Romney Republicanism alive and well. Obama names monument, says more to come. Utah awards $2 million to lobby against sage grouse listing.
Happy Thursday. Romney Republicans are excited, at least those supporters who are celebrating victories of candidates Mitt Romney backed in GOP primaries this week. Three Romney-backed Republicans beat back challenges from tea party opponents, a move that Mitt fans shows "Romney Republicanism is alive and well in today's GOP." [Buzzfeed]
Topping the news: State lawmakers forced any Medicaid expansion talk off the table until 2015 despite Gov. Gary Herbert's efforts to form a plan for health care coverage for low-income Utahns. [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy]
-> President Barack Obama preserved 500,000 acres of land in New Mexico for a monument and said he will continue to act unilaterally if Congress doesn't step up to set aside more land. [Trib] [WaPost]
-> Utah has spent more than $500,000 on an economic study of the impacts of taking over federal land and the price tag could zoom higher. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]
-> And Utah officials have awarded a lobbyist $2 million to persuade Congress to leave protection of the greater sage grouse in the control of the state. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @RobertGehrke: "Senate confirmed several nominees, then was led in Happy Birthday by Sen. Osmond. In Utah, it ain't over until an Osmond sings."
Happy Birthday: To Chief Deputy of the Utah House Joe Pyrah and Utah Senate Minority Executive Assistant Janeen Halverson.
In other news: UTA leaders did not meet their goals, but the agency is forging ahead with bonus awards nonetheless. [Trib]
-> Willard Bay State Park reopens on Saturday, one year after a diesel spill was discovered. [Trib] [DNews] [KSL] [Fox13]
-> The Bureau of Land Management auctioned off oil and gas leases in southern Utah and raised $2.8 million from the sale. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch says the environmental movement has some of the "stupidest people" who would put fish above people in California's drought. [TheHill]
-> 4th Congressional District candidate Doug Owens may have scored some points against Republican Mia Love in their first debate but he may not have many more chances to do so in such a format. [UtahPolicy]
-> A judge has ruled that Park City Mountain Resorts missed its chance to re-up its lease and mountain owner Talisker Corp. is going with Vail Resorts as its new property manager. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake City Police Department plans to increase security in the Rio Grande Depot district. [Trib]
-> The Utah State Fair lost money in improvements and poor attendance last year and now state legislators may determine the fate of the annual event. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker are asking local businesses to reduce energy usage and pollution to reduce energy 15 percent in six years. [Trib]
-> The Utah Commissioner of Higher Education said the state is "always struggling" to match rapid growth in enrollment rates. [DNews]
-> The former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon visited Salt Lake City and and said if U.S. officials wants to stop illegal immigration, they must help the Mexican economy. [Trib] [DNews]
Nationally: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has decided not to appeal a federal ruling that allowed same-sex marriage in the state because he said he is "unlikely to succeed." [NYTimes] [WaPost] [LATimes]
-> Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chose five Democrats from the House to serve on a Benghazi panel after deciding it was best to join the investigative body than to ignore it. [NYTimes] [Politico]
-> White House officials announced that they have deployed 80 troops to Chad to help find the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls. [WaPost]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz eats breakfast with former U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman, meets with Conference Chair McMorris Rogers and speaks with the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Chaffetz later talks with Walmart's CFO, conferences with the Petroleum Marketers Association and ends his day by returning to Utah.
Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at a KUED media conference, talks with Commissioner Bruce Johnson, ceremonially signs bills, meets with director of the Utah Sentencing Commission Jacey Skinner and participates in the Let Me Speak to the Governor event with KSL.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams attends the Conference of Mayors meeting and talks with Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker bestows the Vest Pocket Award, launches a PeopleForBikes ride, meets with the Salt Lake City Restaurant Association's president and participates in the Salt Lake Valley Conference of Mayors. Later Becker goes to the Wasatch Front Regional Council, attends the Mountain Accord meeting and speaks at the Town Club.
President Barack Obama meets with travel and tourism CEOs and executives, heads to Cooperstown, New York to tour and speak at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and ends his night with a fundraiser dinner in Chicago.
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Thomas Burr and Courtney Tanner Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/CourtneyLTanner