Hatch to debate Liljenquist. Auditor's race turns ugly. Huntsman Corp. for sale?
Happy Friday and a happy early Father's Day to all the dads out there. Today marks the only primary debate between Sen. Orrin Hatch and challenger Dan Liljenquist. The two will square off this morning at 9 a.m. Mountain Time on the Doug Wright Show on KSL.
-> Hatch's folks refused to air any video of the encounter, so we won't get to see the visual cues of the two Republicans, nor catch an eye roll by either party. Hatch and Liljenquist have squared off before, during the convention fight, but not in prime time and not in the days ahead of the statewide vote.
Topping the news: Speaking of Hatch, his campaign will spend $1 million on campaign ads before the primary, ten times the amount of his opponent Dan Liljenquist who is dipping into his own pockets to stay afloat. Utah's senior senator has now topped $10 million in campaign fund-raising. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Tough talk coming from the state auditor primary. GOP incumbent Auston Johnson says his opponent is inexperienced and challenger John Dougall says Johnson has let too many scandals slip past his watch. [Trib]
-> Bank of America is reaching out to private equity firms about a possible sale of Huntsman Corp., and one of the firms targeted is Bain Capital. [Reuters]
Tweet of the day: @HuntsmanLiddy: "Me: my Dad's going through a midlife crisis. Rich: is that why I saw him on a huge Harley crusin down the street with your mom on the back?"
Happy birthday: To Holly Martak and Cindie Quintana. On Sunday, our birthday wishes go out to BYU's Kelly Patterson.
Endorsement: 2nd District GOP candidate Chris Stewart backs Hatch: "I strongly believe that his experience is absolutely necessary at this critical time in our nation's history."
In other news: Sen. Mike Lee refrains from endorsing either Sen Orrin Hatch or Dan Liljenquist, but is confident that Hatch will come up on top. [Examiner]
-> The federal government will hand out $36 million to rural Utah counties in order to compensate them from lost revenue on public lands. County leaders accept the funds but fear they'll dry up soon. [Trib]
-> The Trib's Thomas Burr talks with KCPW about the National Republican Congressional Committee's million dollar campaign to bring down Rep. Jim Matheson. [KCPW]
-> Salt Lake County leaders and employees have a round-table discussion and ask the question: where will we be in 5 years? [KCPW]
-> Paul Rolly suggests the harsh traffic ticketing in Salt Lake City will lead to shoppers going elsewhere. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick says the SL County mayoral race is one to watch for political junkies. [UtahPolicy]
-> Bryan Schott and Bernick discuss this week in politics in their weekly videocast. [UtahPolicy]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch says he is offended by FreedomWorks and conservative SuperPACs that alleges he is the third-biggest earmarker in Congress. [CacheValleyDaily]
-> Utah is No. 3 in the nation for housing growth. However it's not that Utah is ahead, it's that the rest of the nation is behind. [Trib]
2012 watch: Mitt Romney's latest attack ad takes a 2008 Obama ad and combines it with his "private sector is fine" comment. [NYTimes]
-> LDS author Joanna Brooks questions whether Romney held to LDS beliefs on banning blacks from the priesthood, the opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and a host of other issues -- and she says they are fair questions going forward. [WaPost]
-> Ann Romney is part owner of a horse that will compete in the London Summer Olympics. The horse will take part in the dressage competition, a point that the Romney folks would like to downplay. [DailyNews]
-> Romney says Obama is not being aggressive enough with Russia, after claims of arming the Syrian Assad regime. [CNN]
-> The Newseum, which includes a 74-foot-high tribute to the First Amendment, defends the right to remove reporters from a Romney event at its Pennsylvania Avenue location. [Globe]
-> Romney backers are ready to handle the Ron Paul "circus" this fall. [NPR]
-> Romney and Obama duel in Ohio with economic speeches, telling voters the other's ideas have been tried before and have failed. Obama says Romney's policies are those of the last decade which caused the recession. [AP] [TheHill]
-> The Washington Post fact checks the Obama attacks on Romney's Massachusetts record and rates it two Pinocchios. [WaPost]
-> Bain Capital is taking issue with an ad by the pro-Obama Priorities USA, arguing that it distorts the company's record. [Politico]
Where are they?
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-- Thomas Burr and Andreas Rivera
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