Josh Romney opens up about the campaign. Johnson alleges more Swallow allegations. Utah's outside counsel against same-sex marriage doing it for faith.
Happy Thursday. A new documentary about Mitt Romney will be available on Netflix tomorrow but Politico obtained a clip showing Utah's Josh Romney opening up a bit about what he really feels about the 2012 campaign. Josh says he's so trained in how to respond to questions from the news media that he's unsure how to open up. "
-> "To actually speak my mind is really different," he says, offering his stock media answer about why the campaign is important because his dad needs to be president. "Translation: This is so awful." [Politico]
-> Meanwhile, the director of the documentary "Mitt" talks about his experiences with the Romneys. [Politico] [ABCNews]
Topping the news: Jeremy Johnson, who is at the center of the scandal that led former AG John Swallow to resign, alleges that Swallow and federal attorneys conspired to have Johnson arrested on trumped up charges in order to pressure him into settling a civil lawsuit brought by the FTC. [Trib]
-> Gene Schaerr, whom the state hired as outside council to help with its same-sex marriage appeal, said in a leaked email, "I have accepted that position so that I can fulfill what I have come to see as a religious and family duty: defending the constitutionality of traditional marriage." AG Sean Reyes said Schaerr's religious views were not a factor in his hiring. [Trib] [DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @sausagegrinder: "A poll of the people in my office shows 50% feel there is value in the polls flooding the state like a Mormon cricket plague"
From @BenWinslow: "I'll say this: @SecretaryJewell walks FAST"
Congrats: To Max Britton and Emily Lockhart (daughter of Speaker Becky Lockhart and former GOP Chairman Stan Lockhart) who will be married tomorrow at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.
In other news: A conservative think tank says a Utah law requiring corporations and non-profits to reveal their donors would be unconstitutional and harmful. [Trib] [UtahPolicy]
-> The bipartisan House Clean Air Caucus will announce a group of bills to start action on improving Utah's air quality. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [Fox13] [KUTV]
-> At the winter Outdoor Retailers expo, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell outlined a privately funded campaign to provide outdoor jobs to young Americans. [DNews] [Herald] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4]
-> Twelve biological fathers, who had children put up for adoption without their consent, are suing the state alleging that Utah law permits "legalized fraud and kidnapping" and arguing that the Utah Adoption Act is unconstitutional. [Trib] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4]
-> Gayle Ruzicka, president of the conservative Eagle Forum, said a bill to ban most abortions in the state may be put on hold because of the legal battle over same-sex marriage. She said restrictive abortion bans frequently lead to law suits and fighting both cases in court would stretch state funds. [KUTV]
-> A pre-legislative session conference held by Zions Bank shows most folks think Gov. Gary Herbert is going to run for re-election and that the so-called Zion Curtain should come down. [UtahPolicy]
-> City Weekly offers reader submitted ways that the Utah Legislature would be different if this were the Twilight Zone. [CityWeekly]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch said the Affordable Care Act's tax on medical devices is making competing in the global marketplace harder for American companies. The vice president of BD Medical said the tax will cost his company $55 million a year and force cutbacks on new research. [Trib][DNews]
-> With Rep. Jim Matheson not seeking re-election to his House seat, Bryan Schott says the Democrats in Utah are faced with a moment of reflection. [UtahPolicy]
-> A proposed bill would increase judicial oversight of search warrants. Judges would be required to ask a series of questions, such why are officers not able to detain a suspect or obtain evidence in a less confrontational way, before signing a warrant. [Trib]
-> Prosecutors said immigration scams are on the rise and they have started a drive to persuade victims of such crimes to come forward. They promised victims will not be deported for reporting their cases. [Trib]
-> Utah is in the middle of the pack when it comes to traffic safety laws. [Trib]
-> Weber County officials invited all state lawmakers to dinner and shooting at a tactical training facility to help convince lawmakers to put up the money to help the county purchase the facility. [KUTV]
-> City councils in Draper, Roy and Woods Cross filled vacancies left by council members elected mayor of each city. [Trib]
-> The Cottonwood Heights City Council discussed ways to improve medical emergency response times. [Fox13]
-> Pat Bagley explores a side effect of legalizing marijuana. [Trib]
Nationally: The NSA's bulk collection of phone call records has only minimally benefited counterterrorism efforts and should be stopped according to a federal privacy watchdog. [NYTimes]
-> The Virginia AG will announce that he believe's the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and the state will as the federal court to strike down the law. [WaPost]
-> In the wake of the scandal involving former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the Washington Post looks at the most corrupt states in the country. By most accounts, Utah officials are honest. [WaPost]
-> A federal election panel recommended expanding early voting as a way to avoid the long lines of the 2012 election. [CNN]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz hits a meeting at SLCC, lunches with SL Co. Councilman Sam Granato, meets with Wasatch County officials and Czech Republic Ambassador Petr Gandalovic.
- Rep. Chris Stewart tours ARUP Laboratories and some Trax lines around Salt Lake City, and then holds a town hall meeting in Bountiful.
- Gov. Gary Herbert heads to his monthly KUED news conference, meets with Czech Republic Ambassador Petr Gandalovic, receives an update on Education First and Prosperity 2020 and takes calls at the Utah broadcaster's Let Me Speak to the Governor.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox meets with the president of Utah State University, speaks to USU students and attends the Cache County Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet.
- SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams tours the Outdoor Retailers expo's floor with two South Jordan teen entrepreneurs and hits the Council of Mayors meeting.
- President Barack Obama speaks at a reception with U.S. mayors.
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-- Thomas Burr and Topher Webb
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/topherjwebb