Romney the new consensus GOP leader. Nonpartisan elections after Swallow, Shurtleff scandal? Utah lobbyists must now wear badges.
Happy Monday. Mitt Romney may be saying no to another presidential run but he's become the go-to campaign surrogate for Republicans in red and blue states who say his endorsement is helping to rally voters. Romney is quickly filling a void in the GOP that up until now had no consensus leader who could help guide the party. Of course, should Romney change his mind and run again, he could flip the switch around Labor Day 2015. [WaPost]
Topping the news: In the wake of the charges against former AGs John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, several are calling for some offices like attorney general and county attorneys to be nonpartisan. [Trib]
-> Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy told an Independent American Party gathering in St. George that the April standoff between his supporters and federal agents was an age old spiritual battle between good and evil. [Trib]
-> Utah is now one of 14 states that require lobbyists to wear badges and identify who they work for at the State Capitol. Lawmakers say it will help them know whom they're talking to while lobbyists say it's unnecessary. [AP]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz is touring Rep. Elijah Cummings around Utah on Monday to show the Democrat issues that his district faces. It's the reverse of a trip Chaffetz took to Cummings' district recently. [DNews] [Herald] As a reminder, here's my story from Chaffetz trip to the liberal side of Baltimore. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @PourMeCoffee: "On this day in 1492 illegal immigrant Christopher Columbus set sail on a voyage that would bring many diseases to America."
And from: @AndrewPerloff: "Is #Sharknado2 a brilliant satire illuminating how numb our culture has become to violence? Or is it just a movie about shark tornadoes?"
Happy Birthday: To Utah's Shon Harris and JoAnn Seghini, and to President Barack Obama, who turns 53 today.
Congrats: To Elizabeth "Liddy" Huntsman, daughter of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who wed Eduardo Hernandez in Washington on Sunday.
Opinion section: George Pyle says that if Utah were to make some renewable energy sources for Rocky Mountain Power, it would be easier for the company to sell its fee for home solar panels. [Trib]
-> Former Tribune reporter Roxana Orellana, who now works at the Utah State Office of Education, returned to her home country of Honduras and says it's understandable why so many yearn to give their children a better life in America. [Trib]
-> Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon says that America is a nation of immigrants and that immigration makes the country stronger. [DNews]
-> Mary K. Hammond, a former parenting trainer for the Utah State Office of Education, says it's time to do away with court-ordered anger management classes because they don't solve the problem. [Trib]
-> Ashley Isaacson Woolley, a Mormon with a masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, says the Ordain Women effort is intellectually dishonest in trying to sway support its way. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly says that some GOP lawmakers are talking about a taboo subject: increasing taxes to pay for transportation projects. Of course, they'd come after the November election. [Trib]
-> Rolly also notes an Ohio couples' saga of trying to get Utah licenses after moving to the state. [Trib]
-> Tribune Editor Terry Orme is asking the public to help decide the topics of the newspaper's town hall series. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley answers his critics, noting that he's not a lunatic. [Trib]
-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss whether political market research can be trusted and what kind of future polling will have in politics. [DNews]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says despite what some folks say, it's not the worst of times and modern society could actually make it the best of times. [DNews]
Weekend in review: Utah may not be last anymore in per-student revenue from federal, state and local resources but it's still at the bottom of per-student spending. [Trib]
-> Federal regulators are going after companies that aided indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson process credit cards through his now-defunct I Works. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott sits down with Gov. Gary Herbert's new chief of staff, Justin Harding, to discuss his move from Washington to Utah after 14 years. [UtahPolicy]
-> More than 140 wild horses have been removed by the BLM from southern Utah and more may be rounded up. [Trib]
-> West Jordan has rejected the plan to ask residents to vote on changing its form of government to a strong-mayor situation. [Trib]
Nationally: Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said Sunday that if President Barack Obama defers deporting millions of immigrants then the House should look at impeachment. [Examiner]
-> As Congress takes a five-week break, its last week showed why this session has been the least productive in modern history. [NYTimes]
-> Now that millions of Americans have health care under the Affordable Care Act, the effort has shifted to helping the newly insured understand their policies and how to approach medical care. [NYTimes]
-> For politicians, especially those in tough races, taking a vacation this summer is a calculated maneuver -- you might need a day off, but you don't want to look out of touch or be caught, say, windsurfing. [Politico]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr
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