News roundup: Romney leads as butt of late-night jokes
Romney leads as butt of late-night jokes. Herbert vs. Cornflakes. Huntsman at Press Club.
Happy Thursday. Mitt Romney is winning! At least he's winning when it comes to being the butt of late-night jokes. An analysis out this morning shows that nearly 20 percent of jokes about presidential candidates by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Stephen Colbert and other late-night hosts are focused on Romney. About 4 percent of jokes are aimed at Jon Huntsman. [Politico]
Topping the news: Salt Lake County property tax has topped $1 billion for the first time ever as the revenue picture starts to look up for Utah's second largest government. [Trib]
-> The fate of Ogden's police chief will not be up to the city's mayor-elect. [Trib]
-> Newt Gingrich leads his GOP rivals by double digits in three of the four early Republican primary contest states. [CNN]
-> Utah will have a full compliment of federal judges once the Senate confirms two nominees but that could be a while. [DNews]
Tweet of the day: From @governorherbert: "Starting a new feature on my feed, the Cornflakes Readers' Word of the Day. 1st entry: Antepenultimate bit.ly/vUgGDC." If you're just catching up, the Governor's Office and I got into a bit of a Twitter fight (A tweet-off, perhaps) after I poked fun at his office's use of the word "disambiguate."
-> For the record, the line came from The Boss, a.k.a. Mr. Dan Harrie, who responded thusly, "Sure it's a word on the online free dictionary (which also includes dialogue as a verb). But we're surprised Gov. Herbert who seems intent on cutting through dense regulations for business is so anxious to protect and defend grandiloquent bureaucratese." Fight, fight, fight...
Happening today: Jon Huntsman speaks at the National Press Club on "Restoring Trust." While other presidential candidates have spoken at luncheons in front of C-SPAN cameras and big audiences, Huntsman has opted to hold court in the Club's Fourth Estate Restaurant.
In other news: Jay Cobb becomes the latest GOP candidate running in the 4th congressional district. [Herald]
-> Herbert splits the Department of Community and Culture, sending several functions and about 60 employees to the Department of Workforce Services. [Trib]-> The Utah Transit Authority is drafting new ethics rules to more clearly spell out how to handle conflicts of interest. [Trib]
-> Hatch blames government price controls for a new shortage in prescription drugs. [TheHill]
-> A proposed expansion of a Kane County mine would bring jobs but also pollution. [DNews]-> Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a Republican, and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a Democrat, show up at a White House news conference to support Senate confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the new consumer watchdog agency created in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. [Trib]
-> Speaking of, how about a pic of the day: AG Mark Shurtleff at the White House: [Photo].-> UTA is beginning to charge for parking at one TRAX park-and-ride lot. [Trib]-> Granite School District shifts its 14 year-round elementary schedules back to a traditional schedule with summers off. [Trib]-> Pat Bagley's take on Herbert's push to disambiguate Utah regulations. [Trib]
-> The Pete Suazo Business Center honors three Utahns. [DNews]
2012 watch: Our Destiny PAC pollster Whit Ayers lays out the case on why investing in the pro-Huntsman SuperPAC is important. [Politico]
-> Sen. John McCain may endorse Mitt Romney. [TheHill]
-> Reuters does a good job of explaining what exactly a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate between Huntsman and Newt Gingrich would look like. [Reuters]
-> Romney says he may name his Cabinet before elected a practice that would actually be illegal. [USAToday]
-> Romney's latest ad appears to hit Gingrich on marriage. [USAToday]
-> Huntsman targets Wall Street as he tries to contrast himself with his GOP rivals. [Bloomberg]
-> Huntsman asks Republicans to give him another look. [WSJ]
-> Squishy? Nah. Huntsman dials back his concern over the science of climate change after a firestorm of critiques. [Politico] And a deeper look on exactly how Huntsman changed his position and then came back. [TPM]
-> Huntsman's SuperPAC has no plans to air ads in Iowa (which is kinda clear since he's not competing there). [DesMoinesRegister]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz questions AG Eric Holder at a Judiciary Committee hearing and then departs for Afghanistan.
Gov. Gary Herbert is in Palm Springs for the Western Governors Association winter meeting.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell posts his weekly blog post.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon is in Orlando for the National Association of Counties fall board meeting.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker joins a conference call with Inclusion Center Executive Director Kilo Zamora and hits the Envision Utah Board of Trustees meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder speaks to the Women's Republican Club, joins the city's employee holiday celebration and awards and heads to the Miss Margene's performance of the Nutcracker at Hunter High School.
President Barack Obama meets with House Democratic leaders in the Oval Office and then does a round of regional interviews with television anchors from Indianapolis, Memphis and Portland (Maine). Later, the president delivers remarks in the Grand Foyer at the Hanukkah reception.
Correction: It was the Salt Lake City Council that approved the Broadway-style theater in downtown, not the County Council. Thanks to our eagle-eyed readers for keeping me straight.
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Thomas BurrTwitter.com/thomaswburrwith editor Dan Harrie