‘The Rundown’: Can Utah’s politics return to civility?

Your Tuesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Can civics be civil again?

The booing of Sen. Mitt Romney at Saturday’s Utah GOP convention grabbed national headlines. Still, some Utah Republicans are pushing back against the perception the state party is held in thrall to former President Donald Trump.

“I was totally floored by the behavior of some delegates,” said Utah Rep. Candace Pierucci, R- Riverton, during an appearance on CNN Monday.

“From where I was sitting, it was older male individuals who were booing,” she said. “I would say the more civil approach would have been to show their frustration at the ballot box.”

Romney was booed for more than a minute on Saturday before former party chair Derek Brown scolded delegates who were attempting to shout him down.

Pierucci, the youngest member of the Utah Legislature, bemoaned the impression that the rest of the country will get from the behavior of a handful of Utah Republicans.

“I was incredibly proud of Senator Romney and how he handled that,” she said. “Our party is big enough in Utah to have both Senator Mike Lee and Senator Mitt Romney representing us. We’ve always had this broad scope of conservatism in our state. And I think it needs to be clear to those people there’s room for both.”

Pierucci says she voted against an attempt to censure Romney for twice voting against Trump in his two impeachment trials. But she says she does not condemn those who favored the move.

“My problem with this is booing and screaming are not tools for change. For whatever reason, we as humans and people and Americans can’t engage in civic dialogue anymore. And we have got to get better at it because that’s the only way you find common ground and solutions,” she said.

Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning

  • Two days after Utah Republicans heckled Sen. Mitt Romney, former President Donald Trump weighed in, calling Romney a “stone-cold loser” [Tribune].

  • Gov. Spencer Cox told GOP delegates on Saturday that there will be “no more masks” when the new school year begins in the fall [Tribune].

  • The White House raised the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the country after blowback from a previous decision to keep the number at the historically low level established under the Trump administration [CNN].

  • A refugee from Tanzania is hopeful his family will finally join him in Utah after the announcement of the higher refugee limit on Monday [Tribune].

  • Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney doubled down on her criticism of former President Trump, saying the party cannot “whitewash” the January 6 attempted insurrection and Trump’s role in inciting the riot [CNN].

  • House Republicans are moving closer to ousting Cheney from her leadership position and planning to replace her with another woman from the conference [Axios].

  • The FDA is poised to authorize Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds sometime next week [CNN].

  • Maryland plans to pay $100 to state employees who are fully vaccinated against COVID [WaPo].

  • The next generation of COVID vaccines could be pills or a nasal spray [WSJ].

  • The Facebook Oversight Board will decide Wednesday whether former President Trump will remain suspended from the social media platform [CNN].

  • The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a former West Point cadet who claims she was raped while attending the academy. Justice Clarence Thomas disagreed with the decision, saying the woman should be allowed to sue [NBC News].

  • Bill and Melinda Gates announced they would divorce after 27 years of marriage [NYT].

Tuesday’s Utah news roundup


  • Governor’s water conservation order curbs sprinkler use at state facilities [Tribune].

  • Man dies while competing in St. George triathlon [Tribune].

  • Californians really are moving to Utah more these days [Fox 13].

  • Cedar Breaks Nat’l Monument roads reopen Monday [Fox 13].

  • Cache Republicans boo the booing of Romney at convention [Herald Journal].

  • Booms in Utah, Idaho buck the curve of slowing US growth [Spectrum].


  • Only 228 new cases of COVID-19 in Utah, and no new deaths [Tribune].

  • Utahns take advantage of new walk-in vaccine clinics [Fox 13].


  • Grades start to improve in Salt Lake City School District. But don’t expect pre-pandemic scores [Tribune].


  • Utah sets up checkpoints in effort to contain invasive quagga mussels [Tribune].

  • Utah’s largest fire of 2020 torched the Unitas’ south slope, but it may have done some good [Tribune].

  • Sens. Romney, Merkley introduce bill that will help protect ecosystems at the Great Salt Lake [ABC4].

Local government

  • Vineyard does final preparations for groundbreaking of new FrontRunner station [Daily Herald].

On the opinion pages

You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to State Senator Todd Weiler and former Utah GOP Chairman Dave Hansen.

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