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News roundup: GOP chairman predicts Republican election 'tsunami'

GOP chairman: 2014 will bring Republican tsunami. Utah ski industry to announce interconnecting resorts. Okerlund released from hospital.

Happy Wednesday. The head of the Republican National Committee is predicting a GOP tsunami this year for Congress, with hopes of taking back the Senate and improving the party's margin in the House. Chairman Reince Priebus says this year has proven to be a "political disaster" for Democrats, though the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee charges that Republicans in 2012 thought they would have President Mitt Romney, too, so don't pay attention to their predictions. [ABCNews]

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Topping the news: The Utah ski industry plans to announce a plan today to interconnect the seven major resort in Salt Lake and Summit counties through chairlifts over private land. The effort does not include the controversial "SkiLink" over forest land. [Trib]

-> Utah Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, was scheduled to leave the hospital yesterday after experiencing heart failure at the Capitol on the second to last day of the legislative session. [Trib]

-> Despite warnings it might be a snooze fest, the Utah Legislature passed the third-highest number of bills ever. [UtahPolicy]

Tweet of the day: From @Drudge: "One common theme during conversations with national reporters: Critical investigative journalism is all but dead. Fear DOJ tracking sources."

In other news: SLC Mayor Ralph Becker, former news anchor Terry Wood and former U.S. attorney for Utah Brett Tolman announced the formation of the pro-same-sex marriage group Utah Unites for Marriage. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4]

-> Democrats held their caucus meetings last night. [DNews] [Fox13] [ABC4]

-> Air quality advocates gave Gov. Gary Herbert a B, The Utah House a B-minus and the Senate a D. [Trib] [KUER]

-> Utah has the 14th lowest taxes in the nation. [Trib]

-> Former Murray Mayor Dan Snarr plans to run for the County Council, though some Democrats had hoped he'd run to keep a state House seat in the party's hands. [UtahPolicy] The Democrats also lost one of their House recruits. [UtahPolicy]

-> SL Co. District Attorney Sim Gill filed to run for re-election. [DNews] [KUER] [ABC4]

-> Assistant AG and Democrat Charles Stormont filed to run for his boss, AG Sean Reyes' job. [DNews] [KUER]

-> The Utah Farm Bureau Federation is again asking lawmakers to pass immigration reform, citing a study saying that American are eating more fruits and vegetables but that U.S. production has hardly risen or dropped. [Trib]

-> Some neighborhoods in Salt Lake City's Yalecrest area are seeking Local Historic District Status. [Trib]

-> Some Millcreek residents are still not happy with the compromise on the future of the area that lawmakers passed this session. [ABC4]

-> Utah state representatives read some mean tweets and emails about themselves. [UTPolHub]

-> Paul Rolly gives his take on a political forum short on Republicans. [Trib]

Nationally: The NSA has the ability record all of the phone calls in a foreign country and listen to the conversations for up to a month after they took place. [WaPost]

-> Over 40 pro-Medicaid expansion protesters were arrested at the Georgia State Capitol. [JournalConstitution]

-> 24 veterans from World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, who were originally passed over because of race or ethnicity, received a Medal of Honor Tuesday. [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz visits Merit Medical and meets with state Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart files for re-election, tours Blu LNG facilities, meets with the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council, the Utah State Farm Service Agency and the Davis County Council of Governments.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert interviews with KZNS 1280 The Zone, meets with Kristen Cox, hits the Scouting for Food Kick-off event and has a phone call with former state Sen. Bill Hickman. He also hits a CEO roundtable, meets with Hungarian Ambassador Gyorgy Szapary and with Navajo Nation tribal leaders.
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox hits an air quality meeting and a CEO roundtable.
  • President Barack Obama hosts a screening of the film "Caesar Chavez" and is interviewed about raising the minimum wage by local news anchors from around the county.

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 Topher Webb

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/topherjwebb

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

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