News roundup: Leavitt woos conservatives in Congress
Published: June 19, 2012 07:13AM
Updated: June 19, 2012 10:30AM
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Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo Mike Leavitt, former governor of Utah and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been named this year's "Giant in our City" by the Salt Lake Chamber.

Leavitt spotted on the Hill. Study: Utah voter turnout sagging. Herbert calls special session.

Happy Tuesday. Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who is heading up Mitt Romney's potential transition to the White House, met privately with conservative members of Congress yesterday to chat about health care. Leavitt has been criticized for his support of health care exchanges, though he declined to say whether that was a big discussion of the group: "We had a conversation about their views." [WaPost]

Topping the news: A new study finds systemic problems with Utah's voter turnout, arguing that mandatory I.D. laws paired with the Republican dominated state leave many residents wondering why they should cast a ballot. [UtahPolicy]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert calls a special session to address the shortage of liquor licenses for restaurants. A proposed bill would add almost 100 licenses and throw more money to the Utah Highway Patrol. [Trib] [Herald] [DNews]

-> Former GOP candidates for the House alleged that Chris Stewart conspired and tarnished his opponents reputations with delegates to help himself grab the nomination. [Trib]

-> The New York Times looks at the two most endangered members of Congress: A Republican from Illinois and Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah. [NYTimes]

Tweets of the day: From @tvheidihatch: "Stupid people keep journalists in business. Today I would like to formally thank the people making bad decisions for providing me with work."

And from @politicoroger, referring to the Roger Clements acquittal on perjury before Congress: "Why should lying to Congress be a crime? Name a member of Congress who has never lied on the floor of Congress?"

In other news: In his newly released book, Marco Rubio details his life as a Mormon while growing up in Las Vegas, and the events which lead to his departure from the church. [Trib]

-> Mayor Ralph Becker and the Salt Lake City Council disagree on the budget. Becker is in favor of lowering the spending, while the council wants a about a million dollars for capitol improvements. [Trib]

-> Utah health reformers brace for changes as the nation awaits the Supreme Court's decision. Advocates urge consumers to voice their opinions to the Legislature on possible health exchange changes. [Trib]

-> The Washington Nationals' superstar outfielder Bryce Harper's response to a question about Canadian drinking laws, "That's a clown question, Bro," has renewed interest in his Mormon faith. [CNN]

-> Congress approves a bill that would return culturally significant land to the Ute Indian Tribe in exchange for lands with natural gas deposits that can help fund public education. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Utah housing market shows signs of recovery as home sales and values begin to grow again. [DNews]

-> The GOP candidates for Attorney General argue over who has the best credentials for the job, while outside PACs dole out harsh words and accusations. [DNews]

-> Bryan Schott offers his five things he thinks this week -- including a big vote for HBO's Veep. [UtahPolicy]

-> A tribute to the late Derek T. Jensen, a former Deseret News reporter who was killed in a tragic car-bicycle accident last week. [DNews]

-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz continues his fight against horses as service animals in restaurants. [TheHill]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch is calling on the IRS to put up more privacy protections for campaign donors against those who would intimidate them. [NewsMax]

2012 watch: Self-proclaimed Romney-expert, John Kerry, will spar with Obama in debate rehearsals. [WaPost]

-> Romney basks in the much anticipated GOP glow in post-election Wisconsin as he takes the stage with Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan. He says Obama shouldn't count the state in his column. [WaPost] [MSNBC]

-> Obama still can more to do more to ensure the Latino vote is his. [WaPost] However, his immigration announcement may payoff in battleground states. [LATimes]

-> Tagging on to his comments that fixing the economy is hard, Obama asks voters to be patient with him and the economy. [TheHill]

-> Jon Huntsman's daughters were for their dad in the Republican primary, but now it appears they're not sure whether to back Romney or Obama on Election Day. [Politico]

-> The Romney Five: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig will appear on Conan O'Brien this Wednesday in their first televised campaign appearance. [CNN]

-> Romney says Obama's policies on illegal immigration are lacking and when they happen, they're for political gain. [LATimes]

Where are they?

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com.

-- Thomas Burr and Andreas Rivera
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/andreascrivera