GOP comfortable with Mormon candidates, but polygamy remains an issue. Huntsman off the Virginia ballot. Wimmer protests Eric Holder's trip to Utah.
Happy Friday and Merry Christmas, looks like no one will see their payroll taxes increase on Jan. 1, because House Republicans decided to reverse course and pass a two-month extension of the tax holiday after getting pummeled politically by Democrats in recent days. [WaPost] [FoxNews]
Topping the news: Republicans are far more open to voting for a Mormon presidential candidate than Democrats, according to The Tribune's national poll, though 25 percent of the nation is still wary. [Trib]
-> Polygamy continues to be a PR impediment for the LDS Church. It was the most often cited concern in the poll, drawing more responses than people who say Mormons are not Christian or in a cult. [Trib]
-> Mitt Romney says he won't release his tax returns, even if he is the nominee, breaking a tradition long followed by both parties. [NYTimes]
Happy Birthday: to Carlton Christensen and on Christmas Day to the esteemed Debbie Hummel and Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller.
Utahn of the Year: Check The Tribune this Sunday to find out who claims the honor of Utahn of the Year, top contenders include prominent politicos such as Ralph Becker, Jon Huntsman, Becky Lockhart and Mike "Burwash" Winder. Here's a link that identifies the 16 people under consideration. [Trib]
Enjoy the holiday: Cornflakes will return on Tuesday with a heaping bowl of political tidbits.
Tweet of the day: From @lukerussert: "Boehner tells me, 'may not have been politically the smartest thing in the world. to fight Sen payroll compromise."
In other news: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be in Utah next month to give a speech at the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission lunch, but commission member and congressional candidate Carl Wimmer says Holder is too controversial. [Trib]
-> Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love prepares to open up her campaign office in her bid to win Utah's new 4th seat and beat incumbent Rep. Jim Matheson. [DNews]
-> Take a look at the highest paid city employees. [Trib]
-> Rolly gives us his annual Night Before Christmas story with some prominent mentions of Becky and Stan Lockhart. [Trib]
-> Bagley laments the lack of a white Christmas. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick looks back on the political year that was. [UtahPolicy]
-> The state Supreme Court denies the Salt Lake County auditor's plea to step into budget fight. [DNews]
-> A Southern Utah University official who his job because he got busted in a prostitution sting is back on campus in a new role. [Trib]
-> The South Jordan mayor is heading off to New Zealand for a job with the LDS Church and the City Council will appoint a new mayor soon and so far 19 people have applied. [Trib]
2012 watch: George H.W. Bush backs Romney and apparently isn't a big fan of Newt Gingrich. [HoustonChron]
-> Romney opens up about one of his rarely spoken of loves — cars. [MSNBC]
-> A Democratic group owns and is willing to sell NewtGingrich.com, but it is sure going to be costly. [HLN]
-> Gingrich says he has grown into himself, but his biggest political enemy may be the old Newt. [NYTimes]
-> Vanity Fair has created pin up calendar for prominent Republicans. The photos are fakes and (warning!) they are kind of disturbing too. [VanityFair]
Where are they?
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-- Matt Canham