News roundup: Mormon to give prayer at GOP national convention
Published: August 20, 2012 08:10AM
Updated: August 20, 2012 08:10AM
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks to his car to attend a fundraising event on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012 in Nantucket, Mass. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Leavitt steps up Romney transition plans. Mormon to offer prayer at GOP convention. 78 days to the election.

Happy Monday. The Republican National Convention begins one week from today, and the Democrats follow the week after. In Tampa, convention officials are planning to do what several years of campaigning have failed to do: show the whole Mitt Romney, including an embrace of his Mormon faith. On the night Romney accepts the GOP nomination, an LDS official is expected to offer the opening prayer and time Romney spent as a bishop will be included in highlight videos. [NYTimes]

In other convention news:
-> Five myths about political conventions are debunked. [WaPost]
-> Romney has a good list of things to do before the convention kicks off. [NYTimes]

Topping the news: Both Romney and President Barack Obama headed to church on Sunday, with Romney attending the Mormon ward in New Hampshire and Obama walking to the Church of the Presidents across from the White House. [NYTimes] [HuffPost]
-> Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins, who is Mormon, was the Romney pool reporter and offers up all the interesting details. [Buzzfeed] [NYTimes]

-> The Romney transition team, headed by former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, is stepping up its efforts. [WaPost]

-> Get ready for a barrage of ads in the 4th Congressional District race as outside groups plan to flood the airwaves. [Trib]

-> Sen. John McCain says Romney has a lot of work to do to convince Latino voters they'll do better under a Romney administration. [Trib]

Today's news: Bob Bernick suggests that Romney may not be releasing his tax returns because he hasn't paid his full 10 percent tithing to the LDS Church and worries it'll tick off his Mormon base. [UtahPolicy]

-> Paul Rolly notes that the Living Planet Aquarium and other Utah businesses came forward to help out an Idaho boy suffering from a rare kidney disease. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @JMartPolitico: "Listening to @cspan replay of sunday shows. Think some of these campaign folk may be working from talking pts."

Happy Birthday: To Holly Mullen, Mike Mower and Joe Morton.

Happening today: The GOP will unveil its stage for the convention at 11 a.m. Eastern/9 a.m. Mountain Time. Video here: [YouTube]

Opinion section: The Washington Post's Charles Lane notes the federal government's one-time fight against the LDS Church. [WaPost]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the "you didn't build that" remark playing on Mars. [Trib]

-> Voices of Utah Children's Lincoln Nehring says yes, there's a cost for expanding Medicaid, but its a cost worth paying. [Trib]

-> Bagley writes about George Dern, a Democratic governor of Utah who went on to be FDR's secretary of war. [Trib]

-> Rolly says the showdown vote on Gov. Gary Herbert's judicial pick was a referendum on Senate President Michael Waddoups -- and Waddoups lost. [Trib]

-> SL County Mayor Peter Corroon takes on the Republican running for his job, Mark Crockett, challenging Crockett's comments about the county's fiscal situation. [Trib]

-> A former U.S. Treasury official now living in Utah argues why Romney should release more tax returns. [Trib]

-> George Pyle takes on Rep. Rob Bishop, arguing that protection of public lands isn't always about the beauty. [Trib]

-> Joel Campbell says legislative lawyers are playing games with the redistricting documents the Democrats and news media outlets are requesting. [Trib]

-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb note that the distorted idea that political campaigns of the past were nice and clean. [DNews]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says President Obama shouldn't drop Joe Biden from the ticket and praises the pick of Paul Ryan as Romney's veep. [DNews]

2012 watch: KSL's John Daley sits down with Jon Huntsman to talk about the 2012 race and his own political future. [KSL]

-> AP profiles Romney, noting how he takes after his father in many ways. [AP]

-> From the yes-this-really-happened file, the Romney cockroach beat the Obama cockroach in a New Jersey test. [HuffPost]

-> Paul Ryan releases two years worth of taxes and they show he paid a higher tax rate than Romney. [USAToday]

-> The Boston Globe calls on Biden to apologize for his remarks that the GOP ticket wants to "put y'all back in chains." [Politico]

-> Ryan, Romney's "bold" choice, is getting more comfortable on the campaign trail. [ABCNews]

-> Romney's pick of Ryan surprised even his close friends, including Chaffetz. [WaPost]

-> The (U.K.) Telegraph takes a look at Romney's belief in Mormonism -- an interesting take from a foreign news outlet. [Telegraph]

-> Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper notes that Romney's time in the spotlight also thrusts his church into the big stage. [Guardian]

-> Romney's campaign says it will release the candidate's 2011 tax return by Oct. 15. [Globe]

Weekend in review: The Utah Attorney General's office wants a federal judge to let a state immigration law go into affect since the Supreme Court has ruled on Arizona's law. [Trib]

-> Peg McEntee writes about a Justice Party candidate taking on southern Utah Rep. Mike Noel. [Trib]

-> A report on Utah's readiness to take on another Olympics is now due out in September. [DNews]

-> Utah County would be key if Scott Howell wants to beat Sen. Orrin Hatch in November. [Herald] Howell tells Cache Valley residents, meanwhile, that Hatch is out of touch with Utahns. [CacheValleyDaily]

-> A group of current and former female state lawmakers joined together at the Utah Capitol last week as part of KUED's documentary on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon, the state's first woman legislator. [Trib]

Where are they?

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to you inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr