Category Archives: Take 2

KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: Reaction to Kyle Rittenhouse ‘not guilty’ verdict


  • Heidi Hatch, 2News Anchor


  • Maura Carabello, Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes former, Utah Speaker of the House

Rittenhouse Verdict:  Was Justice Served?

Federal Human Infrastructure “Build Back Better” vote Thursday night.
CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would result in a net increase in the deficit totaling $367 billion over the 2022-2031 period, not counting any additional revenue that may be generated by additional funding for tax enforcement.

Utah surplus $614 Million
What is the best use for the money likely in bank because of federal pandemic funds?

Elections certified this week and there were a few close races! 

Sandy City Council voted not to certify election calls for another recount

Sandy City Mayor

  • MONICA ZOLTANSKI         8,620 (50.1%)
  • JIM BENNETT                       8,599 (49.9%)

Utah Birth Certificate Forms
UDOH has been requiring Utah moms to fill out questionnaires with more than 100 questions including personal health information. A 2News investigation is forcing changes to the form, what’s required and who gets that information.

Now and audit could be in the works.

The state has a new Chief Privacy Officer – will Whitney Philips just appointed by the State Auditor be able to help?

KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: Redistricting, Dixie State name change, Huntsman podcast

Host: Heidi Hatch


  • Greg Hughes
  • Maura Carabello

Special Session

Bail Reform: Bi-partisan roundtable deal

  • Greg Hughes worked as a lobbyist on the issue

Utah Redistricting

Legislature passes bill allowing exemptions to Biden vaccine mandate

  • The bill passed on party lines
  • Exemptions are the same as available in Utah schools
  • Religious, Medical, Personal
  • Some exemptions remain for Federal workers, small businesses
  • Will there be repercussions for ignoring the will of the people in creating the independent redistricting commission?

Dixie State Name Change to Utah Poly Tech- Name changes officially in July 2022.

  • The campus will still be called Dixie for 20 years.
  • Senate Voted 17-12

Abby Huntsman Podcast: interviews her father former Governor Jon Huntsman

  • Huntsman does not shut the door on a possible run in the future
  • Says there is no one trying to find middle ground in Congress
  • Called the 2020 gubernatorial primary in Utah a “ridiculous election”

Take 2 Podcast: 2024 National Convention; Mitt Romney as Ted Lasso

  • Host: Heidi Hatch
  • Guests: Senator Kirk Cullimore
  • Maura Carabello- Exoro Group

Take 2 October 29th

2024 SLC National Convention Bid:

  • 2012 and 2016 were lost, do we have a chance this time around?
  • Did the 2020 VP Debate win us any political brownie points?

Representative Christiansen steps down from the Legislature and his day job at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“While I expected, unfortunately, to be personally maligned and ridiculed as a public servant, I did not expect to see individuals attack my wife as they have, nor to see the significance of the impact of those attacks on her and our family.”

Rob Bishop quits redistricting committee- no replacement to be made.

Speaker Wilson Responds to Commissioner Rob Bishop’s Resignation from the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission

Speaker Brad Wilson issued the following statement:

“I appreciate Congressman Bishop’s willingness to serve on the Independent Redistricting Commission over these past several months. I share his frustrations with how the commission has conducted its business. His decision to step down at this point in the process is further evidence that the duly elected representatives of the people are best suited to redraw district boundaries, as the courts have repeatedly affirmed. As we expect to receive and review maps from the commission in just over a week, I do not intend to appoint a replacement.”

Maps are in ink and Wilson says “Legislature may reevaluate redistricting process”

Utah House Majority Leader Francis Gibson says he’s resigning effective November

Special Session: What’s on the table?

  • Official name change for Dixie Sate?
  • Vaccine Mandates
  • Redistricting Maps

Harmons: 1st Utah company to impose $200 penalty for workers not vaccinated. Health Insurance surcharge to be charged monthly.

Mitt Romney Halloween: Ted Lasso, Coach Taylor mashup.

Love it or hate it?


KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: Police response times in Salt Lake City

Host: Heidi Hatch


  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah House Speaker now registered lobbyist
  • Maura Carabello – Exoro Group

Salt Lake police response times: Chief Mike Brown hiring civilians to respond to low priority calls.

Many are retired officers. He sites parking, noise complaints. Are these calls really low risk? Aaron Lowe’s shooting and death followed multiple unanswered noise complaints. We now Lowe was ultimately shot over a parking dispute.

LINK: Salt Lake police exploring ways to reduce response times

Sex misconduct allegations inside Spencer Cox’s campaign for governor.
Joint statement released last week

Austin Cox attorney responded – we have requested an interview

In a statement Friday, attorneys representing Austin Cox – who is not related to the governor – called the accusations “baseless.”

“The personal relationship in question was a long-term relationship between two young single adults,” Austin Cox’s attorneys said. “The relationship was ended by our client earlier this year. Our client unequivocally and emphatically denies any allegations to the contrary.”

Questions Remain

  • Austin Cox was the Governor’s right-hand man.
  • Ran his campaign, took part in the Cox and Friends podcast, was positioned and ran for party Vice Chair.
  • Who knew what and when? Who investigated?

Ballots arrive in mailboxes: Ranked Choice voting in the mix

  • Will it work? Is it a good idea?

Salt Lake County Ranked Choice Voting 101

Facebook reactions:

  • “RCV is intended to manipulate outcomes.”
  • “What a joke. This is just another progressive voting tactic. I have never seen a republican win when it goes past the first stage….only democrats”
  • “Gonna steal some more elections…”
  • “One person, one vote, it’s a Soros funded scam”

Senator Mike Lee race: Jon Huntsman supporting Mike Lee

Next week on Take 2:

  • Senator Kirk Cullimore – Republican pitches a progressive clean air bill. “Prosperity 2030”
  • Says this is a top issue with constituents
  • Reduce emissions by 50% before 2030
  • Cars, factories and businesses in the crosshair

Take 2: Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments


  • Maura Carabello – President and Owner of The Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist

Biden brings Bears Ears and Grand Stair Case Escalante back to full size
Congressional Delegation Reaction:

“President Biden is delivering a devastating blow to the ongoing efforts by our delegation, along with state, local, and tribal leaders, to find a permanent, legislative solution to resolve the longstanding dispute over the boundaries and management of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Rather than take the opportunity to build unity in a divided region and bring resources and lasting protections to sacred antiquities by seeking a mutually beneficial and permanent legislative solution, President Biden fanned the flames of controversy and ignored input from the communities closest to these monuments. We will continue to support efforts to ensure that our monuments’ boundaries and management reflect the unique stakeholder interest and uses in the area, but today’s “winner take all” mentality moved us further away from that goal.”

Lee School Board Meetings:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) with the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today demanded the Department of Justice (DOJ) not interfere with local school board meetings or threaten the use of federal law enforcement to deter parents’ free speech. This comes after DOJ issued a memorandum suggesting federal law enforcement may need to assist policing local school board meetings.

Read the Letter Here:

Cox campaign sexual Misconduct

Joint Statement by Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson:

Recently, a former campaign employee revealed to us that she believed she was the victim of sexual misconduct by our 2020 campaign manager, Austin Cox (no relation). Following this discussion, we placed Austin on administrative leave and engaged an outside firm to conduct an independent investigation. 

The investigation, which concluded this week, substantiated the woman’s claims and also found previously unreported hostile conduct towards select members of our team. Although the investigation found that there is cause for Austin termination, he resigned from his position prior to its completion. 

“I was devastated to learn of this violation of truest and deeply saddened by the pain it has caused,” Gov. Cox said. “I have apologized to the victim of this misconduct and other campaign staffers who experienced this harmful work environment. I take full responsibility for the failure of the campaign’s policies and procedures to prevent this from happening. The Lt. Governor and I condemn this behavior in the strongest terms and will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct. We will do everything possible to make sure this never happens again.”

“This brave woman brought her experiences to light despite tremendous risk and personal hardship,” Lt. Gov. Henderson said. “It took incredible courage for her to speak up. We hope that any other victim of sexual or workplace misconduct knows that they have advocated and allies in us.” 

Statement from the attorneys of Austin Cox:

We are deeply disappointed in the joint press release issued yesterday via Twitter by Governor Spencer Cox and Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson. Twitter is a powerful forum for advancing political narratives, but it is not the truth.

The personal relationship in question was a long-term relationship between two young single adults. The relationship was ended by our client earlier this year. Our client unequivocally and emphatically denies any allegations to the contrary.

Our client has not had a fair opportunity to share his side of the story. We are confident that any truly fair and impartial investigation would fully vindicate our client from baseless allegations.

Evan McMullin is running to unseat Mike Lee as an independent. Read more.

Last week we talked about SLCP response times- we followed up.

According to SLCPD they have:

  • Funding for 571 sworn officers
  • Currently 512 sworn officers on the force
  • SLCPD is currently down 59 sworn officers

KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: Government shutdown averted, but not for long


  • Maura Carabello – President and Owner of The Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist

Government Shutdown averted, but not for long:
Congress needs to fund the government, deal with the debt ceiling and decide if it will push through POTUS $3.4 trillion-dollar human infrastructure package or the bi-partisan package pushed by Senator Mitt Romney.

Bipartisan infrastructure deal Gives Utah $3.96 Billion over 5 years

Generals Contradict POTUS in Congress saying they advised leaving 2500 troops in Afghanistan.

Salt Lake City Police response times: The Chief says they are understaffed- are they? We break down the numbers of sworn officers you probably haven’t heard.

Gov. Spencer Cox in monthly news conference said no vaccine mandates: He would block any attempt by the Utah legislature to prevent private companies from mandating the vaccine, but also opposes government mandates for the private sector.

Sen. Lee has filed 9 bills to push back on Biden vaccine and testing mandate.

  • S.2840– A bill to permit civil actions against the United States for COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
  • S.2841– A bill to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publicly disclose information regarding adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • S.2842– A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit the Secretary of Defense from requiring that members of the armed forces receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • S.2843– A bill to prohibit the imposition of a fine, fee, or taxation on any person for violation of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or any other executive agency.
  • S.2846– A bill to require Federal agencies to acknowledge, accept, and agree to truthfully present, natural immunity pertaining to COVID-19 pursuant to promulgating certain regulations.
  • S.2847– A bill to prohibit the Federal Government from mandating vaccination against COVID-19 for interstate travel.
  • S.2848– A bill to exempt individuals with a personal health concern from complying with a Federal COVID-19 mandate.
  • S.2849– A bill to stipulate that nothing in federal law provides a Federal agency with the authority to mandate that an individual be inoculated by a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • S.2850– A bill to exempt individuals from complying with a Federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the basis of a personal belief, and for other purposes.

Utah School Cases
The state has seen 9,957 school age cases kids age 5-17 in the month of September. They were predicting 39,000 cases.

KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: Is there really a ‘missing white woman syndrome?’


  • Maura Carabello – President and Owner of The Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist

Gabby Petito Case brings up other missing person cases: Is there really a “missing white woman syndrome?”

High profile and diverse cases in Utah: 

  • Elizabeth Salgado case in 2015: 26-year old’s body found 3 years later in Hobble Creek Canyon
  • Hser Ner Moo in 2008: 7-year old girl missing from her South Salt Lake apartment. Her body was found at her neighbor’s apartment, also a Burmese refugee family.
  • Rosie Tapia in August 1995: Her kidnapper was never tracked down. The 6 year-old was abducted, her body was later found in a canal off the Jordan River. 

TIPS: Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000.

Do the Elizabeth Smart, Mackenzie Lueck and Gabby Petito cases far outweigh coverage of all women?

Utah has many missing indigenous women and girls Rep. Angela Romero heads task force 

Monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 center opens

Senate President Stuart Adams has been pushing for more access

State of Utah has given out 7K treatments since Nov. 2020.

The state has a scoring system to decide if you can get the treatment.

IRS Bank account access:

UT State Auditor John Dougal and treasurer oppose letting the IRS monitor middle class bank accounts. They join 21 other state financial officers in opposition to a proposed federal rule. If it happens, Utah leaders say the IRS could examine more than 100 million accounts when a deposit is made of $600+. They’re calling it an infringement of data privacy.

Utah Democratic Party Chair steps down:

Jeff Merchant “It has been among the greatest joys of my life to serve Utahns as your state party chair. While today I humbly offer my resignation in order to attend to my personal health, the work that must be done in our state and across our nation to protect our most vulnerable communities will continue on. I know that I leave the party in good hands with Diane Lewis, who will become acting Chair until confirmed by the Central Committee. Diane is a storied leader in our state’s labor movement and Democratic Party, and I believe that under Diane’s leadership, our party will continue to build on the gains that we have made in 2020. I’m excited for this new chapter for the party and will remain a staunch supporter of our mission and our organizing.”

KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: COVID-19 booster, federal vaccine requirement, fertilizing the dead

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – In this week’s Take 2 Podcast, host Heidi Hatch speaks to founder and resident of The Exoro Group, Maura Carabello, and former Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes.

They’ll talk about the initial rejection of the COVID-19 booster shot for all, and approval for older Americans and those at high risk.

They discuss the federal vaccine requirements announced by President Jo Biden, what that means for Utah, and attorney generals from several states threatening lawsuits against the plan.

A topic getting a lot of attention over the week was the arrival of thousands of Haitian immigrant staying under a border bridge acting as a temporary holding area in Del Rio, Texas.

Finally, Utah schools now under “Test to Stay” guidelines, Afghan refugees coming to the Beehive State, the weekend’s Justice for J6 rally in Washington, AOC at the Met Gala and fertilizing the dead.


  • Maura Carabello – President and Owner of The Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist

FDA approves third COVID-19 booster shot, but only for elderly and high risk – After overwhelmingly rejecting a plan to give Pfizer booster shots against COVID-19 to most Americans, an influential federal advisory panel has approved the extra shots for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease. 

Utah Legislative Meeting discusses vaccine mandates:

  • Some people got nasty
  • Rep. Paul Ray blamed mismanagement for capacity problems at local hospitals.
  • AG Sean Reyes joins dozens of others threatening lawsuits against the White House over Biden’s  vaccine mandate.

Schools now starting Test to stay

  • SLC votes to keep masks for another 30 days

9,000 + migrants staying under a bridge in Del Rio TX in temporary holding – The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on on flights to Haiti starting Sunday, an official said Friday, representing a swift and dramatic response to thousands who suddenly crossed the border from Mexico and gathered under and around a bridge.

“More than 200,000 people crossed last month, bringing the total this fiscal year to more than 1.5 million.” 

Utah will welcome 765 Afghan refugees starting in October

Romney pressed Sec. Blinken on SIV applicants left behind in Afghanistan

Justice for J6 Weekend rally planned in DC (Jan 6th 2.0?)Dozens of people gathered at Union Square near the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the Justice for J6 rally Saturday afternoon.

AOC- tax the Rich – Did her Met GALA stunt work?

Fertilizing the deadThe Colorado legislature passed a bill that legalizes an alternative to burial or cremation – allowing instead for an accelerated process of biological decomposition, aka composting of human remains. 


Take 2 Podcast: Pres. Biden’s vaccine mandate, Utah County death penalty

In this week’s Take 2 Podcast, host Heidi Hatch speaks to former Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, and former Salt Lake mayoral candidate David Ibarra about the vaccine order President Joe Biden spoke about earlier in the week.

They’ll also talk about Utah County Attorney David Leavitt’s decision to no longer seek the death penalty in cases he prosecutes.

They discuss Utah Senate President Stuart Adams’ recent comments that came under fire about “educating” Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and helping him to “understand” the state’s critical race theory resolution.

Finally, understand the problems with Utah’s homeless crisis and ideas to fix it.

Guests: Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist
David Ibarra- Former SLC Mayoral Candidate President/CEO at eLeaderTech, Inc.

Vaccine Mandate President Biden: 2 Months after declaring the nations “independence” from the virus
July 25 White House: Vaccine mandates are “not the role of the federal government.”

  • Employers with 100 + employees must require vaccine or test weekly (80 million people)
  • All health care facilities
  • All Federal Employees and contractors – no test out option
  • $14k per violation

Is it legal?
Will states challenge?
Will the Supreme Court weigh in and how quickly?

Death Penalty off the table in Utah County
Utah County Attorney David Leavitt announced Wednesday that he’ll no longer seek the death penalty.

“Pretending that the death penalty will somehow curb crime is simply a lie,” Leavitt said in his video. “The answer to preventing these types of horrible crimes is in education and prevention before they occur. No family wants to hear, ‘My child is dead and that man got a long sentence.’ What they want to hear is, ‘My child was never killed.’”

  • Ronnie Lee Gardner was the last state execution- 13 years ago by firing squad.
  • 2022 Session will tackle the issue again.
  • Senator Steve Urquhart bill failed in final hours in 2106
  • 2018 the bill was pulled without support.

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams at ALEC says Donovan Mitchell did not “understand” state critical race theory resolution.

“I hate to use names, but I will. Donovan Mitchell is not happy with us,” Adams says in the video from May 21 posted on social media. “And you start to get very popular sports stars like that that are pushing back. We’ve got work to do to try to educate them. My text back was, ‘Let’s get after him and let’s go tell him what we’re doing,’ because I don’t really think he understands what happened.”

Utah Homeless Crisis rears its ugly head again both Ibarra and Hughes have worked on the issue, understand the problems and have ideas to fix it.

  • Are streets safe?
  • Do we need an overflow shelter?
  • Who’s problem is it?

Take 2 podcast: COVID liability, the Texas abortion ban and canyon congestion

Host brings in viewpoints from Maura Carabello from the Exoro Group and Sen. Kirk Cullimore, the Utah Senate Majority Assistant Whip

Topics were timely and quick but Cullimore is working on a new bill “COVID-19 Liability Amendments” so we asked what is it and who will it affect?

In the speed round of topics we discuss:

Extreme Masking: Governor Cox addressed maxed out hospital beds this week and tried created controversy of his own talking masks. “Extreme Maskers” the new badge of honor for some. “Masks are not as effective as most of the pro-mask crowd are arguing,” Cox told reporters at a news conference. “We know that they’re just not.”

House caucus met with Cox Wednesday discussing masks and the Senate was meeting with the governor Thursday.

What congestion: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said “no thanks” to both of UDOT’s options to address congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Bus or gondola? Pick your poison.

Abortion Ban: Texas banned abortions after signs of a heartbeat or after about six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant, including in cases of rape or incest. Will we see a similar bill in Utah? Will the Supreme Court react? What happens next?