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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures during a campaign event at Horizontal Wireline Services on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in Irwin, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
News roundup: Romney to slam Obama on past drug use

Romney to spotlight Obama's past drug use. No Veep announcement until after the Olympics. Hatch still has nearly $2M in the bank.

Happy Wednesday. Mitt Romney is still smarting from the Bain Capital attacks levied by the Obama campaign and his advisers are preparing a vigorous counter attack. They plan to highlight that Obama has used cocaine and they will also seek to tie him to Rob Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor now in jail for trying to sell the Senate seat Obama vacated to become president. [Buzzfeed]

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Topping the news: Romney hinted he may announce his running mate this week, but it looks like the vice presidential slot won't be filled until after the Olympics. [NYDailyNews]

-> Holding back on making his vice presidential pick is exactly what senior Republicans are advising Romney to do. [CNN] Though that doesn't stop the hopefuls from fanning across the country to host fundraisers. [Politico]

-> After a pricey primary campaign, Sen. Orrin Hatch is still in the green but Democratic challenger Scott Howell wants to make an issue of where that money comes from. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @jermsguy: "If Sarah Palin isn't invited to speak at the #rnc, is she going to put a horse's head in Ann Romney's bed?"

Happy birthday: To Cherilyn Bradford of Gov. Gary Herbert's office.

Skipping the convention: Rep. Jim Matheson isn’t the only prominent Democrat who won’t be attending the national convention in Charlotte this September. Senate candidate Howell is also skipping the festivities to continue to work on his campaign against Hatch saying: "I just have too much to do here."

In other news: The health community says Medicaid expansion is costly, but worth it to improve care for the poor. [Trib]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert wants a waiver from some of the federal welfare rules, but Sen. Orrin Hatch argues that the Obama administration is watering down work requirements under the guise of giving states such flexibility. [Trib]

-> Herbert now has the backing of the Utah Public Employees Association, which irritates his challenger Peter Cooke. The Democrat says it's a surprise since employee morale appears to be low. [Trib]

-> Rocky Anderson, the presidential candidate with the new Justice party, announces his vice presidential pick: Luis J. Rodriguez, author and activist. [Trib]

-> Republican AG candidate John Swallow has raised significant money from out of state, an oddity in an Attorney General race. [UtahPolicy]

-> Paul Rolly writes about a key education expert regularly relied upon by state lawmakers who is under suspicion of misusing tax dollars. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley's take on the nationwide drought. [Trib]

-> Jon Huntsman delivers a message of reform in Taiwan, further continuing the long relationship he's had in Chinese politics. [ChinaPost]

-> Salt Lake County has seen a well needed boost in its sales tax collections. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake City plans to take a step back and reconsider a proposal that would allow more neighborhood pubs after hearing some intense public opposition. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Democrat State Rep. Christine Watkins withdraws her membership from the conservative think-tank ALEC, amid high criticism of the group as it prepares to meet with lawmakers in Utah. [KUER]

-> Utah is honored for making it easy for the military to cast their ballots. [Trib]

2012 watch: Romney uses Obama's words against him, calling the president's rhetoric anti-business. [TheHill]

-> Romney's team continues to deflect tax return talk and says Obama "needs to learn to be American." [Reuters]

-> Romney says there is nothing scandalous in his tax returns but he resists releasing more because he says Obama would distort the truth no matter what. [TheHill]

-> Obama pulls in cash from Texas and tells supporters that the tide is changing in the red state. [CNN]

-> Swing states many not depend on who the voters go for this Election Day, but if they even show up to the polls. [Reuters]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Rob Bishop attends the weekly GOP conference meeting, then speaks to a group of USU interns.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends a Mitt Romney fundraiser in D.C., conducts a hearing on the backlog in veterans benefits applications, meets with Century Link, then with SLC Mayor Ralph Becker.
  • Governor Gary Herbert attends a Goldman Sachs event then meets with the Utah Hospital Association to discuss Medicaid.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon meets with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah's Executive Committee.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker continues his visit to Washington to meet with members of the congressional delegation.
  • President Barack Obama meets with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to discuss response to the drought, then honors the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion Baylor Bears.

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

-- Matt Canham and Andreas Rivera

Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/andreascrivera



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