Topping the news: Sen. Curt Bramble says he met company executives last year who said the reason they got to know AG John Swallow was because it would be helpful if they ever got in trouble with the law. [Trib]
-> Some contractors believe that the UTA is only able to finish its "Frontline 2015" TRAX and FrontRunner extensions two years early and $300 million under budget by skirting state law. The agency potentially exceeded the state cap on money it withheld from contractors and failed to pay interest on the withheld amount. [Trib]
-> SL Co. Republican Chairman Chad Bennion has drawn heated condemnation from critics for calling DA Sim Gill a "cop hater" after ruling the police shooting of Danielle Willard unjustified. Bennion claimed the DA's upbringing in India has "tainted" his handling of such issues. Bennion is standing by his comments. [Trib] [ABC4]
Tweet of the day: From @Rebecca_Perry: "A controversial rodeo clown in Missouri. Now someone has vandalized a butter cow sculpture in Iowa. What's up with Midwest state fairs?"
Happy birthday: to State Rep. Ryan Wilcox and Josh Romney.
In other news: Federal officials are seeking residents' feedback on transportation planning along the Wasatch Front. A public meeting is scheduled for Aug. 20. [Trib]
-> Utah's Tim DeChristopher, who enrolled at Harvard's Divinity School after he was released from prison for derailing an auction of public-land gas and oil leases, says he will only return to Utah if the progressives get rid of Rep. Jim Matheson. [SLMag]
-> Mia Love's campaign manager, Dave Hansen, says the key to winning against Matheson is turning back those voters who backed Mitt Romney and Matheson at the same time. [UtahPolicy]
-> Karl Rove and Sen. Mike Lee debate the idea of defunding Obamacare or shutting down the government while on the Sean Hannity show. [Trib] [ABC4] [Politico]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert has chosen Alan Matheson as his new state planning coordinator. [DNews]
Nationally: Another part of the Affordable Care Act has been delayed. The cap on out-of-pocket costs meant to protect consumers from hefty deductibles and co-payments exceeding $6,350 for an individual will be waived for some insurers for a year. [NYTimes]
-> AG Eric Holder's announcement on cut-backs to mandatory minimum prison sentences suggests the Obama administration is stepping away from the tough-on-crime policies which have been accused of discrimination. [NYTimes] [Politico] [ABCNews] Some Utahns welcome the change. [ABC4]
-> Both Republicans and Democrats have condemned an act at the Missouri State Fair featuring a bull running down a clown wearing a mask of President Barack Obama's face. The clown has been permanently banned from performing at the fair. [ABCNews]
-> At the American Bar Association conference, Hillary Clinton offered a strong defense of the Voting Rights Act. This address launched a series of speeches that will continue into the fall in which Clinton will address major public policy issues. [WaPost] [ABCNews]
-> President Barack Obama has created a new review group to judge whether intelligence agencies are keeping within their legal and ethical bounds when tracking phone calls and emails. The move aims to restore public trust in intelligence operations. [TheHill]
Where are they?
Gov. Gary Herbert votes in the Orem municipal elections, meets with Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, talks to the FEMA Region VIII defense coordinating officer and holds interviews for judicial positions.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams holds a staff meeting and talks to Julie Peck-Dabling, the director of SL Co. open space and urban farming.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker holds a department directors meeting and discusses the new performing arts center.
President Barack Obama remains on vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]
Thomas Burr and Isobel MarkhamTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham