Newsletter “The Rundown” – May 7, 2021

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Gary’s big day

Today is a big day for former Governor Gary Herbert.

Reader Don Savage, a longtime friend of Herbert, recounts that “The Rundown” Herbert will today receive two honorary degrees from two different universities, a feat that may be a first.

This morning, Herbert speaks at the opening ceremonies at Dixie State University in St. George. Then later, he will be honored at the University of Utah Valley graduation ceremony.

While by no means definitive, a cursory search has not revealed other instances where a person has been awarded multiple honorary degrees from different institutions on the same day.

And to top it off, it’s Herbert’s birthday too.

Here’s what you need to know for Friday morning

The US economy only created 266,000 jobs last month, which is well below expectations. Unemployment soared to 6.1% [CNBC].

A great victory for transgender rights. Utah Supreme Court has ruled that two transgender Utahns can list the sex they identify as their driver’s license and other official documents [Tribune].

Former Governor Gary Herbert takes on a new job at the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. He will start working part-time as executive chairman of the organization [Tribune].

Washington County Commission declared county a “sanctuary of constitutional rights and freedoms” in resolution passed this week [Tribune].

A Utah man accused of taking part in the riot at the United States Capitol stirred up hell by shouting at officials during a hearing Thursday. Court to assess Landon Copeland for mental competence after out of the box hearing [Tribune].

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham admits Republicans fear they cannot win election without former President Donald Trump [MSNBC].

House Republicans urge Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney to step down in favor of New York Rep. Elise Stefanik in the name of “unity.” [AP].

Despite Donald Trump’s seal of approval, Republicans are not convinced Rep Stefanik is conservative enough [Politico].

White House aides say President Joe Biden’s proposed tax hikes on wealthy Americans would boost donations to nonprofits and charities [NYT].

Some Republicans fear that pressure from GOP-controlled states to limit access to the vote could backfire and hurt their prospects at the polls [AP].

Arizona Republicans push back Justice Department concerns over bizarre presidential recount in Maricopa County [WaPo].

Donald Trump keeps trying to sneak up on Twitter. On Thursday, the platform banned an account displaying statements by the former president [NBC News].

Economists say the United States is expected to see significant job gains in the weeks and months to come, but only if companies can find enough workers to fill the vacancies [AP].

South Carolina governor ordered state to stop participating in expanded unemployment benefits as state businesses struggle to find workers [The State].

Chicken shortage means restaurants are struggling to keep up, pushing prices up [WSJ].

Grade 6 girl pulled a handgun from her backpack and opened fire on her school on Thursday, injuring three people [Reuters].

Twitter is testing a ‘tip jar’ feature for users to send money to their favorite accounts [The Verge].

Why Did Utah Delegates Boo Mitt Romney?

On this week’s Utah Politics podcast, I’m joined by a political strategist Mike Madrid.

Madrid has spent decades in Republican politics, but is bewildered by what happens to the GOP after Donald Trump’s presidency.

“We are seeing the demolition of a once big party into something really more than a crowd,” he told me.

Madrid was the political director of the California GOP and worked for the Republican National Committee. He broke with the party after Trump was elected to help found Project Lincoln. He said the sight of Senator Mitt Romney, who was the party’s presidential candidate just nine years ago, being booed was breathtaking.

“I can tell you it’s a fundamentally different party. It is not conservatism in the way Senator Mitt Romney and his father knew it. These are all signs of a party imploding, not a party that is turning into something that can add to the electoral column, ”he said.

Listen to the conversation with Madrid for free.

Friday’s Utah News Roundup


  • Utah Police Now Prohibit Shooting At Suicidal People Who Are A Threat To Themselves [Tribune].

  • The wife of the LDS president speaks at the start of the University of Utah Valley. Here’s why LGBTQ students oppose [Tribune].

  • Here are the takeaways from the disparities that minority groups face in Utah [Tribune].

  • How Heber Valley in Utah can help researchers solve one of the fog’s biggest mysteries [KSL].

  • Utah Summer School: What It Could Look Like In Your District [KUTV].



  • Utah barely misses a million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 [Tribune].

  • Gov. Spencer Cox says Utah’s COVID-19 response is now “really a matter of personal responsibility” [Tribune].

  • Utah vaccine vendors no longer required to use doses within 7 days [KUTV].

  • Parents unite to call on Davis School District to allow parents to write mask exemptions [Daily Herald].

Local government

  • The city passes to the vote by classified choice; Niehaus and Duncan won’t show up in 2021 [Moab Times-Independent]

  • Utah County plans to give department heads more flexibility in hiring process [Daily Herald].

  • Persistent drought worries Ogden City officials [Standard-Examiner].

  • Tooele City Council wants to take a closer look at the drinking water network master plan [Transcript Bulletin].

On review pages

  • Marina Gomberg: Re-enter the world as a bigger version of yourself? These expert tips can help you do it with confidence. [Tribune].

  • Michelle Quist: Convention delegates gave Utah GOP an eye [Tribune].

  • Kip Yost: We have met homeless people, and they are (more and more) us [Tribune].

  • Bob Rees and Clifton Jolley: What does a “white horse” look like? [Tribune].

  • Typical Utah family? They are more diverse than you might think [Deseret News].

You say it’s your birthday ?!

Happy Birthday to Former Utah Governor Gary Herbert, who turns 74 today.

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Joseph Hedrick

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