Huntsman last in latest poll. Hatch may still face a tough race. ACLU: Utah's public defender program failing.
Happy Thursday. On the 2012 front, a new poll shows Rick Perry is now the Republican front-runner, beating Mitt Romney by 12 points. Jon Huntsman is dead last at 1 percent. [USAToday]
-> Politico and NBC News are teaming up for the next presidential debate at the Reagan Library on Sept. 7 with the following candidates: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. (h/t Mike Allen) More 2012 news below.
Topping the news: Big-time challenges to re-election campaigns of Sens. Orrin Hatch, Olympia Snowe and Richard Lugar seemed like a sure-thing but so far, none have materialized. [WaPost]
-> The ACLU says Utah's public defender system is failing citizens. [Trib]
Southern Utah swing: Sen. Mike Lee is headed on a road trip next week, hitting Sanpete County on Aug. 30, Beaver and Iron counties on Aug. 31 and Washington County on Sept. 1.
Coming next week: Sen. Orrin Hatch announces his third annual economic forum at UVU on Aug. 31, featuring Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
There's an app for that: Salt Lake City will unveil today its new iPhone app: "The new tool, currently available free of charge here, allows members of the public to take an active role in their neighborhoods by requesting services from, or reporting issues to, Salt Lake City government. Initial features will allow requests for weed abatement, reporting of inoperable vehicles, construction without permits and illegal signs while expanded service request options are already in the works."
Where are they?
In other news: Auditors will look at everything at the state's alcohol agency, broadening out its review more than just the purchasing problems. [ABC4]
-> Herbert appoints Sinclair Companies' Clint Ensign to be an SLCC trustee. [DNews]
-> More children in Utah are going hungry. [ABC4]
-> Provo Municipal Councilman Steve Turley makes his first court appearance on felony fraud charges -- and the judge recuses herself. [Trib]
-> Rep. David Clark says he may not return to Utah's Capitol hill if he decides to make a bid for Congress. [UtahPolicy]
-> The Utah Department of Transportation has launched a $462,000 study of State Road 111 on Salt Lake Valley's west side. [Trib]
-> Climate-change related pollution will mean thousands more cases of asthma and millions in added health care costs warns a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. [Trib]
-> Homeowners in Murray who suffered flood damage face an Aug. 31 deadline for getting their claims paperwork filed. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley's mixing of politics and back-to-school. [Trib]
-> With the University of Utah back in session, ridership on TRAX has taken a big leap -- but still isn't as high as Utah Transit Authority projections. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake Community College is closing application to some of its professional health programs because of a surplus in demand. [Trib]
-> Ogden's eight mayoral candidates hold a forum to give voters a chance to quiz them on their views. [Trib]
-> Utah is marriage central, according to the Census. It is among the top in the number of marriages per capita and the length of marriages. It is also pretty high when it comes to divorces. [Trib]
2012 watch: Huntsman, as we reported several months ago, is still registered to vote at the Governor's Mansion in Utah. [Politico]
-> Huntsman is racking up great comments but not from people he'd like to: Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Howard Dean. [HumanEvents]
-> Romney finds a testy crowd in New Hampshire with pointed questions for him. [CNN]
-> Romney tells the crowd that he's not sure humans are responsible for the Earth getting hotter. [Reuters]
-> A Romney advisers parody twitter feed on occasion poked fun at, well, Romney. [Politico]
-> Huntsman is headed to New Hampshire next week for a six-day tour of the state. [CNN]
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-- Thomas Burr
with editor Dan Harrie