‘The Rundown’: Right-wing-a-palooza is coming to Utah

Your Thursday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Right-wing-a-palooza is coming to Utah

In October, the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City could be the center of the far right-wing universe. The Western Conservative Action Network conference is scheduled for October 23 and 24. Sponsors dubbed the event “the CPAC of the west.”

The list of “potential” speakers is a who’s who of the right-wing pro-Trump universe. Organizers have invited Donald Trump Jr., Mike Lindell, the “My Pillow” guy who has predicted Donald Trump will be reinstated to the presidency sometime this month, and Gen. Mike Flynn, who was fired as former President Donald Trump’s national security advisor.

Also on the list of those who might show up is former Trump attorney Lin Wood, who has aggressively promoted baseless conspiracy theories about fraud during the 2020 election, actor Jim Caviezel, former NFL running back, and potential Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker.

If even one of those decides to come, the $269 VIP ticket seems worth it. Early bird tickets are $129 each, with the price jumping to $169 after August 31.

Western Conservative Action Network conference flyer

The list of confirmed guests includes Dr. Simone Gold, anti-vaccine activist and a leading proponent of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. She was inside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection on January 6.

Also scheduled to speak is Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad, and Sheriff Richard Mack, leader of the “constitutional sheriff” movement, which encourages members to refuse to enforce laws they believe are unconstitutional.

Local Republicans are on the list, too, including current Utah GOP Secretary Olivia Dawn Horlacher, who was outside the U.S. Capitol as the insurrection took place on January 6, and Phill Wright.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning

⚖️ Former President Donald Trump is fighting the release of six years of his tax returns to Congress. [NBC News]

🚨 Boring but important. Congress is headed toward a debt limit fight, with Democrats and Republicans playing chicken with the economy. [Politico]

🏛 Gov. Spencer Cox is clearly frustrated with some of the measures enacted by the Utah Legislature that make it more difficult for him and other state officials to react to the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic. [Tribune]

🦠 Uh oh. The number of COVID-19 cases among children and teens jumped 84%. Almost 72,000 cases were reported last week. [CNN]

💉 The Secretary of Defense is considering making coronavirus vaccines mandatory for members of the military. [NYT]

🏥 Mississippi, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the U.S., has just six open ICU beds in the entire state. [NBC News]

💉 The U.S. will require COVID-19 vaccines for foreign visitors visiting the U.S. [AP]

💉 The World Health Organization is calling for a pause on COVID-19 booster shots to get more vaccinated with their first dose. [CNN]

❗️ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added its handbook, urging members to keep politics out of church meetings. [Tribune]

🥵 July was the hottest month in Salt Lake City history. [Tribune]

🏛 Utah tech companies launch a political action committee to boost their influence on Utah’s Capitol Hill. [Tribune]

🏛 Time running out? Most of the New York Assembly says they would impeach Gov. Andrew Cuomo if he does not resign. A report concludes Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. [AP]

⚖️ Mexico is suing gun manufacturers alleging their business practices encourages the flow of firearms across the border into the U.S. [CNN]

🤔 The State Department is trying to figure out what happened to a $5,800 bottle of whiskey gifted to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by Japan in 2019. American officials are not allowed to accept gifts worth more than $390. [NYT]

⚽️ Megan Rapinoe and Carly Lloyd each scored a brace as the U.S. women’s soccer team wins the bronze medal, defeating Australia 4-3. [ESPN]

🏀 The U.S. men’s basketball team advanced to the gold medal game defeating Australia 97-78. [ESPN]

Thursday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • Salt Lake City police release bodycam footage of barricaded man who died in July. [Tribune]

  • Looking for a place to grow veggies? Salt Lake City has a new community garden. [Tribune]

  • New study: Cox plan to light a fire under unemployed Utahns by nixing benefits is merely smoldering. [Deseret News]

  • Utah’s First Lady Abby Cox, Lehi business help get foster families ready for school. [KUTV]

  • Anti-Black Lives Matter letter targeting Salt Lake Valley residents. [KUTV]

  • Rep. John Curtis calls on Twitter to address copyright infringement. [Daily Herald]

  • Ecosystem experts say climate change, ‘dangerous proposals’ threaten Utah Lake. [Daily Herald]


  • Eight more Utahns died of COVID-19 — including one between age 14 and 24. [Tribune]

  • U.S. needs ‘to move even faster’ on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, Romney says. [Deseret News]

  • Utah student-athletes admonished to ‘protect your season’ by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. [KSL]

  • ‘Not again’: Utah’s nursing shortage worsens as pandemic deaths increase. [ABC4]


  • Small city is example of Utah’s big water problem. [FOX13]

  • Supply chain issues delay some Utah road projects. [KUTV]


  • Utah’s Brandless ready to grow e-commerce biz with $118 million in new funding. [Deseret News]

  • Northern Utah Venture Fund plans, to foster ‘impactful economic growth,’ edge forward. [Standard Examiner]

Extreme weather

  • Extreme drought, urban heat and the Utah killer targeting the vulnerable. [Deseret News]

  • Emery County calling for community support following Gentry Mountain Mine devastation. [FOX13]

  • Cedar City asks for flood recovery supplies. [FOX13]

Local government

  • West Haven mayoral hopefuls put focus on growth, property taxes, change. [Standard Examiner]

  • Park City candidates briefly address polarizing Black Lives Matter mural on Main Street. [Park Record]

On the opinion pages

  • Pat Sadoski: We will live with COVID for a long time unless more are vaccinated. [Tribune]

  • Opinion: I’m tired of ‘taking one for the team’ because some people refuse the vaccine. [Deseret News]

— The Tribune’s Connor Sanders contributed to this article.