Polls show Bush and Obama not so far apart. Papers: Shurtleff, Swallow charged thousands in expenses to convicted fraudster. Utah voters getting more diverse, still 90% white.
Happy Thursday. There are more similarities between Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama than you might think. Voters, according to polls, grade the two commanders in chief about the same, despite the fact the anti-Bush sentiment helped fuel Obama's rise. In the end, though, polls show the country remains deeply divided along partisan lines. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Then-AG Mark Shurtleff and his successor charged thousands of dollars in travel expenses to a man the office had charged with six felonies, according to the now-convicted fraudster and the receipts he gave The Tribune. [Trib]
Utah voters are getting slightly more diverse, though nine in 10 voters last election where still white and the Census can't even give a statistically sound estimate of how many black voters there were. [Trib]
-> The top U.S. diplomat in Libya after the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens tells a House panel that the administration misled Americans. He also noted that the State Department refused to let Rep. Jason Chaffetz interview him. [Trib] [KUTV] [WaPost] [DNews]
Tweet of the day: From @martycarpenter: "Well, that certifies it. I have never heard of any of the bands playing SLC Twilight this year. Oh wait, that happened last year, too."
Happy birthday: To Diane Wiley-Turner, Councilman Randy Horiuchi, Liddy Huntsman and Diana Lee Hirschi.
Oh, Conan: The late-night host pokes fun at Mitt Romney, editing his speech at Southern Virginia University to show him saying, "I don't think God cares." [RS]
In other news: Rep. Chris Stewart gets four Pinocchios from The Washington Post for his claim that climate change research has been "repeatedly discounted." [WaPost]
-> Former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt returned to the agency this week for the unveiling of his official portrait. [DNews]
-> The UTA board is looking at whether to change its police force to focus on bigger crimes or contract out its services to another agency. [Trib]
-> Byron York looks at Sen. Mike Lee's amendments to the immigration bill and concludes that the Utah Republican really just wants to squash the legislation. [Examiner]
-> The Sierra Club's report card is out for Utah lawmakers and not surprisingly, Democrats fared well while Republicans flunked. [Trib]
-> The SL County Council wants a say in if and where the prison moves but wants to ask nicely. [Trib]
-> Five Utah educators were honored by Gov. Gary Herbert with Arch Coal awards and $3,500 checks. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee has introduced legislation to ban abortions in Washington, D.C. after 20 weeks of pregnancy. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott offers several ideas he would put in place if he were governor. [UtahPolicy]
-> A Republican state Senate leader wants to allow the public to weigh in on performance audits while a Democratic senator is suggesting caution to that approach. [UtahPolicy]
-> Romney, meanwhile, met with the San Diego mayor about the city's proposed bid to the 2024 Olympics with its cross-border sibling, Tijuana. [LaJollaLight]
Nationally: Gun control and immigration reform may be hot topics in Washington, but they rank at the bottom of the top 12 priorities for most Americans, according to a Gallup poll. [Politico]
-> The Air Force has removed 17 officers from their ability to launch nuclear missiles and the group's commander says there's "rot" in his ranks. [AP]
Where are they?