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(Ashley Detrick | Tribune file photo) Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has engaged with supporters and donors about a possible independent bid for president in 2016.
News roundup: Huntsman hits GOP on unemployment benefits

Huntsman's secret campaign. Utah's popular concealed carry permit. A budget cease fire in the making.

Happy Monday. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman criticized Sen. Rand Paul's take on unemployment benefits in a TV appearance Monday morning saying the Republican Party needs to get out of primary election talking points and start coming up with strategies to govern on the issue of poverty.

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Topping the news: Huntsman joked about his "secret" run for the presidency in 2012, and even cracked wise about President Barack Obama at the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington. [Trib]

-> More than 500,000 people now hold concealed carry permits issued by Utah, and half of them live outside of the state's borders. [Trib]

-> A bipartisan congressional delegation that includes Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is headed to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's memorial service. [FoxNews]

Tweet of the day: From @danmccay: "We are often defined by the opportunities we say no to as much as the ones we say yes to."

Happy birthday: To state Reps. Edward Redd, Jon Stanard and John Westwood, and to Utah Tea Party organizer David Kirkham.

Opinion section: Former economic chairman at Cleveland State University Vijay K. Mathur says that increasing the state gas tax is not the best alternative. [Trib]

-> Paul C. Burke and Brett L. Tolman, attorneys with Ray, Quinney and Nebeker, compare the state of Utah's fight against marriage equality to that of pre-Civil War logic and an awkward situation since the Supreme Court struck down DOMA this past summer. [Trib]

-> CEO of University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics David Entwistle says it's in the best interest of Utah if Gov. Gary Herbert expands Medicaid. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley discusses the GOP's similarities and differences on the constitutionality of gun rights and same-sex marriages. [Trib]

-> Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb discuss what Utah should do with a new attorney general and the governor's decision about Medicaid. [DNews]

-> Paul Rolly says since Utah was the final state to end prohibition, alcohol has had a profound impact on the economy, despite the Utah Legislature trying to screw it up. [Trib]

-> And Rolly notes the disconnect between the Legislature calling on Congress to pass an online sales tax and the positions of the state's Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. [Trib]

-> BYU political science professor Richard Davis says the position of attorney general should not be appointed, and state Sen. Todd Weiler's proposed idea to amend the state's constitution to make it appointed is a big mistake. [DNews]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says to help the poor, the free market must function properly, lifting up the entire nation bet that Rwanda or the United States. [DNews]

Weekend in review: The Utah House committee investigating former Attorney General John Swallow will hold a two-day public meeting to show the fruits of its four-month probe that cost the state $2.3 million. And that includes more missing data. Swallow reportedly copied files from his work computer to an external hard drive which he then lost on an airplane. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Acting Utah Attorney General retired Gen. Brian Tarbet, along with eight other Republicans, filed as candidates to replace Swallow. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Hundreds of people showed up to take advantage of UTA's new Sugar House Streetcar, or S-Line, on its public preview day. The S-Line opened Sunday, and runs two miles from the TRAX Central Pointe station on 2100 South to Fairmont Park. [Trib]

-> The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will fly to Utah at the "Warriors Over the Wasatch" open house June 28 and 29 at Hill Air Force Base. [Trib]

Nationally: House and Senate members negotiating the budget deal are trying to achieve a cease-fire. The deal does not cut corporate taxes, or reduce the debt, but is a means to an end to avoid another shutdown. [WaPost] [FoxNews]

-> Sen. Rand Paul has serious concerns about government drones, but no worries about Amazon's plan to use them to deliver packages. [CBSNews]

-> As Washington is doing a year-end farm bill, lawmakers are sparing sugar and keeping its safety net that boosts profits for a small group of growers. [WaPost]

-> The Senate is expected to confirm President Barack Obama's nominee Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and two more Obama nominees before Christmas. Those three new members will total seven Democrats compared to the four Republicans on the nation's second most powerful court. [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Gov. Gary Herbert holds a CEO Outdoor Recreation Industry roundtable, attends the Education Excellence meeting and joins an international trade discussion.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams speaks at a naturalization ceremony, has lunch with Draper Mayor-Elect Troy Walker and meets with Bingham High's football team.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends a performing arts meeting.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder cuts the ribbon for Freebirds World Burrito, and attends the West Valley City Historical Society.
  • President Barack Obama travels to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the national memorial service for former President Mandela..

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]

-- Matt Canham and Jordan Bailey

Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/thejordanbailey

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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