Can Romney win his home state? GOP's anti-Mormon beginnings. Immigration reform dead.
Happy Tuesday. Michigan and Arizona are holding their presidential contests today and the results could show either a) Mitt Romney is OK in his march to the Republican nomination, or b) that Romney's White House hopes are in some serious jeopardy. [CNN] A reminder as you watch results tonight, Arizona is a winner-take-all delegate race while Michigan splits its vote by congressional district.
-> Polls show Romney and Rick Santorum in a dead heat in Michigan where Romney was born and grew up. [TheHill]
Topping the news: From the did-you-know file? While the Republican Party may soon nominate Romney as its presidential nominee, the GOP started out as very much an anti-Mormon party. [Trib]
-> Immigration reform won't happen this year on Utah's Capitol Hill after both measures were killed on the floor in strikingly different ways. [Trib] [DNews] Rep. Chris Herrod is pretty upset with how lawmakers treated his bill, an alternative to the state's guest worker legislation. [UtahPolicy]
Tweet of the day: @joshloftin: "Politigeek humor: House members laugh when Rep. Frank says "give it a shot" about opening liquor stores on holidays."
Happy birthday: To superlawyer Pat Shea.
Spotted: Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jim Matheson flying coach on the Delta flight back to D.C. on Monday. They sat on opposite sides of the aisle.
In other news: Bloomberg profiles Sen. Mike Lee in his fight against the president's appointments -- and notes, as we have before, that his battle isn't exactly popular with some of his fellow Republicans. [Bloomberg]
-> A Draper resident believes his neighbor's family ties in the Utah Senate swayed a city council decision, but the senators insist there is no undue influence. [Trib]
-> After nearly three years of work to relocate a 16 million-ton pile of uranium-tainted waste on the banks of the Colorado River near Moab, the clean-up crew has hit a 5 million-ton milestone. [Trib]
2012 Watch: A watchdog group accuses the pro-Romney Super PAC of illegally showing an ad from the candidate's 2008 run for president. [ABCNews]
-> Santorum, in a speech, backed off his usual push on social issues, sticking with the economy for a focus on jobs and growth. [WaPost] His campaign, meanwhile, is urging Democrats -- who can cast ballots today in the GOP primary -- to vote against Romney. [NYTimes]
-> Newt Gingrich upped the ante of his criticism of the United States' involvement in Afghanistan, saying U.S. citizens should tell Afghans to "figure out how to live your own miserable life." [WSJ]
-> ABC4's Chris Vanocur officially requests to be a panelist at the Presidential Debates held in October. [ABC4]
-> With Super Tuesday a week away, the race becomes a focus on delegate numbers, as 10 states will hold contests and award a total of 437 delegates. [NYTimes]
-> Gingrich is staking a lot in his home state of Georgia, admitting that the win is a must-have in order for his campaign to remain in the race. [NBC]
-> Ron Paul heads to a baptist church in Detroit on the eve of its state's primary. [DetFreePress]
-> A pro-Gingrich super PAC plumps up the candidates reserves with another "substantial" contribution. [WaPost]
Heard on the Hill: "Wherever you go you're going to find employees who underperform. In fact, you see it in the Legislature. Wouldn't it be interesting if we had to evaluate legislators and pay them by performance?" - Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay.
And the most confusing quote of the day comes from the House: "We have pilfered our rights away like a slab of bologna one slice at a time." - Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, on a bill to take federal lands for local use.
The Session: Utah needs to borrow $130 million less than expected for road repairs, and lawmakers are voting on which projects will the extra cash. [Trib]
-> A Senate panel advances legislation that would lump hukas and e-cigarettes into the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act but allows a five-year exemption to huka bars and e-cigarette shops for a trial run. [DNews]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on what state lawmakers really want with sex education. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick finds there are still some holes in the Legislature's award-winning website. [UtahPolicy]
-> Legislators give a preliminary nod to a bill that would shake up educator employment laws, tying performance to pay for Utah teachers. [Trib]
-> Struggling schools could get help from teacher aides in a bill passed by the Senate that would give $500,000 to Title I schools that score less than federal testing goals for two consecutive years. [Trib]
-> Utah edges closer to banning law enforcement from sticking a GPS device on cars, arguing the tracking devices should need a warrant in order to remain legal. [Fox13]
-> Hoping to improve Utah's history of poor voter turnouts, a House committee passed a bill that could move the Beehive State to a vote-by-mail system by 2015. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers call for a ban on airport body pat-downs and body scans amid concerns the practice is unconstitutional by forcing unreasonable searches. [Trib]
-> A lawmaker unveils a bill that would make it harder for states to overturn city laws by requiring a two-thirds threshold in both chambers of the Legislature for any bill to have say in changing a city's existing ordinance. [Trib]
-> After one lawmaker's bill was passed through the House but now can't get a Senate hearing on it or his other bills, he alleges "gangster politics" are at play. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee argues that a bill that would snatch Medicare from the federal government and put it under Utah's control has unintended consequences. [Trib]
-> Principals could be fined $1,000 if an education employee association doesn't have equal access to a Utah public school under a bill given a first nod in the Senate. [DNews]
-> The House passed a bill that would give armed individuals convicted of a crime a chance to turn in their firearms without having another felony added. [Trib]
-> With anonymous campaign contributions for local government candidates often exceeding the legal $50 limit, a bill would require all extra cash to be brought forward. [DNews]
->A Senate panel clears a bill to create a link between Utah's seven ski resorts, while an objecting conservation group agrees to work with the sponsor to make it more palatable. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers are urging Congress to repeal the National Defense Authorization Act in a bill making its way through the Legislature, worried it would allow indefinite, unlawful detention of U.S. citizens. [Trib]
Where are they?
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-- Thomas Burr and Laura Schmitz
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