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Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol. Courtesy Eileen Hallet Stone
News roundup: Congress' approval rating lowest ever recorded

Huntsman says Obama U.S. born. Period. Lee wants own SuperPac. Lieberman says Mormonism shouldn't be an issue in race.

Happy Wednesday. Less than one in 10 Americans approve of Congress' job performance, according to a new CBS News/NYTimes poll, the lowest rating for lawmakers since the outlets began the survey some 30 years ago. The 9 percent approval rating is down two points from 11 percent only a month ago. Furthermore, it appears the American public have little confidence that either Democrats or Republicans can get it together to rescue the nation's economic limbo. [CBSNews]

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Topping the news: Sen. Mike Lee wants to break new ground in super PAC territory. He's asked the Federal Election Commission to be allowed to become the first officeholder to head his own super PAC that can raise unlimited amounts from rich individuals, corporations and unions to assist political friends and oppose foes. [Trib]

-> Sen. Joe Lieberman, the first Jewish person to run on a major presidential ticket, says Mormonism shouldn't be a big deal in Mitt Romney's White House bid. [Trib] [Herald] [DNews]

-> KCPW will continue on -- without SLC's funds -- after an anonymous person stepped up to loan the station some much-needed cash. SLC Mayor Ralph Becker had threatened to veto any city dollars going to the loan. [KCPW] [Trib]

-> Meanwhile, KCPW's Jeff Robinson gets an interesting take from Becker on redistricting: that he thinks Democratic lawmakers supported the GOP's redistricting maps because they wanted to save their seats, too. [KCPW]

Tweet of the day: From @JonHuntsman: "Barack Obama was born in America. Period. Let's stop this and focus instead on how we fix the economy that he bungled."

Happy birthday: To state Sen. Peter Knudson

Happening today: Sen. Orrin Hatch holds a town hall in Logan. And, AG Mark Shurtleff hosts the first-ever Mountain West Immigration Summit. "The meeting will focus on key stakeholders from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho who will begin to develop a common understanding of the value of immigrants and immigration to the Mountain West, and America." 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the ballroom of the City Center Marriott.

In other news: State Sen. Howard Stephenson requests audits of "vanity scholarship" funds in wake of Peter Valcarce-Kirk Jowers dustup. [Trib]

-> After meeting with top Justice Department officials, Utah leaders say their optimistic the federal government won't sue the state over its immigration reform law. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Interior Department says it is "strongly" opposed to Rep. Jason Chaffetz's proposal to sell off surplus federal land to pay down the national debt. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on what he thinks Chaffetz really wants with his plan to sell-off public lands. [Trib]

-> Utah's top newspaper leaders discuss the future of journalism and offer different paths forward. [Trib] [DNews]

-> ABC4's Chris Vanocur tells the state's alcohol-control board that they need to give up a tape of a closed-door meeting. [ABC4]

-> DABC commissioners also say that the agency has been mismanaged for decades. [Fox13]

-> A former top official in tiny Morgan County is sentenced to four years in prison after admitting to a long-term fraud that siphoned $1 million from the county's budget. Garth Day brought lots of supporters to federal court, but they didn't sway Judge Dee Benson to lighten the sentence. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly reports that Sandy City has developed a new revenue-enhancement scheme: surprise parking fines. [Trib]

-> The Bureau of Land Management has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of vandals who damaged rock art in Nine Mile Canyon. [Trib]

-> West Valley City's sanitation department is going green. [Trib]

-> The state courts in Utah are seen as accessible and fair, according to a survey by the courts. [Trib]

-> Nu Skin on Tuesday announced it's best-ever third quarter results and stocks hit a record high. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake City's new public safety building -- which isn't scheduled for completion until 2013 -- is now open for virtual tours. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake City International Airport has thrown the taxicab industry into turmoil with the award of contracts to two out-of-state firms. [Trib]

-> Utah is lauded for strides in online voter programs but activists question why initiative petitions and referendums are treated differently. [Trib]

-> Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar says journalists need to cover more environmental stories -- because there is an audience for it. [CJR]

2012 watch: What can Romney learn from history: Democrats are going after Romney's stiff image like the GOP went after Al Gore. [CSMonitor]

-> Behind the scenes of Huntsman's Colbert Report visit: Huntsman jokingly asked, "When's the the Chinese food coming," when Colbert played a Chinese-sounding tone but producers cut it from the final video because the audience groaned. [ABCNews]

-> Some conservatives claim Romney gave President Barack Obama ideas for his health care bill, but what if both stole the proposal from President Richard Nixon. [CNN]

-> Mega-preacher Joel Osteen says he accepts Romney's take that he believes in Jesus Christ. [YouTube]

-> Religion News Services notes that Romney isn't the first Mormon to run for president. [WaPost]

-> Romney's campaign is planning its own social media site (though he also used the MyMitt social networking in his 08 campaign, too). [CNN]

-> A New Hampshire freshman senator offers her support for Huntsman. [UnionLeader]

-> Romney attacks Obama over questionable loans to private companies from the Energy Department. [Politico]

Where are they?

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch will meet with hospital workers at the Logan Regional Hospital, speaks at USU and sits down with Cache County Republicans.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz hits a breakfast event with Romney, attends a Judiciary Committee hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and speaks in the evening at the "Faith & Public Service" BYU series.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert meets with King Kalonga Gawa Undi of the Chewa Tribe of Malawi from Zambia and Mozambique, sits down with deputy chief of staff, Ally Isom, hits the Utah Educational Savings Plan Bookmark Contest awards luncheon, meets with Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and then heads to the MD4 Event at Thanksgiving Point.
  • Bell and GOED Director Spence Eccles tour L3 Communications Center in SLC and meet with company executives.
  • Shurtleff holds his Immigration Summit.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon attends the Wasatch Canyon meeting, sits down with other county elected officials and speaks at the Youth Services After-School Program at Kearns Junior High.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker speaks to the SL Chamber's "Capitol Club" and then joins the SLC Justice Court swearing-in ceremony for Cathy Roberts.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder also hits the Capitol Club, joins a Waste Management press event, cuts the ribbon for the Yogurt Nut business and films his monthly mayor's video report.
  • Obama speaks in Denver on the administration's steps to increase college affordability and later returns to Washington.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com.

-- Thomas Burr


with editor Dan Harrie

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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