SL County officials asked Winder to keep out of mayor race. Gingrich flak questions Chaffetz. Undecided wins AG race.
Happy Friday. Turns out, some Salt Lake County party leaders aren't too happy about West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder's bid for Salt Lake County mayor, and at one point tried to talk him out of running. Utah Policy discovered a letter from party officials suggesting that Winder's "Richard Burwash" problem -- wherein he used a fake penname to write stories for the Deseret News -- would hurt he and other GOP candidates -- doesn't deter the mayoral candidate, who says the media doesn't decide who wins elections. [UtahPolicy]
Topping the news: Newt Gingrich's spokesman goes after Rep. Jason Chaffetz at a campaign stop in Florida, questioning whether the Utah congressman has ever invested in Fannie and Freddie. [NBCNews]
-> A poll of Salt Lake County GOP delegates shows that "undecided" is winning in the Utah attorney general race. [UtahPolicy]
Happy Birthday: To Sen. Mike Lee's chief of staff Spencer Stokes, Politico's Matt Dobias, West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, and, on Saturday, to Clarity Sanderson.
Tweets of the day: @daveweigel: "2052 GOP debate: "Frankly, the moon colonists are an invented people.""
Heading home: Wayne Bradshaw, a senior aide to Rep. Rob Bishop, is heading back to Utah, where he will seek an MBA and work in the congressman's Ogden office. The staff held a farewell lunch at Cafe Rio (yes, we have a few of them back here).
-> Gov. Gary Herbert vows to make changes in the company that controls and sells liquor in Utah in the midst of its criminal investigation. [Fox13]
-> The company once touted as the main backer for Utah's first nuclear power plant has been accused of scamming investors. [Trib]
-> An atheist group targets UTA over bus ads after the transit company denied to run the group's advertisement. [Trib]
-> Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff gets frustrated with a group joining Utah's immigration case, leaving a "terse" message for its chief legal counsel. [Trib]
-> The feds agreed to let Utah reward Medicaid patients for making healthy choices, turning a 180 degrees on their original decision. [Trib]
-> Auditors urge Utah schools to keep parents in the loop about school council elections. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss the first week of the legislative session. [UtahPolicy]
-> Utah follows Wyoming's lead to protect an at-risk bird, hoping to keep it off the endangered list. [Trib]
-> Newt Gingrich's campaign admits an error the former House speaker made in an interview. [CNN]
-> Gingrich gets an endorsement from former GOP Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham -- from his jail cell in federal prison. [WaPost]
-> Rick Santorum's low cash flow isn't doing him any favors in an increasingly two-man contest, but he insists he's not backing down. [WaPost]
-> Even while trying to woo Hispanic voters, Romney rarely mentions he has Mexican roots. [DNews]
-> Though not addressed much in the debates, the candidates' stance on foreign policy falls into two polarized camps. [CNN]
The Session: The House shelves a proposal that would require smokers to pay more for Medicaid services. [Trib]
-> Democrats pushed a bill that would force caucuses to be open, after many Dems complained Republicans were making controversial decisions behind closed doors. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers hit the brakes on a proposal to allow drivers an extra 10 mph in freeway express lanes. [Trib]
-> Utah Policy's Bernick says no one has jumped or been thrown off the Capitol's fourth floor balcony, so it's been a good week. [UtahPolicy]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz is in Florida, joining up with Romney's campaign.
Gov. Gary Herbert attends the 2nd annual rural legislative day, then heads to the declaration signing for Kanab City's 100th anniversary, later joining Lt. Gov. Greg Bell for their weekly meeting.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell leads a discussion with legislators and rural community leaders at the capitol then gives recognition awards to rural small businesses.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon attends a downwinders recognition, then heads to a chili open dinner and auction for Sugar House Rotary.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker goes to the Day of Remembrance proclamation reading.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends the annual city council strategic plan retreat and celebrates his 36th birthday with family.
President Barack Obama speaks to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor State of the Union about his State of the Union proposal to keep college affordable, then goes to Cambridge, M.D. to deliver remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference.
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-- Thomas Burr and Laura Schmitz
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