News roundup: GOP guv's: We're not Mitt Romney
GOP guvs: We're not Mitt Romney. Swallow's resignation timely. Ex-Virgin mayor back again.
Happy Monday. Republican governors have a message for voters: They're not Mitt Romney and they're not the obstructionist GOPers in Congress. Politico reports that the Republican state chiefs know they have to win over some Democratic voters and are trying to distance themselves from the problems Romney faced in 2012 and from the national infighting in their own party. [Politico]
Topping the news: Outgoing Attorney General John Swallow says the Lt. Gov.'s report on him had nothing to do with the timing of his resignation though the timing sure is coincidental. [Trib] More Swallow news below.
-> Utah Transit Authority passengers are more likely to be victims of crimes along bus lines than on TRAX or FrontRunner trains, a Tribune analysis shows. [Trib]
-> Jay Lee, the former Mayor of Virgin, Utah who once tried to force town residents to own guns and later pled guilty to misuse of taxpayer funds has been re-elected to the town council. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @stevenacook: "I just hope the Iran nuclear deal website works...."
Happy birthday: To state Rep. Kerry Gibson and Michael Mitchell, formerly of Equality Utah.
Swallow, continued: The team investigating Swallow said he was a very convincing man proclaiming his innocence, but that evidence shows implausible holes and credibility gaps in his stories. [Trib]
-> Swallow said that money was at the root of his decision to resign. Swallow had spend about $300,000 of his personal finances, and thought the remaining $1.5 million of the state's money could be better spent elsewhere. [Trib]
-> George Pyle talks about how Swallow did Utah a favor by resigning, and how one can avoid Swallow's fate. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick wonders whether the Swallow situation will finally force Utah lawmakers to pass meaningful campaign finance and election reform. [UtahPolicy]
-> Swallow's decision to resign was the right one as the office will now be able to conduct business as usual. [DNews]
-> Paul Rolly discusses the winners (House Speaker Becky Lockhart, Sen. Steve Urquhart) and losers (payday lenders, Rep. Ken Ivory) in the Swallow saga. [Trib]
Opinion section: Pat Bagley gives his take on why the Senate GOP blocks President Barack Obama's nominations. [Trib]
-> John Florez discusses how the politicians need to morally govern Utah and make decisions that reflect the communities' values, not what they think is right or wrong. A good example: expanding Medicaid. [DNews]
-> A group of activists say that the economical benefits of expanding Medicaid in Utah should be reason enough for Gov. Gary Herbert to approve of the measure. [Trib]
-> Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb discuss how despite the gloom and doom in politics there are still things to be thankful for. [DNews]
-> Rolly says a tea party effort to stop the Count My Vote initiative comes a little too late. [Trib]
-> Young Democrats of Utah President T.J. Ellerbeck says inaction on immigration reform and other bills shows that the Republican Party is the party of "no" despite Sen. Mike Lee claim that it's not. [Trib]
Weekend in review: State Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, has drafted legislation that would impose stiff fines for those that would vandalize Utah's natural wonders, like the infamous Goblin Valley Topplers. [Trib]
-> A task force unanimously approved proposed legislation that gives veterans more benefits to former soldiers who are honorably and generally discharged. [Trib]
-> A small Utah town will allow alcohol sales for the first time since its founding in 1860. [Trib]
-> Snow College President Scott Wyatt, a former state lawmaker, has been chosen as Southern Utah University's new president. [DNews]
-> Salt Lake County has hired Brigham Mellor as the new economic development director for the townships and communities of the unincorporated area of the county. [DNews]
-> A final recount in the West Jordan elections verifies the original results of Kim V. Rolfe being elected mayor. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert promoted Ron Gordon to his senior staff and named Jacey Skinner his new general counsel. [DNews]
Nationally: The United States and its allies have struck a deal with Iran that will stop it from gaining nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future in exchange for relief with economic sanctions. [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN] [NYTimes]
-> Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said that the United States "blew it" on performing surveillance plans that have angered foreign leaders and skeptics everywhere. [WaPost] [Politico]
-> The Department of Defense is giving local law enforcement agencies its military surplus, but the ACLU is criticizing the effort, saying it is making police forces too militarized. [WaPost]
Where are they?
Gov. Gary Herbert attends a National Bible Association event, reviews the budget and honors the Jazz Bear at the Jazz game.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams launches the Salt Lake Aging Services Holiday Giving Tree, has lunch with Taylorsville Mayor-elect Larry Johnson and sits down with South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder teaches "writer in residence" at Endeavor Hall School and attends the production of "Peter Pan" at Granger High School.
President Barack Obama travels to San Francisco to speak at Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center, attends two DNC fundraisers and travels to Los Angeles to attend fundraiser events for the DSCC and DCCC.
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Thomas Burr and Jordan Bailey Twitter.com/thomaswburr Twitter.com/thejordanbailey