Romney Republicanism alive and well. Obama names monument, says more to come. Utah awards $2 million to lobby against sage grouse listing.
Happy Thursday. Romney Republicans are excited, at least those supporters who are celebrating victories of candidates Mitt Romney backed in GOP primaries this week. Three Romney-backed Republicans beat back challenges from tea party opponents, a move that Mitt fans shows "Romney Republicanism is alive and well in today's GOP." [Buzzfeed]
Topping the news: State lawmakers forced any Medicaid expansion talk off the table until 2015 despite Gov. Gary Herbert's efforts to form a plan for health care coverage for low-income Utahns. [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy]
-> President Barack Obama preserved 500,000 acres of land in New Mexico for a monument and said he will continue to act unilaterally if Congress doesn't step up to set aside more land. [Trib] [WaPost]
-> And Utah officials have awarded a lobbyist $2 million to persuade Congress to leave protection of the greater sage grouse in the control of the state. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @RobertGehrke: "Senate confirmed several nominees, then was led in Happy Birthday by Sen. Osmond. In Utah, it ain't over until an Osmond sings."
Happy Birthday: To Chief Deputy of the Utah House Joe Pyrah and Utah Senate Minority Executive Assistant Janeen Halverson.
In other news: UTA leaders did not meet their goals, but the agency is forging ahead with bonus awards nonetheless. [Trib]
-> The Bureau of Land Management auctioned off oil and gas leases in southern Utah and raised $2.8 million from the sale. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch says the environmental movement has some of the "stupidest people" who would put fish above people in California's drought. [TheHill]
-> 4th Congressional District candidate Doug Owens may have scored some points against Republican Mia Love in their first debate but he may not have many more chances to do so in such a format. [UtahPolicy]
-> A judge has ruled that Park City Mountain Resorts missed its chance to re-up its lease and mountain owner Talisker Corp. is going with Vail Resorts as its new property manager. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake City Police Department plans to increase security in the Rio Grande Depot district. [Trib]
-> The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker are asking local businesses to reduce energy usage and pollution to reduce energy 15 percent in six years. [Trib]
-> The Utah Commissioner of Higher Education said the state is "always struggling" to match rapid growth in enrollment rates. [DNews]
Nationally: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has decided not to appeal a federal ruling that allowed same-sex marriage in the state because he said he is "unlikely to succeed." [NYTimes] [WaPost] [LATimes]
-> White House officials announced that they have deployed 80 troops to Chad to help find the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls. [WaPost]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Courtney Tanner
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