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(File | The Associated Press) Mike Leavitt, former governor of Utah and Secretary of Health and Human Services.
News roundup: Leavitt unafraid to go 'toe-to-toe' with conservatives

Wimmer's "job." Leavitt unafraid for right-wing fight. Crocket to pass on Winder's Burwash moment.

Happy Thursday. Talking Points Memo profiles former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who has been tapped to lead Mitt Romney's transition team, and points out that Leavitt has never been afraid to pick fights with the right-wing of his own party. The story, which quotes the U.'s Kirk Jowers extensively, suggests Leavitt was picked for his tenacity:

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-> "By placing Leavitt in that intimate role, Romney may be signaling that he's prepared to go toe-to-toe with the conservatives who have been driving him to the right since he entered the national political stage." [TPM]

Topping the news: The saga of Carl Wimmer's off-and-on Nevada GOP job gets a little more clear, though still includes a few wrinkles. [Trib]

-> Mark Crockett says he wants to move on from WVC Mayor Mike Winder's Richard Burwash moment, dismissing it as an issue in a debate Wednesday night. [Trib]

-> The Tribune's Brooke Adams profiles Utah's first Latino federal judge, Samuel Alba, who plans to step aside soon for new opportunities. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @RobertGehrke: "To be a fly on that wall ... RT @CarlWimmer: At breakfast with the NV Republican Ex. Director."

And from @RockyAnderson: "Now on ballots in Miss., Utah, Oregon and volunteers getting signatures in Vt. now. Should be on more soon! Cal. primary results sweet! Thx!"

Happy birthday: To the Sierra Club's Vanessa Pierce.

New Hires: Rep. Jason Chaffetz welcomes Ryan Little who will serve as his senior legislative assistant. Previously Little was a staff member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Marijane "MJ" Henshaw will serve as his media relations manager. She was previously a social media expert for Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson. Camille Taylor will be his scheduler and office manager.

Happening today: Carl Wimmer holds a news conference to discuss "the Nevada Republican Party and their initial offer of employment." Noon, Hinckley Institute.

In other news: Gov. Gary Herbert endorses Sen. Orrin Hatch, although he called Dan Liljenquist "a bright talent and my friend." [Trib] [DNews] [DailyHerald] [StandEx]

-> Salt Lake County citizens could soon be addressing their County Council from their living room. [Trib]

-> Interested in going to Romney's retreat at Deer Valley? You'll need to contribute $50,000 to the campaign. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the "real" repercussions of the Wisconsin governor's recall victory. [Trib]

-> SLC lawyers have doubts on the grassroots group Move to Amend's ballot initiative, but the City Council may still put the item on its own ballot. [Trib] [KCPW]

-> After threats of litigation, Idaho's Liquor Division will sell "Five Wives Vodka." Special order only. [ABC4]

-> Sen. Chuck Grassley admits he asked fellow senators to contribute to his son's Iowa campaign and got some help -- including a check from Sen. Hatch. [WaPost]

2012 watch: Obama makes bank in California. Hollywood, Silicon Valley and LGBT allies give the presidents camp a much needed boost, since more and more Wall Street magnates are turning him down. [TheHill] [CNN] [WaPost]

-> Should Romney's Veep be a junkyard dog rather than a Chihuahua? Since the candidate himself is playing aggressive campaigning, his vice presidential pick should be even more outspoken, rather than timid. [TheHill]

-> The Secret Service has stepped in to investigate the hacking of Romney's email account. [CNN]

-> Romney promises to put small businesses first by taking a "weed-wacker" to Obama's regulations. [CNN]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jim Matheson talks with people from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and sits down with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Commissioner.
  • Rep. Rob Bishop has a Natural Resources Committee markup.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends a Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder, meets with the National Association of Manufacturers then sits in on the Budget Committee.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert will be in Chicago for Bloomberg's State and Municipal Finance Conference.
  • Lt. Gov. Greg Bell will receive a report on Veterans and Military Employment, continue conducting State Board of Education interviews and greets greet the president of the U.S. - Saudi Arabian Business Council, Edward Burton. He will then deliver remarks at the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year dinner.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon attends meetings of the Salt Lake Economic Forum and the Council of Governments. He will then appear at the Grand Opening of the Mini of Murray.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker has breakfast with Community Council chairpeople.
  • WVC Mike Winder attends the Utah State History Board meeting, attends a Salt Lake County Council of Governments meeting, then sits in as a judge of Rods, Hogs & Rigs at Kenworth.
  • President Barack Obama hits a campaign event in Los Angeles.

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

-- Thomas Burr and Andreas Rivera

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/andreascrivera



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