‘The Rundown’: New PAC targets Stewart, Owens for vote to overturn 2020 election

Your Thursday morning Utah political cheat sheet.

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Romney warns Republicans about blocking 1/6 commission bill

The Senate GOP is set to filibuster the bill establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by hundreds of former President Donald Trump’s supporters.

Sen. Mitt Romney is warning blocking the bill sends the message to the public that Republicans are afraid of letting the truth about the attempted insurrection come out.

Romney was the first Republican in the senate to signal support for the bill.

At least 10 Republicans need to get on board to allow the bill to advance to an up or down vote.

Will Stewart and Owens pay a political price for voting to overturn 2020 election?

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.

A brand new super PAC plans to target Reps. Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens in 2022 for voting to throw out Joe Biden’s election victory to keep Donald Trump in the White House.

The “Never Again PAC” plans to target the 147 Republicans in Congress who voted to throw out electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania, states won by Biden, even after a swarm of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. The PAC has labeled those Republicans as the “Treason Caucus.”

“Never Again PAC is dedicated to holding the most dangerous Republican Members of Congress accountable for their attack on our country and our institutions,” said Executive Director David Bowes in an email.

“Polling has been pretty clear that a majority of voters hold Republicans responsible for the deadly riots at the Capitol so it’s no surprise they are trying to block the Jan 6. Commission. We’re going to find innovative ways to make sure voters remember what Republicans like Reps. Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens did come election day,” he added.

Both Stewart and Owens voted to reject the electoral college votes from Pennsylvania, but they did not join the challenge to the votes from Arizona.

Before the January 6 vote, Owens said he “absolutely” believed Trump won the 2020 election. He walked that back later, saying he “accepted” Biden as president.

Stewart cited unproven and baseless allegations of election fraud as his reason for voting not to accept Pennsylvania’s votes.

Stewart and Owens both voted against the proposal to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the origins of the attempted insurrection.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning

Local news

  • Gov. Spencer Cox warns the public that the state could face the worst fire season in history if the public does not “change behaviors.” [Tribune]

  • Officials broke ground on the Huntsman Mental Health Institute’s Crisis Center in South Salt Lake. The facility will be part of a center dedicated to mental health research and care. [Tribune]

  • Here’s how Salt Lake City addressed calls for police reform after a summer of protests. [Tribune]

  • The Utah Jazz tied up their first-round playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies 1-1 after a 141-129 win. [Tribune]

National news

  • President Joe Biden asked the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to investigate the origins of the coronavirus and provide a report within 90 days. [Axios]

  • President Biden is prepared to extend talks on an infrastructure package to find common ground with Republicans, but White House advisors are preparing to end talks in the next week or so. [Politico]

  • Senate Republicans tore into David Chipman, Biden’s pick to head up the ATF during a hearing on his nomination. Chipman is a former agent turned gun control advocate. [WSJ]

  • A federal judge warned Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him could inspire violence from his supporters. [CNN]

  • Not all Republicans are excited about the return of former President Donald Trump to the political stage as he starts to hold rallies again next month. [Politico]

  • Eight people were killed when a transportation employee opened fire at a rail yard in San Jose. The gunman was also killed. [AP]

  • Some big cities are reversing decisions to defund their police departments after a dramatic rise in crime rates. [WSJ]

  • Climate change activists won at least two seats on the board of Exxon Mobil, pledging to steer the company toward cleaner energy. [NYT]

  • Celebrity Cruise Lines is set to resume operations next month as coronavirus restrictions are eased. [CNN]

Thursday’s Utah news roundup


  • Alleged organizers of an illegal Halloween party held during pandemic will apologize as part of plea deal. [Tribune]

  • Protester pleads guilty to helping burn police car after being imprisoned for nearly a year. [Tribune]

  • Salt Lake City responds to FOX 13 investigation into slow police response times, chief stays quiet. [Fox 13]

  • Year after riot, police union cites problems in Salt Lake City Police Department. [KUTV]


  • Why Sen. Mitt Romney met with President Biden to discuss federal aid for families. [Deseret News].

  • Expanded child tax credit payments starting July 15 set to have big impact on Utah. [KUTV]


  • Researchers are split on whether ranked-choice helps or hurts minority voters. [KUER]


  • Another 268 cases of COVID-19 in Utah, and no new deaths. [Tribune]

  • A COVID-19 vaccine for small children is months off, but one Utah mom is eager to get her boys the shots. [Tribune]

  • Is heart inflammation a side effect of COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents? Utah doctor says it’s still unclear. [Deseret News]


  • Utah’s not last in the country for per-pupil spending anymore, but funding still isn’t making the grade. [KUER]


  • Utah women and children struggle to make rent, census survey shows. [Fox 13]


  • With water crisis getting worse, who’s in charge of Utah’s water? [KUTV]

  • Actress Katherine Heigl wants to save the Onaqui wild horses in Utah. [Deseret News]

  • Could a lake in Iran help save the Great Salt Lake from drying up? [Deseret News]