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Congressman Trey Radel addresses the media alongside his wife Amy at his Cape Coral office on Thursday Dec. 19, 2013. A month after pleading guilty to cocaine-possession charges Radel refused to resign, saying he wants to "rebuild the trust" of voters. (AP Photo/Naples Daily News, Scott McIntyre)
News roundup: After coke bust, congressman finds God, hopes for re-election

After coke bust, congressman finds God and hopes for re-election. Special counsel: Swallow fabricated documents. If your health care was canceled, you can skip mandate.

Happy Friday. Florida Rep. Trey Radel was busted for cocaine not too long ago but has re-emerged after rehab to say that he's not going to step down and that he has found God and set his life on a better path. The congressman is hoping voters will forgive his mistakes but there are several competitors lining up to take his seat now. [Politico]

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Topping the news: From the it-ain't-pretty file: Former AG John Swallow fabricated documents, "lost" others and misled investigators, a House panel said Thursday in unveiling a report on its monthslong probe. More developments are expected today. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13] [Herald]

-> The special counsel noted that there are several state laws that Swallow could have violated, including obstruction of justice. [Trib]

-> A rundown on some of the top quotes from the special counsel investigating Swallow. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @gopTODD: "Is it just me, or did @RobertGehrke figure all this stuff out for a lot less than $2.3 million."

Happy birthday: To Mandy Rogers.

Tune in: Jennifer Napier-Pierce will host Behind the Headlines this morning at 9 on KCPW 88.3/105.3FM with special guests Rep. Jim Matheson, Robert Gehrke and yours truly. Discussion includes the John Swallow investigation, Matheson's decision not to run for re-election and other news this week.

In other news: An Australian company may pour millions into the troubled UTOPIA network to rescue it. [Trib]

-> A new survey shows that Utahns may disagree about how bad pollution is but they're willing to take steps -- like carpooling or using public transit -- to help out. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake County wants new members of its Historic Preservation Commission for the unincorporated areas. [Trib]

-> Utah's economy could grow next year with a 3.1 percent increase in jobs and a 4 percent decrease in unemployment, new reports say. [DNews]

-> Paul Rolly reports that while there are rules against GOP officials supporting candidates in intraparty races, the Utah County chair is picking sides. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the Duck Dynasty Doctrine. [Trib]

-> Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick continue their countdown of the state's top political stories with No. 6: Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of the open-carry gun law. [UtahPolicy]

-> And the duo jump ahead by announcing No. 5 as well: Lt. Gov. Greg Bell's resignation and appointment of Spencer Cox. [UtahPolicy]

Nationally: The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that same-sex marriages are legal, adding the state to the 16 others and the District of Columbia where gay weddings are allowed. [WaPost]

-> President Barack Obama announced Thursday that if your insurance was canceled because of his new health care law then you would be exempt from the requirement to buy another plan, and would qualify for catastrophic insurance coverage. [HuffPost]

-> Think Obamacare woes are bad in the states? Try being from one of the U.S. territories like Guam, where some parts of the law apply and others don't. There are no subsidies and no mandate but insurance companies have to take anyone who wants insurance. [WaPost]

-> In suggesting sweeping changes to how the NSA operates domestically, a review panel didn't link any of the agency's work to stopping terrorist attacks, raising the question: How much political capital should President Barack Obama apply to protecting the NSA? [Politico]

Where are they?

  • Gov. Gary Herbert takes a personal day.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams heads to the Road Home's 19th Annual Holiday Broadcast, has breakfast with Holladay Mayor-Elect Rob Dahle, meets with the Deseret News Editorial Board, stops by the Judge Memorial High School Football Championship Assembly and meets with Rep. Patrice Arent and Sen. Pat Jones.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with Council Chair Kyle LaMalfa and Vice Chair Jill Remington Love and heads to the Road Home Holiday Broadcast.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder signs books at the Valley Fair Mall Costco for West Valley City history book.
  • President Barack Obama heads to Hawaii for a holiday vacation.

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


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