Herbert third-most popular governor. Leavitt unveils Romney transition plans. Hill AFB to gain 200 jobs.
Happy Thursday. Gov. Gary Herbert is a popular guy in Utah, and according to a New York Times analysis, is the third most popular governor in America. Herbert nabs a 73 percent approval rating while some 20 percent of Utahns disapprove of his job performance, putting the state's chief executive just below Wyoming's Matt Mead and Arkansas Mike Beebe. [NYTimes]
Topping the news: The National Security Agency is working with the University of Utah to start a new degree program for data center management ahead of opening its new center in Bluffdale. [Trib]
-> What would a Romney administration look like? Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt details the process he and his team went through to prepare for a new president and the 200-day plan they would have launched on Day One. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Also note the Photoshopped photo included in the transition team's book that erases three governors between Leavitt and Romney. [Trib]
-> Hill Air Force Base could land some 200 jobs as the military moves all F-22 maintenance operations to Ogden from California. [Trib]
Happy birthday: To Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.
In other news: California Rep. Darrell Issa has waged a campaign against the Obama administration but four other Republicans, including Rep. Jason Chaffetz, are doing their part to go after the White House. [Politico]
-> Facing potential domestic violence charges, Utah Shooting Sports Council's Clark Aposhian may lose his firearms and his perch as a top pro-gun spokesman in the state.
-> Sen. Mike Lee is raising money arguing that liberals are waging war on the American people. [DNews]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on how Sir Isaac Newton may have seen Apple Inc. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee says the Utah Legislature has hit a course correction that's been long needed. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott notes that there's very little that could pull the attention away from embattled AG John Swallow. [UtahPolicy]
-> Rep. Jim Matheson says the nation can't just say "no way" to the idea of a path to citizenship for immigrants. [UtahPolicy]
-> A gay rights group is protesting Weber State University's plan to name a family center after LDS Church Apostle Boyd K. Packer. [Trib]
-> Many Utah cities are still suffering from the recession, with budgets mainly taking hits from rising health care costs. [Trib]
Nationally: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's announcement that she won't seek re-election caps a tumultuous rise and fall of the out-spoken member of Congress. [WaPost]
-> A new study shows that immigrants have paid billions more into Medicare than the program has paid out on their behalf, proof, some say, that they haven't been a drain on the nation as others have argued. [NYTimes]
-> In ruby red states, Democrats find themselves in a tough spot: do you run the candidate who may be more conservative but can win or stick to ideologic principles. [NYTimes]
-> Twenty-five tea party groups have filed lawsuits against the IRS and the White House over the extra scrutiny they received in the last election cycle. [Politico]
Where are they?