Romneys help Christie. Swallow's poker hand. Hatch votes 'present.'
Happy Friday. Apparently, there are no hard feelings between the Mitt Romney family and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Despite the Republican governor's flowery talk about President Barack Obama just before the election -- talk that annoyed the Romney campaign to some degree -- two of Romney's sons attended a fundraiser for Christie this week. [Politico]
Topping the news: Embattled businessman Jeremy Johnson claims that Attorney General John Swallow said it was legal to process online poker payments in Utah -- where gambling is a no-no. [Trib]
-> The legislature's youngest member, Rep. Marc Roberts, says he keeps getting confused for an intern. [Fox13]
-> "Vulnerable" highway users, ranging from emergency responders to horseback riders, will see more legal protections under a new bill that passed through a Senate committee. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @CimCity: "In other news, @UtahGov state records committee pauses to turn the tape over. Can we get a digital device for them already?"
From @JeremyBRoberts: "Session Survivial Guide: If you become nervous before testifying about a bill, it is best NOT to picture your audience naked."
Happy birthday: Today to SITLA's John Andrews and state Rep. Mel Brown, on Saturday to Sean Reyes and on Monday to state Rep. Jack Draxler.
Heard on the Hill: "I'd like to make a motion to move to the next agenda item since my wife is expecting me for dinner at 6 o'clock." - Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross.
Programming note: We here at Political Cornflakes wish you a very happy Presidents' Day Weekend. Since Monday is a federal holiday, we'll return to your inbox and computer screens on Tuesday.
In other news: Sen. Orrin Hatch went with the "present" vote on Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, rather than vote for or against the guy. Sen. Mike Lee was a solid no vote. [Trib]
-> Hatch got some across-the-aisle love on Valentines Day from his colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- and he reciprocated, calling his fellow members his "friends." [Trib]
-> Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker joined the clean air chorus, calling on the Utah Legislature to do more to cut emissions. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake City doesn't attract rich folks quite like its other metropolitan counterparts, according to a new Census Bureau report. [Trib]
-> More than 250 disgruntled Eagle Mountain residents packed a town hall meeting to hear Mayor Heather Jackson, among others, respond to allegations leveled in a 60-page online critique against the city. [Herald] [Fox13]
-> The U.'s healthcare system says its preparing to take on new challenges poised by the Affordable Care Act. [Chrony]
-> In the spirit of Valentines Day, the Department of the Interior released a video of marriage proposals in the country's national parks and monuments. [Trib]
-> Environmentalist cheered a decision by the U.S. Forest Service not to sell 8,000 acres of old-growth timber in the Dixie National Forest. The move comes without an explanation. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott and LaVarr Webb discuss air quality, the anti-discrimination law and possible federal budget cuts in the weekly videochat. [UtahPolicy]
-> After 18 years on the State Records Committee, outgoing chairwoman Betsy Ross was honored by her colleagues as "the conscience of the community." [Trib]
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> Freshman Sen. Brian Shiozawa, an emergency room doctor, says he's pushing for patients by sponsoring a bill that would mandate that insurance plans cover autism treatment. [Trib]
-> Those seeking to get their drivers license will see more test questions about train safety, thanks to a new bill. [Trib]
-> One of this year's hot political topics -- guns -- will be even hotter at the Utah Legislature starting today, when six gun-related bills will hit committees. [Trib]
-> A scholarship bill got hung up on a debate about the International Baccalaureate program. [Trib]
-> Despite changes made at the recommendation of adoption lawyers, Utah's adoption community says its still mostly opposes a bill that would make open adoption agreements more enforceable. [Trib]
-> Some immigration-minded Republicans are waging war on factions within their own party, saying that some conservative-leaning research organizations aren't behind the GOP's new push for immigration reform. [WaPost]
-> Meanwhile, the Senate remains split on the immigration issue, with Republicans refusing to back any plan that includes amnesty. [WaPost]
-> And of course, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have a bit about Sen. Marco Rubio's infamous water grab during his State of the Union rebuttal. [WaPost]
Where are they?