News roundup: Mass exodus leaves Dems little chance to retake House
Published: January 16, 2014 07:04AM
Updated: January 16, 2014 10:16AM
Scott Sommerdorf | Tribune file photo U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, speaks to the Utah House in 2013.

Mass exodus leaves Dems little chance to take the House. Poll: Swallow probe cost too high. Is snowboarding an equal right?

Happy Thursday. The exodus from the House by some lawmakers, like Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, is making the ability of Democrats to take back the chamber even more impossible. Democrats have virtually no room for error come November if they hope to take back control of the House, though even then, it's likely not in the cards. [Politico]

-> Speaking of, here's a quick look at the breakdown of Dems and Republicans leaving the House as compared to recent sessions. [WaPost]

Topping the news: Nearly half of Utah's residents say the $3.5 million-plus price tag for the John Swallow investigation is too much and a waste of taxpayer dollars, a Tribune poll finds. [Trib]

-> State Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, is introducing a bill that would tell police when and where they can cite a person open carrying a gun with disorderly conduct. Ray said disorderly conduct citations are being used as gun control. [Fox13]

-> Wasatch Equality Utah and four snowboarders have sued Alta arguing that the ski resort's ban on snowboarding violates the 14th Amendment. [Trib] [Fox13] [KUTV]

Tweet of the day: From @SpencerJCox: "Observation: Politicians managing their own twitter accts equivalent to actors doing their own stunts. More fun and chance of injury."

Happy Birthday: To state Rep. Jim Bird and former Utah Republican Party Vice Chairwoman Christy Achziger.

Attention Hill staffers: For those of you working in the halls of Congress, Buzzfeed has compiled a list of 11 types of Hill staffers. Which one are you? [Buzzfeed]

In other news: A Utah teen fighting cancer has fallen through the Medicaid and cracks. Currently he has no insurance and if Utah accepted Medicaid expansion he would be covered. [Trib]

-> Rulings striking down laws barring same-sex marriage in Utah and Oklahoma may put pressure on the Supreme Court to hear a case on same-sex marriage. [DNews] [Herald]

-> A University of Utah law professor will argue before the Supreme Court next week that anyone who views child porn is liable for damages. [Trib]

-> AG Sean Reyes will soon announce the special council he hired to help with the state's same-sex marriage appeal. [DNews] [Herald]

-> Conservative Republicans at a Sutherland Institute conference said a direct primary would put money in charge of Utah elections. [KUTV]

-> Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. was named chairman of the Atlantic Council, a group invlved in trade, economic development and security in the transatlantic region. [Trib] [DNews]

-> State Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, wants to change Utah's three strikes theft law to four strikes in certain situations. He calls it the Jean Valjean law. [Trib]

-> The Salt Lake County Planning Commission gave a negative recommendation to rezoning request to allow denser housing along a road in the Dimple Dell area in South Jordan. [Trib]

-> The Blue Angels will appear at the Thunder Over Utah Air Show on July 26 and 27 in St. George. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]

-> Pat Bagley on how things on Mars may not be that different than things here. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly discusses notes from an LDS Church anti-same-sex marriage meeting from 2008, John Swallow's karma and an invite for all state lawmakers for dinner and shooting. [Trib]

-> If you didn't get enough of Mitt Romney dancing before, you're in luck. A new video has surfaced and it's better in everyway. [HuffPo]

Nationally: The House passed a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year. More than 60 Republicans and three Democrats voted against the bill. [WaPost]

-> A Senate Intelligence Committee report said the attacks in Benghazi could have been prevented. [WaPost]

-> According to a new NBC News/Marist poll, 69 percent of Americans said the George Washington Bridge scandal has not changed their opinion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Some 44 percent believe he is telling the truth about having no prior knowledge of the incident. [NBC]

Where are they?

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr and Topher Webb and