Utahn to lead America's largest union. Lee asks some donors to verify themselves. Poll: Lee a polarizing figure.
Happy Wednesday. A former school lunch lady from Utah will soon head the nation's largest labor union, and she's taking an aggressive tone toward the Obama administration even though she worked hard to get President Barack Obama re-elected. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, who taught elementary school in Utah for a decade before and during her rise in the National Education Association, will take over the 3-million-strong union in September and is already fighting back with blunt talk such as revolting against "stupid" education reforms. Garcia also notes in a Washington Post profile that she and her new husband wrote a children's book about social justice heroes. "I wrote it at a seventh-grade level, so members of Congress could understand it," García quipped. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Sen. Mike Lee is sending some campaign donors letters to ensure their contributions were legit after allegations that indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson sent straw donations to help elect the senator. [Trib]
-> Meanwhile, a new poll, while only focusing on 4th District voters, shows Lee is a polarizing figure: earning rave reviews from tea party-minded folks and disapproval from other Republicans. [UtahPolicy]
-> Former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff have had their trial pushed to October from August in order for their attorneys to have enough time to properly prepare. [Trib]
-> A fundraising host for Swallow, Robert W. Montgomery, along with his two brothers and a fourth man pleaded not guilty to witness tampering after being accused of having physically attacked a witness in order to keep them from testifying in a case. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @michellelprice: "Just saw 3-4 people at the deli wearing traditional prairie clothes à la some polygamous groups. Then Josh Romney came in. #utahtypified"
Happy Birthday: To Josh Romney and to Sen. Mike Lee's northern Utah director, Ryan Wilcox.
In other news: An abrupt resignation from West Jordan City Manager Richard Davis coincides with an impending lawsuit accusing city officials of abusing civil rights. [Trib]
-> Jon Huntsman says he doesn't see it "in the cards" for a third Mitt Romney run but doesn't rule out a Huntsman 2016 bid. [Trib]
-> In an effort to better help the homeless, Salt Lake City has come up with a solution: place a new Metro Support Bureau Resource Center in the middle of where most of the city's homeless population gather. [Trib][DNews]
-> Salt Lake International Airport and taxi services say that the new TRAX train airport extension has not hurt their revenue. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly tells the story of a costly airplane ticket change and offers a geography lesson. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his tribute to Robin Williams. [Trib]
-> Officials have launched an investigation after a suspicious fire at a playground at West Clinton Elementary, followed by another fire near the same school. [DNews]
-> Utah's Department of Transportation has yet again pushed back its decision deadline on whether to create a West Davis Corridor freeway so that it can further discuss other options. [Trib]
-> Mill Creek Canyon will have improvements made to create an uphill cycling lane after the Salt Lake County Council reallocated $300,000. [Trib]
-> The Davis County board of Health wants to find an easier way for smoke shops to sell electronic cigarettes to consumers. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake City Council heard a plea by residents to punish the officer who shot and killed a dog while searching for a missing 3-year-old. [Trib]
Nationally: After extolling a mainly lobbyist-free hiring process, President Barack Obama and his administration have now made it possible for lobbyists to serve in government positions. [NYTimes]
-> The Homeland Security Department's inspector general says that in 2013, due to budget cuts, more than 600 prisoners that were undocumented immigrants convicted of minor crimes were released to free up space. [Examiner]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Mallory Jesperson
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