News roundup: Romney more 'confident' about earning GOP nod
Romney more 'confident.' Herbert's rivals smell politics in veto. Chaffetz to join Ryan for budget rollout.
Happy Tuesday. Mitt Romney could earn a nice boost tonight toward grabbing the Republican nomination with the Illinois primary looking favorably his way. Some 54 delegates are available in tonight's contest and Rick Santorum can't even win 10 of them because of a campaign paperwork mistake. Romney, his wife, Ann, and surrogates are becoming more confident about clinching the GOP nod. [WaPost]
-> Five things to watch for in tonight's primary. [Politico]
-> Current delegate count: Romney: 531. Santorum: 253. Newt Gingrich: 136. Ron Paul: 50. (Jon Huntsman: 2). Needed to win: 1,144. [WSJ]
Topping the news: Some of Gov. Gary Herbert's Republican opponents are accusing the governor of strategically timing the veto of HB363. [Trib]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz will join Budget Chairman Paul Ryan at a news conference today unveiling the group's proposed budget, which seeks to overhaul the U.S. tax code by reducing rates and various tax brackets. [BusinessWeek]
-> A daughter of longtime Democratic leader Ted Wilson Missy, not Jenny is running for office on the SL County Council as a Republican. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @ArletteSaenz: "Santorum asks crowd to say a prayer for his wife Karen who is doing an interview tonight solo with Piers Morgan."
In other news: Pat Bagley skewers the Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka and Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of the change to sex-education education. [Trib]
-> SLC Council Chairman Soren Simonsen plans to run against Chaffetz in District 3. [KCPW]
-> The State Integrity project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International gives Utah a "D" grade on its corruption risk report card ranking it No. 36 out of 50 states. [StateIntegrity]
-> On the flip side, Utah gets a "B+" in government spending transparency, up from last year's "C," making it among the top 10 states showing progress. [DNews]
2012 Watch: Romney weaved through tough questions from college students after speaking to Bradley University in Illinois. [LATimes] [MSNBC]
-> Santorum distances himself from a controversial statement by a pastor of the Louisiana church he attended that non-Christians are free to leave the country saying he respects the right of religious freedom. [ABCNews] [NYTimes]
-> Gingrich says President Barack Obama "crushes" Christianity and appeases radical Islam. [WaPost]
-> Romney ignored all three of his GOP rivals in a Chicago speech, instead narrowing in on the incumbent he hopes to beat in the fall. [APviaNPR]
-> Santorum shines in the minds of southern evangelical voters as thousands gather to support the Catholic candidate. [WaPost]
-> After placing second in Mississippi, Gingrich seals the backing of its former governor Haley Barbour, in what Barbour describes as an endorsement "out of friendship." [USAToday]
-> As Paul's popularity on Twitter and Facebook dwindles, NBC takes a look at how all four candidates match up on their social media ratings. [MSNBC]
-> Paul spent more than he made in February and his cash flow is drier than its been throughout his entire campaign. [Houston]
-> Buddy Roemer, a 2012 presidential candidate who officially withdrew from the race in February but now is seeking a nomination with the Reform Party, is beating out Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. [ABCNews]
-> Santorum doesn't have many words for the issue many pollsters rate as the most important of the election: the economy. [Politico]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz' bill to sell off excess public structures is on the House floor for a debate while the congressman attends committee hearings, meets with Utah credit unions, Utah bankers and Riverton Mayor Applegarth. Chaffetz later attends the NRCC's March dinner.
Gov. Gary Herbert reviews bills from the legislative session, meets with Commissioner Mike McKee to discuss the Railroad Spur and then travels to Washington.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell meets with the Multicultural Commission, speaks at The Utah Retirement System and attends a Health Exchange Advisory Board meeting.
AG Mark Shurtleff does an interview with the NY Times at his office and then attends a fund-raiser for congressional candidate Jason Buck in Provo.
SL Mayor Ralph Becker has budget meetings with the Police Department and with public services.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon presents certificates at the Parks and Recreation Inclusion award ceremony and heads to the County Council meetings.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder hits his City Council meeting.
President Barack Obama hosts Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the White House.
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Thomas Burr and Laura SchmitzTwitter.com/thomaswburr