Good Tuesday morning, Utah!
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Attack ads already?
Former Utah state Rep. Becky Edwards launched her challenge to Sen. Mike Lee last Thursday. But, the attacks against Edwards from outside groups started before she had officially announced her candidacy.
This mailer from the Club For Growth Action Fund, a super PAC solidly behind Sen. Lee, started hitting mailboxes in Utah the day before Edwards was officially in the race.
The attack mailer is not surprising. In April, Club for Growth president David McIntosh told me in an email his group is “prepared to spend whatever it takes to make sure Senator Lee is renominated and re-elected.”
In his 2016 race, Club for Growth spent about $11,000 to support Lee’s re-election bid. He didn’t face a primary challenger and cruised past Democrat Misty Snow. When Lee was first elected to the Senate, Club for Growth dropped nearly $200,000 opposing then-Sen. Bob Bennett, who lost at convention.
“It’s clear Senator Lee’s Washington D.C. allies with special interest money are worried. Club for Growth knows my proven record of effective leadership on behalf of Utah families and the business community resonates with the people of Utah,” said Edwards in an email. “These mailers demonstrate just how worried they are about our challenge and what they are willing to do to help Sen. Lee hang on to his seat.”
Edwards sent us a second mailer that arrived the day after she announced her run. She says the picture is her head photoshopped onto somebody else’s body.
Edwards is already facing an uphill battle in her fight to unseat Lee. The degree of difficulty grows exponentially if she’s being attacked on multiple fronts.
For perspective, there are 393 days until the 2022 Utah primary election.
Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning:
Utah communities with the highest rates of vaccination against COVID-19 are showing some of the lowest infection rates, but there are some exceptions. [Tribune]
A still-simmering controversy over a Black lives matter mural painted on Park City’s Main Street last July took over a recent city government retreat. Mayor Andy Beerman admits it was the first time city leaders discussed the issue since last summer. [Tribune]
A new history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looks at the organization’s quest to balance its existence as a corporation with its spiritual mission. [Tribune]
The Utah Jazz defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 120-113 to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. [Tribune]
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says the world economy will grow by 5.8% this year, up from its previous projection of 4.8%. [AP]
President Joe Biden will visit Tulsa today to mark the 100th anniversary of the race massacre that killed as many as 300 Black people. The violence destroyed 35 blocks of one of the most prosperous Black communities in the country. [WaPo]
Democrats in Texas blocked a sweeping bill to restrict voting by walking off the floor of the House of Representatives. [AP] Gov. Greg Abbott is threatening to strip funding for all lawmakers and staff salaries from the budget in response. [Houston Chronicle]
The White House is ramping up its campaign to find a deal on an infrastructure package. [CNN]
A new book about the 2020 campaign says Fox News host Sean Hannity helped write an over-the-top campaign ad for Donald Trump. The ad aired only once during Hannity’s show. [Punchbowl News]
Nevada is moving closer to making mail-in balloting permanent there. Lawmakers also voted to nix that state’s presidential caucuses in favor of a primary. [Review-Journal]
Gun purchases spiked during the pandemic, and that increase is continuing now. [NYT]
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn denies he endorsed a military coup in the United States even though his comments at a QAnon conference were caught on video. [CNN]
China says a man has been hospitalized with what is believed to be the first-ever human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu. Officials say the risk of large-scale transmission is low. [Reuters]
The world’s largest meat supplier has been hit with a large-scale cyber attack. The company says some transactions may be delayed due to the attack. [USA Today]
Tuesday’s Utah news roundup
Utahns gather — in person — to pay tribute on Memorial Day. [Tribune]
St. George launches program to help residents conserve electricity, avoid blackouts. [Tribune]
More Utahns could be called in for jury duty this year. [Tribune]
See how Salt Lake City’s new airport dead-ended a Utah car-sharing company. [Tribune]
Utah reports 143 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death. [Tribune]
As COVID-19 slows, STDs are spiking in Utah. [Tribune]
This iconic Utah spot helped thousands get vaccinated. And soon it will go back to what it does best. [Tribune]
A look inside Utah’s COVID-19 PPE supply chain. [FOX13]
Sen. Mike Lee goes after ATF nominee’s ‘disdain’ for gun owners. [Tribune]
These 3 former BYU and BYU-Idaho students are suing over LGBTQ discrimination. This is what they experienced on campus. [Tribune]
Why some school districts were unscathed by 2020 earthquake, while another needed $37M insurance payout. [DNews]
Yet another report trashes plan for a landfill near the Great Salt Lake. [Tribune]
Industry groups pushed lawmakers to oppose Biden’s oil lease pause despite state report showing limited impact. [Tribune]
Love, hope, worry, fear as Lake Powell drops. Will it recover from drought? [DNews]
Summit County officials support using $1.5 million in federal aid for employee compensation. [Park Record]
On the Opinion Pages
Robert Gehrke: ‘One day closer to the next rainstorm.’ Drought hits Utah farmers more than city dwellers. [Tribune]
This is one way to save Utahns’ lives and money for years to come, Editorial Board writes. [Tribune]
Colette Coleman: I left teaching. Others may too if they aren’t paid what’s right. [Tribune]
Mocking Trump’s policies may be the ultimate downfall for Democrats. [Deseret News]