‘The Rundown’: Why was Utah’s Department of Corrections head on a far-right militia membership list?

Hundreds of Utahns included on hacked Oath Keepers membership roster

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🚨 Why was Utah’s Department of Corrections head on a far-right militia membership list?

Hundreds of Utahns showed up on a hacked list from the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia group, including Brian Nielson, the Utah Department of Corrections Director.

Nielson denied being a member of the group but said he did attend some events during his time as Sanpete County Sheriff, where a member of the Oath Keepers was also present.

More than 300 Utahns were included on the list, including a current police officer and at least eight other people who have claimed experience working in law enforcement.

The must-read report from The Tribune’s Jeff Parrott and Jessica Miller is here.

Lee brings out the big fundraising guns

A tipster passes along to The Rundown that former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien was the guest of honor at a fundraiser for Sen. Mike Lee in Salt Lake City last night.

As you may remember, O’Brien was the highest-ranking member of the LDS Church in the Trump administration. He also was the keynote speaker at the Utah GOP Convention in May. You can read my Q&A with O’Brien before that speech here.

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, Jr. was also in attendance at the event.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

🏛 The House approved a temporary suspension of the debt limit until December. All four Utah Republicans in the House voted against the extension. [NYT]

🤔 There are still several questions without answers about the scandal involving Gov. Spencer Cox’s former campaign manager, Austin Cox. [Tribune]

👋 A record number of workers quit their job last month according to the Labor Department. 4.3 million Americans walked away from their current positions, which is about 3 percent of the workforce. Restaurants, retail, and professional services, and healthcare saw the biggest loss in workers. [AP]

  • 36% of the U.S. workforce had returned to the office as of last week. [WSJ]

➡️ The White House announced it would begin allowing vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico to enter the country beginning in November. [WaPo]

🌎 The IMF cut its forecast for global economic growth this year due to supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. The forecast for economic growth in the U.S. dropped from 7 to 6 percent. [Reuters]

🏛 Republican Rep. Liz Cheney says aides to former President Donald Trump who ignore subpoenas from the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection will face criminal charges. [Reuters]

⚖️ A Capitol rioter represented himself in court on Tuesday and it did not go well for him. Brandon Fellows, who allegedly smoked marijuana in a senator’s office on January 6, admitted to committing two new felonies during the wild hearing. [WUSA]

🚀 William Shatner is scheduled to travel to space on Jeff Bezos Blue Origin rocket Wednesday morning. [WaPo]

Your turn: Squid Game

Squid Game, the dystopian series from South Korea, became the “biggest ever series at launch” in Netflix history. More than 111 million accounts streamed the series in its first 28 days.

The show is about people who are in financially desperate straits and play children’s games for money. The winners move to the next round while the losers are killed.

If you’ve watched the show, I’d like to know your thoughts. Did you see it as a sharp critique of capitalism, or did you have a different reaction?

Email me your thoughts about the program at bschott@sltrib.com. I’ll print some of your responses in a future newsletter.

Wednesday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • Delta-8 THC isn’t subject to marijuana laws. Here’s why pharmacists say you may want to skip it. [Tribune]

  • Utah Inland Port board votes to issue up to $150M in bonds, despite questions how to pay the debt. [Tribune]

  • Debut stock offering by Logan-based iFIT could make one Latter-day Saint apostle almost a billionaire. [Tribune]

  • How did escaped tortoise Frankie get across Foothill Drive alive? Slow and steady. [Tribune]

  • Although excitement surrounds the upcoming ski season, crowds and traffic dominate the discussion. [Deseret News]

  • Older SLC buildings and homes at risk of major earthquake damage, experts say. [ABC4]


  • Coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations surge in southwest Utah as vaccine rates remain low. [Tribune]


  • A lie detector test in Utah’s 4th Congressional District? One GOP candidate plans to wire up. [Deseret News]


  • In shadow of Utah national parks, police juggle high call volumes, high-profile cases. [Tribune]

  • Protesters sue Salt Lake City, allege civil rights violations. [Tribune]

  • Salt Lake police exploring ways to reduce response times. [KUTV]

Utah Legislature

  • Cox to let state of emergency for drought expire after legislature doesn’t renew it. [FOX 13]

  • New bill seeks to cut Utah’s emissions in half by 2030. [FOX 13]

  • New Utah law allows adoptees access to birth certificate without going to court. [KSL]

Local Government

  • Kerry Gibson PD report released, offers more details into controversial probe. [Standard Examiner]

  • Provo to hold open houses, again, to discuss 900 East UVX stop. [Daily Herald]

  • Keep Park City area intact, redistricting committee told. [Park Record]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to former Utah House Speaker and gubernatorial candidate Greg Hughes.

Got a birthday you’d like us to recognize in this space? Send us an email.

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