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(Gerald Herbert | The Associated Press) Donald Trump talks to reporters prior to a news conference in Las Vegas earlier this year with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, where Trump endorsed Romney.
News roundup: Trump's Obama announcement falls flat

Donald Trump announcement #fail. Matheson, Love debate heats up. 12 days until Election Day.

Happy Thursday. Surprise, surprise -- Donald Trump's "major announcement" seems to be little more than a plea for attention. He promised to donate $5 million to President Barack Obama's charity of choice should he release his college applications, records and "passport information." Trump says it's about transparency. [LATimes] [ABCNews]

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-> The president poked fun of Trump's birther ideas on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, noting, tongue-in-cheek, that it's crazy Leno still holds onto feelings from their time growing up in Kenya: "We had constant run-ins on the soccer field. He wasn't very good and resented it. When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over."

-> The Onion says Trump is a sad, sad man. [TheOnion]

Topping the news: With Utah's vote a lock for Mitt Romney, die-hard supporters are flocking to nearby Nevada and Colorado to try and turn out the vote in the swing states that will really matter on Nov. 6. Robert Gehrke reports from Boulder City. [Trib]

-> The Salt Lake Tribune's endorsement of Obama: so unbelievable it's an urban legend. [Trib] [Snopes]

-> Mia Love reacts angrily to Rep. Jim Matheson's claim that she wants to eliminate federal funding to education, saying he "takes things and totally distorts them." [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]

Tweets of the day: From @BenHowe: "I have an idea GOP candidates: Stop talking about rape."

In other news: Monkey wrencher/environmental hero Tim DeChristopher enters a half-way house after being released early from prison for good behavior. [Trib]

-> A state panel gave a thumbs up to the plans for a tar sands mine on Wednesday. [Trib]

-> The new TRAX extension to the Salt Lake City airport undergoes testing on Tuesday. The line is expected to open April 14. [Trib]

-> The Utah Transit Authority increased the train expansion budget by 27 percent. [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on employers telling their workers how to vote. [Trib]

-> All five candidates for Utah's 2nd Congressional District debate in Cedar City. [Trib]

-> There could be some Utah Republicans who lose on Election Day and the House GOP talked about it behind closed doors recently. [UtahPolicy]

-> A national group led by Utah bankers has latched onto two Republican candidates, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. [Trib]

The race for 270: The latest Electoral College predictions:

FiveThirtyEight: Obama 290.8 Romney 247.2

Pollster: Obama 253, Romney 206

RealClearPolitics: Obama 281, Romney 257

2012 watch: While on the Tonight Show, Obama criticizes Richard Mourdock's rape remarks and poked fun at Trump. [LATimes]

-> Obama says he's not surprised the race is close, despite the fact that "folks in your business were writing me off a year ago." [WaPost]

-> The candidates spend their last days in vital states. [NYTimes]

-> Former Sen. John McCain believes Mourdock should retract his rape statements. [WSJournal]

->Though enthusiastic, Romney can't forget about the Electoral College. [NYTimes]

-> Following a Des Moines Register editor's blog post expressing remorse over the Obama campaign's decision to keep their phone call off the record, the president's aides release the call's transcript. [DMRegister]

Where are they?

  • Utah Governor Gary Herbert attends the inauguration of U. President David Pershing and later stops by the Huntsman Cancer Foundation Gala.
  • Attorney General Mark Shurtleff speaks at the Provo Canyon Behavioral Hospital/Jason Foundation event.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon dines at the Utah Rivers Council breakfast, attends the Regional Parks and Trails Bond news conference and speaks at a Utah Clean Energy networking event.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker heads to Houston for the Public Policy Forum on Urban Prospects at Rice University.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends the Salt Lake Valley Conference of Mayors before heading to the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
  • President Barack Obama campaigns in Florida and Virginia.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard



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