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News roundup: Fearing Romney loss, GOP leaders hunt for new candidate

GOP worries over Romney loss. Extra state revenue expected. Romney visits Utah for Olympics anniversary.

Happy Monday and happy Presidents' Day. With the chance that Mitt Romney could lose Michigan, where he was born and where his father served as a popular governor, there's serious talk taking place about drafting a new Republican candidate who could force a brokered or contested Republican National Convention later this summer. But Romney's campaign counters that it has been the steady one in the race, unlike some flavor-of-the-month competitors. [Politico]

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-> ABC's Jonathan Karl quotes two unnamed Republican senators calling for a new candidate if Romney loses Michigan. [ABCNews]

Topping the news: State lawmakers may get good news tomorrow: An extra $400 million in revenue to build into their budget, money that could go to boost education, health care, building maintenance, and law enforcement. [Trib]

-> The Trib's Kirsten Stewart looks at the situation that left a homeless Utah man with 93 visits to the emergency room in 16 months. [Trib]

-> Romney takes a break from the campaign trail to join Utahns in commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Olympic Games, calling the crowd an "inspiration." [Trib] [Fox13] [ABC4]

Today's news: Rep. Jason Chaffetz talks about blowing his college budget and the lesson he learned after his parents refused to bail him out. [Newsweek]

-> The Supreme Court this week will take up a case of a California man charged with lying about earning the Congressional Medal of Honor. The High Court's decision could directly impact a former Utah soldier who claimed medals he didn't earn either. [AP]

-> A Provo ethics probe dilemma inspires an idea to institute a state ethics commission that would hear complaints from counties, cities and other groups to sniff out a violation, allowing cities to create their own commissions as well. [Trib]

-> East Carbon City locals are fighting against city leaders' efforts to dispose of waste contaminated with toxic PCBs in the town's massive landfill amid concerns of negative, long-term health effects. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly says Rep. Lee Perry may find himself facing the wrath of the Utah Eagle Forum. [Trib]

Opinion section: Pat Bagley brings Rick Santorum into the BYU dress code controversy, depicting the candidate "discovering the new world." [Trib]

-> George Pyle argues all Republicans have left to do is "play the fear card" to win supporters. [Trib]

-> Catholic Bishop John C. Wester, says although contraception is against Catholic's beliefs, it's religious liberty he sees threatened. [Trib]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch gives his take on President Barack Obama's new healthcare mandate requiring for preventive services. [DNews]

-> Sen. Mike Lee argues for a return to the constitutional protections of checks and balances. [DNews]

-> Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck gives her take on the oil shale and tar sands development, which she calls a "gamble." [Trib]

-> Mayor Kane Loader, proponent of UTOPIA -- a six city fiber-optic network -- wages this form of infrastructure is the way of the future. [Trib]

-> Sen. Ben McAdams opposes the sale of federal land for private development in the Wasatch Mountains, saying Salt Lake residents have to protect the "national treasure" as a community. [Trib]

-> Rolly says the idea of Legislature-elected senators isn't ideal. [Trib]

-> Peg McEntee argues Utah's immigration fight reflects a deep, political divide in our nation. [Trib]

-> Ed Rogers and Carter Eskew anticipate the Michigan caucuses, argusing that if Santorum wins, Mitt Romney is finished. [Trib]

-> Joel Campbell creates his own report card on lawmakers and openness of the Legislature. [Trib]

-> U. business professor W. Tim Miller argues the "exclusivity" of the LDS Church isn't as inviting as it should be to new Utahns. [Trib]

-> LaVarr Webb and Frank Pignanelli ask whether the LDS Church's efforts to increase caucus turnout will really work. [DNews]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett continues his argument that entitlement spending must be changed. [DNews]

Tweet of the day: From @FiveThirtyEight: "Our forecast model now has Santorum up ~5 in Michigan. That works out to a 72% chance of winning." [NYTimes]

Happy birthday: To USU political science student Tyson Robert Hall.

The Session: A panel gives initial clearance to a pilot program that would open a few liquor stores on certain holidays, specifically excluding Christmas, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and July Fourth. [Trib] [DNews]

-> A Senate committee endorsed a bill that would exempt adults older than 19 from taking driver's education courses, despite warnings by driving test examiners. [Trib]

-> Amid dispute, the Senate advanced a bill that would give doctors authority to dispense cancer drugs without supervision of a pharmacist. [Trib]

-> A House committee clears a bill that would finance water projects -- including the $1.2 billion Lake Powell pipeline -- by allocating an estimated $74 million in sales taxes for a loan fund starting in 2016. [Trib] [DNews]

-> A House committee endorsed legislation that would give couples a $40 discount on marriage licenses if they attend prenuptial counseling first, ousting a plan to up the current fee by $15 after a complaint that it would create a "tax on marriage." [Trib]

-> The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would allow -- but not mandate -- unmarried, biological fathers a 30-day window to have a say in the adoption process. [Trib]

-> With updated state revenue estimates being released Tuesday, lawmakers focus on education as they work to puzzle together the $13 million budget. [Trib] [DNews]

-> A bill passes through the Legislature fighting identity theft, requiring state agencies to switch from 9-digit ID numbers to avoid double dipping Social Security numbers. [Trib]

-> A bill to fund treatment for approximately 750 young children with Autism was passed through a House committee after being refined to focus on lower-income children between the ages of 2 and 6. [Trib]

-> Some east bench neighborhoods feuding over rights to historic-district status will continue to debate for another year, after a House committee extended a yearlong moratorium the creation of new Salt Lake districts. [Trib]

-> A Senate committee cleared a bill that would award state tax credits of up to 75 percent to alternative-energy producers. [Trib]

-> The state school board accuses a legislative committee of violating the Open and Public Meetings Act, when it made certain recommendations about school funding -- a claim the lawmakers rebut. [Trib]

-> Senators side with car dealers rather than manufacturers in passing a bill through a committee that would prevent manufacturers from "coercing or requiring" dealers to set certain prices. [Trib]

-> The Senate passed a bill making it easier for companies to secure "green" electricity, allowing them to directly contract with electric companies for energy tweaks. [Trib]

-> Utah schools might be off the hook for another year in being graded in a bill passed by the Senate. [Trib]

-> Although lawmakers shelved a controversial bill aiming to help low-income children attend private schools by creating tuition tax credits, another was passed in its place, promising only to study the issue post-session. [Trib]

2012 watch: Latino Mormons are coming out against Romney over his immigration policies. [BostonHerald]

-> Riding a wave of momentum, Santorum continues to surge in the polls as Michigan nears. [HuffPost]

-> Santorum caught fire after a remark that Obama doesn't subscribe to the same "theology" as that of the Bible, later clarifying to reporters he meant the president holds a different "worldview." [CNN] [WaPost] [FoxNews]

-> Romney's call for a ban on earmarks have him in a bind with rivals who accuse him of hypocrisy for his own use of the federal cash during the 2002 Olympic Games. [Trib]

-> Herman Cain tags along to Georgia with Newt Gingrich's campaign to help the former House Speaker try and pull off a much-needed win in the Peach State. [ABCNews]

-> After a Maine caucus recount, Romney still comes out on top. [NYTimes]

-> Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu confirms he is gay and quits the Romney campaign after a man from a former relationship accused him of misconduct -- an allegation the sheriff denies. [Republic] [NBC]

-> Many weeks after dropping out of the presidential race, Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry's campaign finance filings show bitter-end fundraising up to the final day. [Politico]

-> Three out of the four remaining Republican candidates fair better than President Barack Obama in a poll of voters in the swing state of Ohio. [ChicagoTrib]

-> Veterans for Ron Paul, a group of military personnel backing the Texas congressman for the presidency, will march at the White House today, telling the world, "Ron Paul is the choice for the troops." [WaTimes]

-> Will Gingrich's risky Super Tuesday strategy boost or kill his campaign? [WaPost]

Weekend in review: Chaffetz discusses the presidential race, health care and the budget over eggs in Utah County. [Herald]

-> U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups holds off on a decision on Utah's enforcement-only immigration law until the Supreme Court rules on Arizona's law. [Trib] [Herald]

-> A Nevada man and a few others seem to be suspicious about Rep. Chris Herrod and former Rep. Holly Richardson, filing a series of public records requests on the pair. [Herald]

-> West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder releases a list of endorsements for his candidacy for Salt Lake County major, including a plethora of state senators, representatives and city leaders. [DNews]

-> Republicans kick off election season in Washington County in a Lincoln Day fundraiser event aimed to energize citizens at the grassroots level. [Spectrum]

Where are they?

  • Given the holiday, none of Utah's elected officials have any public events.

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

-- Thomas Burr and Laura Schmitz

Twitter.com/thomaswburr



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

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