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Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman holds eight-week-old Grace Lesperance while campaigning at Mary's Bakery and Cafe in Henniker, N.H., on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
News roundup: Huntsman compares the GOP to China

Huntsman compares GOP to China. Hatch's political turn-around. Utah's new political rock star.

Happy Tuesday. It wasn't that long ago that Jon Huntsman ran for the Republican presidential nomination, now the former Utah governor is becoming one of the party's greatest antagonists, recently comparing it to communist China. [WaPost] [ChiTrib] [DNews]

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Topping the news: UDOT tried to get Denice Graham, a wrongly fired employee, to sign a letter telling the Democrats to stop referring to her case in exchange for $67,000 in back pay. [Trib] [Fox13]

-> We identify six factors that helped Sen. Orrin Hatch turn around public opinion and leave the state convention in a position of power. [Trib]

-> Hatch is likely to ask Mitt Romney to campaign for him in Utah before the June primary. [UtahPolicy]

Tweets of the Day: From @gopTODD: "By all accounts, Mia Love is THE new rock start of #utgop politics. #SorryJason"

From @UTJolley: "Attention media: Liljenquist has 3 syllables and is pronounced Lil-yen-quist."

In other news: Mia Love, the newly-voted Republican nominee for the 4th District, brushes AG Mark Shurtleff's comments about her being a "novelty," and says Rep. Jim Matheson will "have a hard time putting me in a box." [Trib] [DNews]

-> David Kirkham says that after he bowed out of the race, his endorsement of Gov. Gary Herbert was "spontaneous." [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the student debt debate. [Trib]

->SL County is seeking applicants for seats on a 15-member commission led by Mayor Peter Corroon, which will write the revision for the use of canyons and foothills. [Trib]

-> Provo is also looking for public involvement, as it allows residents to submit proposals for how to redistrict the city. [Trib]

-> SkiLink opponents are rallying in protest this morning just before businesses plan to announce their support of the gondola. [Trib]

-> A Daily Beast writer argues that Democrats -- not the GOP -- will face the biggest anti-Mormon challenges in the election. [DailyBeast] [DNews]

-> A couple dozen environmentalists set up camp at Utah’s school trust lands office to protest the state’s lease of public lands for a tar sands mine, irking an oil firm rep for interrupting her business. [Trib]

-> The Utah Division of Air Quality extends its deadline to June 7 to give public comment or appeals for Tesoro's proposed refinery expansion to accommodate critics of the plant's actions. [Trib]

-> Utah students would lose $93 million in savings if, as proposed, the student loan interest rates double in July. [DNews]

-> ATK will pay the feds $37 million to settle a whistle-blower case over defective flares. [Trib]

-> A University of Utah student is preparing to intern with The Colbert Report, an offshoot of the ties between the Hinckley Institute and the Colbert super PAC. [Trib]

2012 Watch: The Romney-Obama showdown will likely be the most expensive set of campaigns in American history. [LATimes]

-> Mitt Romney backs the same student loan policy as President Barack Obama, saying he supports extended, lowered rates for students to ease their financial burden. [CNN]

-> Romney's mysterious $400,000 super PAC donation invites questions of transparency in this election. [APviaWaPost]

-> Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stood at Romney's side in the Sunshine State, but he also serves as a reminder of Romney's need to boost his support among Hispanics. [LATimes]

-> Former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani endorses Romney, calling him the "best" candidate, not the "nicest." [CBS]

-> The Adelson family donates another $5 million to Newt Gingrich's super PAC in March [WaPost], but what will his camp do with it? [ABCNews]

Where are they?

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch attends a Finance Committee hearing, a Senate Western Caucus roundtable and meets with Ogden City officials.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz returns to D.C. and has votes in the evening.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert meets with Alan Matheson to discuss the upcoming Rocky Mountain Roundtable and attends "Living Declaration" presented by Paradigm Charter High School.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon meets with the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors then tours the county park facilities with the County Council before the Council's weekly meeting.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker conducts an orientation for new hires, goes to a department directors meeting, visits with The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board and heads to a City Council meeting and budget speech.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder records his monthly video report and goes to a City Council meeting.
  • President Barack Obama honors the 2012 National Teacher of the Year and finalists at the White House then travels to Chapel Hill, N.C. to speak about student finances at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The president later sits down for an interview for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" at the university. In the afternoon, the President travels Boulder, Colo. to speak about student loans.

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

-- Matt Canham and Laura Schmitz

Twitter.com/mattcanham



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