News roundup: Why 'Teflon' Romney continues to win
White House race runs to Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Profiling Joanna Brooks. Huntsman on Leno.
Happy Monday. After Mitt Romney's convincing win in Nevada this weekend (helped along by Mormons who made up 26 percent of caucus-goers), the focus of the presidential race turns to Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri for their contests tomorrow. Romney would have still won the Silver State if Mormon voters stayed home, but the ample victory margin was a nice gift for his campaign. [APviaTrib] [CNN]
-> After a blockbuster month, the candidates will soon be able to take a breath in a February calm before the Super Tuesday storm on March 6. [WaPost]
-> Princeton's Julian Zelizer suggests several reasons why Romney has become the Teflon candidate this cycle and continues to win. [CNN]
Topping the news: CNN's Jessica Ravitz (formerly of The Salt Lake Tribune) profiles Mormon writer Joanna Brooks. [CNN]
-> A Provo lawmaker brings back a bill that would ban tenure for college professors, a move that would make Utah the first state to ban the practice. [Trib]
This week: Look for Jon Huntsman's appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday night.
Today's news: Rep. David Butterfield wants to ban police check points, arguing saturation patrols are more useful in catching drunk drivers. [UtahPolicy]
-> State lawmakers are proposing notification for biological fathers about adoption proceedings. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly talks about a good deal on wine that got sipped up before merchants knew it wasn't supposed to be on sale in the first place. [Trib]
-> A proposal to change how lawmakers' retirement benefits may force some to not seek re-election. [UtahPolicy]
Opinion section: Pat Jarvis suggests one way Medicaid could be reformed in Utah. [Trib]
-> Pat Pagley likens the Utah Legislature to a six-ring circus. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee says the proposed "Personhood" amendment imperils women's hard-won rights. [Trib]
-> Bagley offers his take on Romney's relationship to other classes. [Trib]
-> LaVarr Webb and Frank Pignanelli look at some of the political dynamics involved in this year's congressional races. [DNews]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett notes that head-to-head polls on Republicans beating President Barack Obama are meaningless this early and it'll all come down to the economy in October. [DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @greenfield64: "Any candidate, columnist, or TV talking head who makes lame political allusion[s] to the Superbowl in coming days needs to be named and shamed."
The Session: In response to an Ogden swimmer's death in a hit-and-run boating accident this fall, a panel voted to make leaving the scene of a boating accident clearly illegal. [Trib]
-> The state school board said no to a bill that would grant tax credits for donors of scholarship organizations that pay for children to attend private school. [Trib]
-> Two gun bills sail through a House committee that would make it easier for police to purchase firearms as private citizens and allow hunters to carry concealed weapons. [Trib]
-> The use of a small, "practice" pharmacy is under investigation after a pharmacist complained of illegal pill dispensing. [Trib] Meanwhile, physicians put forward a bill that argues the current law doesn't give patients the care they need. [Trib]
-> The House passes a bill that could remove voters from casting their ballots if they don't consecutively return to the polls enough. [Trib]
-> The Legislature is steeped in debate amid criminal "intent" bills that try to stop crimes before they start. [Trib]
-> A bill was unanimously cleared by a Senate committee that would save charter schools millions by allowing them to receive state backing. [Trib]
-> The Legislature is priming to clamp down on several measures pushed by SLC Mayor Ralph Becker. [Trib]
-> Senate advances a bill that would trim Utah's environmental advisory boards. [Trib]
-> Rep. Chris Herrod compromises on his guest-worker bill. [Trib]
-> An effort to push a state-wide ban on anti-gay and transgendered discrimination failed in a Senate committee in its fifth year to be brought to the Legislature. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
2012 watch: A Washington law firm has settled a lawsuit against the Huntsman campaign for unpaid rent in a D.C. office. [WaPost]
-> An Episcopal priest says Romney needs to open up more about his faith if he wants to overcome concerns about Mormons. [TNR]
-> Nevada caucuses suffer a low voter turnout and bitter confrontations at an evening caucus after some were turned away for not proving they couldn't vote earlier because of the Jewish Sabbath. [FoxNews]
-> Newt Gingrich isn't deterred by his 25-point loss to Romney in Nevada, vowing to push forward with his "bold" ideas combating Romney's "timid" ones. [NYTimes] [NBC]
-> Rick Santorum plans to do "exceptionally well" in Missouri, where he says no candidate will naturally come with an upper hand. [WaPost]
-> Ron Paul says it's "hard to say" when he'll see a caucus or primary victory, but he's determined to stay in the game. [ABCNews]
-> D.C. Notebook: Sen. Orrin Hatch loves Romney, but warns him to avoid political blunders. [Trib]
-> Romney misfires when suggesting that the U.S. is the only country where citizens place their hands over their hearts for their national anthem. [WaPost]
Weekend in review: College students rally at the state Capitol to push for more higher education funding, hoping to boost the percentage of Utahns with college degrees. [Trib]
-> Gov. Herbert fumes while environmentalists grin after word of the Obama administration's plans to withdraw thousands of acres in Utah from potential oil and gas exploration. [Trib]
-> Rep. Jim Matheson says in a telephone town hall that the feds are slowing down development. [Trib]
-> As West Jordan faces cash problems, it looks to its residents for potential tax increases. [Trib]
-> The I-15 reconstruction in Utah County may cost $200 million less than planned, which might let the allow the state to avoid issuing more bonds this year. [Trib]
-> A FreedomWorks booklet attacking Sen. Orrin Hatch will be hitting Utahns mailboxes, in a $67,000 campaign to unseat the incumbent. [Trib]
-> The head of Utah's Department of Public Safety is asking for $675,000 to increase wages for Highway Patrol troopers, who have been under a pay freeze since 2008. [Trib]
-> A laid-off state archaeologist is denied an appeal to return to his job in a squabble of semantics. [Trib]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz returns to Washington, D.C.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell hosts the Utah commission on Immigration and Migration then joins Herbert in welcoming students from 33 charter schools to the state Capitol.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon speaks at a cultural core board meeting then hosts a visit from a Shanghai College delegation.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker goes to a cultural core board meeting and hosts employee open-door meetings.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends the Utah League of Cities policy meeting at the Capitol.
President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors at the White House.
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Thomas Burr and Laura SchmitzTwitter.com/thomaswburr