTV]

Tweets of the day: From @BenWinslow: “In the committee hearing I’m in right now, they’re equating ballot language as ‘bite size’ or ‘full meal.’ I skipped breakfast and I’m HUNGRY.”

-> From @aedwardslevy: “the impulse to write constant updates about the state of a generally stabilized campaign is now called ‘beating a dead horserace’”

-> From @GeorgeTakei: “Let us be clear. By claiming yesterday, under oath, that he had ‘no obligation to be honest with the media,’ Corey Lewandowski was saying he had no obligation to tell the truth to the American people, to whom the media relays the news. A lie made to the media is a lie made to us.”

Happy Birthday: To Sheena McFarland and to Kristen Cox, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Also in the news: The chairmen of the Utah Democratic and Republican parties were on the same side Wednesday as they asked the state Legislature to change a law they say has made it more difficult for them to contact voters. [Trib]

-> Utah Rep. John Knotwell of Herriman, citing his busy work and travel schedule, announced that he will resign from the state Legislature at the end of September. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [KUTV]

-> The secretary for the Salt Lake Education Foundation has been charged with stealing more than $23,000 in donations and spending it on perfume, a hammock stand, prepaid credit cards and her own college tuition. [Trib]

-> Miguel Deras, the officer who mishandled murdered University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey’s concerns, resigned from the school’s police department and is now an officer at the Logan police department in northern Utah. [Trib]

-> Car equipment checkups could make a comeback in Utah after a legislative committee voted to begin drafting legislation on the subject for next year’s session. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Federal Communications Commission has chosen Salt Lake City and New York City as test sites for new 5G wireless technology. [Fox13] [ABC4] [KUTV]

-> Solitude Mountain Resort will charge visitors to park this winter in an effort to encourage carpooling and public transit options. [Trib]

-> Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke argues the Utah Supreme Court was likely right about its decision in favor of partisan school board races and examines what it means for the rest of us. [Trib]

-> Cartoonist Pat Bagley compares memorials and drug lords. [Trib]

Nationally: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling attacks on Saudi oil facilities an “act of war,” and Iran warns the U.S. that it would retaliate against any attacks. [WaPost]

-> Robert C. O’Brien, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the State Department’s chief hostage negotiator, has been named as President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser. [NYTimes] [WaPost]

-> Trump, while visiting California for fundraising events, announced that he would revoke the state’s authority to set its own vehicle emission standards, reversing its waiver under the Clean Air Act. [CNN] [NYTimes]

-> The president raised $15 million for his re-election campaign on a two-day trip through California, despite his current conflicts with state Democratic officials over auto-emission standards and the state’s homeless crisis. [CNN]

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven’t already, sign up here for our weekday email to get this sent directly to your inbox.

- Taylor Stevens and Clara Hatcher

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