News roundup: U.S. Chamber backs one Democrat: Matheson
Chamber backs Matheson. Lee fights judicial nominee. DNC hits Romney.
Happy Friday. Ahead of Mitt Romney's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference today, the DNC is out with a new video attempting to show Romney's flip-flops on several issues as well as some controversial comments by Ann Coulter, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann and Rand Paul. [YouTube]
-> Meanwhile, Romney held court with donors last night at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Washington, D.C. where former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt headed a panel on health care. Reporters weren't allowed inside.
Topping the news: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is offering its support for just one Democrat so far: Rep. Jim Matheson. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee continues his fight against President Barack Obama's appointments, voting against a judicial nominee with just five other Republican senators. [Trib]
-> In a state widely touted as having the world's best snow, Utah lawmakers agreed to make skiing and snowboarding the state's official sports. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: @RyanDWilcox: "Just received a report from security that bomb-sniffing dog "relieved" himself on @utahsenate floor today. @UtahReps to honor dog."
Happy birthday: Today to the Tribune's always inspiring Pat Bagley, and on Saturday to state Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, Jon2012Girl Mary Anne Huntsman and Corrections Department spokesman Steve Gehrke.
In other news: A state engineer has been asked to reconsider his decision last month to allow Green River water to be used for the first nuclear power plant proposed for Utah. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on Wall Street's poker-like games of chance. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly digs deeper into the DABC, arguing it "just ain't what it used to be." [Trib]
-> Union Pacific settles pollution case with federal regulators, agreeing to pay $1.5 million in pollution violations. [Trib]
-> Taylor Oldroyd announces he's running for the Republican nomination for a new seat in the state House, representing east Lindon, northeast Orem and north Provo. [Herald]
-> Sen. Lee says the Obama administration is still "wed" to the idea of taxing some more than others. [HumanEvents]
-> At CPAC, Lee gets called Mr. Constitution, and he endorses two more candidates. [Trib]
-> My conservation with KCPW's Jeff Robinson about this week's political happenings. [KCPW]
2012 watch: A Super PAC supporting Ron Paul is found to be operated by a political activist steeped in conspiracy theories. [NBC]
-> Mitt Romney met privately with conservative leaders at the annual CPAC event to help Republicans skeptical of him to "feel comfortable" about his candidacy. [CNN]
-> All eyes are on Maine this weekend as the state holds the only contest for a couple weeks in the presidential race. [USAToday]
-> Romney and Rick Santorum are in a dead heat in a new Pennsylvania poll. [WaPost]
-> Ron Paul slams both Romney and Santorum for leaning too far left of the spectrum. [CNN]
-> After taking on roles in his family's ventures, Jon Huntsman has been elected to Ford Motor Company's board of directors. [Trib] [Fox13]
The Session: A House committee narrowly advances the abstinence-only sex-ed bill after a few amendments. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [Herald]
-> As much as 20,000 of Utah's coyotes could have a bounty on their heads as lawmakers look to protect deer and cattle herds. [Trib]
-> This bill would reduce requirements for auto safety inspections in favor of dispatching more troopers on the highway. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The free-fare zone for UTA buses might come to an end in an effort to streamline costs. [Trib]
-> Could Utah earn more than $300 million a year from drilling? [Trib]
-> Utah hospital infection rates may soon be public after a bill to disclose the information won unanimous approval in a Senate committee. [Trib]
-> SLC Mayor Ralph Becker's plan to outlaw cars from idling for more than two minutes has met its match in a bill looking to overturn the measure. [Trib]
-> A House committee OKs a Hookah ban that would ban its use in public places, with a five-year exemption for hookah bars and e-cigarette shops. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers hold onto the controversial birth-father bill that would give more rights to biological dads if their baby is put up for adoption. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Senate approves limits on fireworks after adding a midnight curfew. [Trib]
-> The reporting of U. student fees might have stricter guidelines after an audit revealed the school's informal practices. [Trib]
-> One lawmaker unveils a teacher employment bill that would rate salaries based on their performance in the classroom. [Trib]
Where are they?
Rep. Rob Bishop has no public events.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz participates in a morning fundraiser, then attends the Grand County Lincoln Day dinner.
Gov. Gary Herbert visits the Western Hunting Expo at the Salt Palace Convention Center and then hosts a cabinet meeting.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell attends the cabinet meeting, joins higher-ed leaders in the Capitol rotunda and later travels to Moab for the Grand County Lincoln Day dinner.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon hits the monthly Board of Tourism meeting.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker goes to a community development block grant and emergency solutions grant funding meeting then meets with Tracy Aviary executive director Tim Brown.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder reads to second graders at Valley Crest Elementary, has lunch with South Jordan Mayor Scott Osborne, then goes to cottage meetings in Millcreek and Taylorsville.
President Barack Obama signs H.R. 3801, the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012 the last piece of legislation that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords sponsored and voted on in the House.
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Thomas Burr and Laura SchmitzTwitter.com/thomaswburr
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