News roundup: Highest paid White House staffer? A BYU grad
Published: July 2, 2013 08:04AM
Updated: July 2, 2013 08:03AM
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The White House is seen early Sunday, July 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Highest paid White House staffer: BYU grad. Pay hike for college presidents. Fighter jets grounded on the Fourth.

Happy Tuesday. Who makes the most money at the White House? If you can believe it, he's a BYU graduate who served in President George W. Bush's administration and now commands a salary of $225,000 under President Barack Obama. Seth Wheeler, who earned a bachelors in economics at BYU, is the best paid of the 460 people at the White House - not including Obama himself who earns $400,000 a year.

-> Wheeler is a senior adviser at the National Economic Council and is crafting Obama's strategy on housing finance, per Reuters, and makes more than his boss, NEC Director Gene Sperling, because Wheeler is detailed from the Federal Reserve, which has a higher pay scale. [Reuters]

Topping the news: College presidents in Utah will see their paychecks bumped up to 24 percent more as officials try to bring their pay scale near the middle of their counterparts' salaries nationwide. [Trib]

-> Sequestration cuts will mean no fighter jet flyovers at celebrations in Utah or the rest of the nation this Fourth of July. [DNews]

-> A system-wide glitch with Salt Lake City's high-tech parking meters means, for the time being, you can park for free downtown. Parking enforcement has been suspended until the problem is rectified. [Trib] [DNews]

Tweet of the day: From @keithalberstadt: "'Snowden can stay but he's gotta stop sharing US secrets...unless he knows how Breaking Bad ends. Then, spill it, TraitorBoy.' -V. Putin."

Happy birthday: to state Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis and Ori Hoffer.

In other news: New state laws took effect Monday, several of which relate to driving. It is now a misdemeanor for teens to talk and drive and for drivers to smoke in a vehicle if they have a passenger under 16 years of age. [ABC4] [Fox13]

-> AG John Swallow's lawyers say that the investigation into his conduct must focus solely on his time in office, as it is only his actions during that time that can lead to impeachment. [DNews]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert composed a work of cowboy poetry, which he performed at the end of the Western Governors' Association annual meeting on Sunday. Here's the highlights: [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers a tribute to the fallen firefighters who came to help. [Trib]

Nationally: Some top GOP strategists and candidates are speculating that the Republican Party's use of annual redistricting to safeguard the House majority may backfire in the long run, as these new districts may push the party further to the right. This may make the GOP less appealing. [Politico]

-> In Tanzania, Obama launched a new initiative to combat illegal wildlife trafficking and game poaching, with $10 million of State Department funding to be used across sub-Saharan Africa for training and technical assistance. [WaPost]

-> President Vladimir Putin said that NSA leaker Edward Snowden would have to stop revealing U.S. secrets if he's to have a shot at asylum in Russia. He also reiterated that he does not intend to send Snowden back to the U.S. [Politico] [NYTimes]

-> Meanwhile, Snowden slammed the Obama administration for leaving him "stateless" and employing scare-tactics to keep other potential leakers in line. [Politico]

-> Top defense contractors stand to make tens of millions of dollars if the Senate's approved border patrol plan, requiring specific models of helicopters and radar equipment for surveillance along the U.S.-Mexican border, comes into effect. [WaPost]

-> Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has astonished her allies on the left by becoming one of the most outspoken defenders of the NSA surveillance programs. [NYTimes]

-> Less than a week after Obama's speech on climate change, the EPA sent the White House a draft of its proposed greenhouse gas rule for new power plants, suggesting that the agency had its plans ready to go before the president's address. [Politico]

-> GOP members are hopeful that Obama's stronger stance on climate change will work to their benefit in the 2014 mid-term elections, encouraging voters from energy-rich states to elect Republicans to fight their cause. [NYTimes]

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 Isobel Markham
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham