News roundup: More scrutiny for Romney's Mormon faith
Published: October 24, 2012 07:53AM
Updated: October 24, 2012 07:53AM
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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, in Golden, Colo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Romney distances himself from Mourdock rape comment. Utah Dems: Split the ticket. 13 days until Election Day.

Happy Wednesday. Indiana Republican Sentate candidate Richard Mourdock said that rape-induced pregnancy is "something that God intended to happen," and that abortions should only be allowed if the mother's life is in danger. [WaPost] [Politico] Romney, who backs Mourdock, said he does not agree with the Senate candidate's position. [BuzzFeed]

-> Meanwhile, The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan wonders why the media is giving Romney a pass on his Mormon faith's history with black members, charging that had Obama attended a church where white people weren't allowed privileges, the media would be all over it. [DailyBeast] In that vein, Romney's Mormon faith faces increasingly heavy scrutiny as the election draws near, especially its now-void priesthood ban for black males. [BuzzFeed]

Topping the news: National Journal looks at people who might fill a Romney Cabinet and top positions, including Mike Leavitt, Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and former Sen. Bob Bennett. [NJ]

-> The Utah Democratic Party encourages voters to "split the ticket" and not simply vote for candidates strictly by their party. [Fox13]

-> A GOP activist accused of several sexual assaults killed himself at the Heber City cabin where he held political fundraisers. [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @RalstonReports: "By the way, someone asked me today if people who have voted early can change their votes later. Ah, America."

In other news: Donna McAleer, Rep. Rob Bishop's Democratic challenger, goes after Bishop for seeking big earmarks for political donors. [Trib]

-> Lightened tax load: Utahns paid 9.3 percent of their income in taxes in 2010, down from the two previous years. [Trib]

-> A study done by an assistant professor at BYU compares Rep. Jim Matheson's ideology not only to his own party, but also to prominent Utah politicans. [UtahDataPoints]

-> El NiƱo, a weather pattern predicted at one point to be Utah's saving grace, might very well be a no-show. [Trib]

-> Bryan Schott notes that Democrats are having a field day in social media with #TextsfromCrockett, poking fun at SL County mayoral candidate Mark Crockett. [UtahPolicy]

-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz has no regrets about a document dump that State Department officials say included sensitive information. [HuffPost]

-> A Christian club at Snow College files a lawsuit against the school after the implementation of a new policy they say infringes on their rights. [Trib] [DNews]

-> An 11-year-old Utah boy inspires an "In God We Trust" license plate design. [Trib]

-> The Trib's Paul Rolly discusses the timing of Sen. Karen Mayne's removal from the Interim Business and Labor Committee. [Trib]

The race for 270: The latest Electoral College predictions:
FiveThirtyEight: Obama 288.3, Romney 249.7
Pollster: Obama 253, Romney 206
RealClearPolitics: Obama 281, Romney 257

2012 watch: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls himself a "one-man wrecking crew" headed straight for Romney. [LVSun]

-> An editor from Iowa's Des Moines Register thinks an off-the-record conversation with President Barack Obama on Tuesday could sway voters in the swing state if its contents could be made public. [DMRegister]

-> After moderating Monday night's debate, Bob Schieffer said he doesn't expect to do it again. [Politico]

-> Log Cabin Republicans have given Romney a qualified endorsement. [NYTimes]

-> A Romney-Biden administration? Sounds crazy, but it could happen. [ABCNews]

-> AG Mark Shurtleff notes how Romney could win the popular vote but still lose the presidency. [UtahPolicy]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch publishes an op-ed saying that the president's new glossy pamphlet showing what he'd do in a second term doesn't count as a plan. [Politico]

-> It doesn't look like the Romney team will schedule any network interviews for their guy in the final weeks of the campaign. [Politico]

-> Romney supporters have nice things to say about the president, too! [BuzzFeed]

-> What? You didn't hear about the First Lady debate? [WaPost]

Where are they?

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

-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard