Will Obama apologize to Mitt over Russia as No. 1 geopolitical foe. Count My Vote makes deal with caucus-convention supporters. Herbert, Lockhard tension high.
Happy Monday. When Mitt Romney called Russia America's No. 1 geopolitical foe, the left scoffed and President Barack Obama's team poked fun at Romney for his lack of foreign policy experience. But now with Russia lining up troops along the Ukraine border, some Romney folks are asking when Obama will apologize. [PowerLine]
Topping the news: Count My Vote organizers and lawmakers struck a deal over the weekend to keep the caucus-convention system, but to also allow candidates to gather signatures to get on a primary ballot. [Trib] [DNews] [APviaHerald] [KUER] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4] [CityWeekly] [UtahPolicy]
-> Some lawmakers say the tension between Gov. Gary Herbert and House Speaker Becky Lockhart is unusually public. [Trib]
-> Several same-sex couples are asking the AG's office to stop opposing parental rights for both members of the couple. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [KUTV]
-> The tea party is now five years old but the question is: will it be around for another five? [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @tomgrover: "Tea Party activists spiking the football & literally cheering Bennett's defeat was the exact moment the caucus system was doomed."
From @HollyontheHill: "This is a ginormous shift in how elections are done in Utah. To kind of quote Joe Biden, it's a freaking big deal."
Happy Birthday: To state Rep. Larry Wiley, D-West Valley City, and state Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal.
Opinion section: Arturo Morales LLan, a Utah County Republican convention delegate, argues that a direct primary favors "only the rich, famous or politicians connected to Washington, D.C., lobbying firms."
-> State Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City, and state Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, argue that expanding Medicaid "isn't about federalism, it's about families."
-> Jonathan Johnson III, executive vice chairman of Overstock.com says there are creative ways to fund more technology in the classroom. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly argues that the Legislature is not willing to invest enough money in programs to help children with autism or with other special needs. [Trib]
-> Rolly also says Rep. Rob Bishop could be a key figure in an effort to create a wall of remembrance at the Korean War Memorial. [Trib]
-> First District congressional candidate Donna McAleer argues that federal immigration reform would be an economic boon for the state. [Trib]
-> George Pyle asks what happens when religion picks your pocket or breaks your leg. [Trib]
-> Former Utah governor Olene Walker, former U.S. senator Bob Bennett and former state senator Scott Howell, co-chairs of the Utah Debate Commission, argue that regularly occurring candidate debates will help voters be more informed and help candidates explain their platforms to more voters. [Trib]
->Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb talk about some of the hot political contests up at the Hill. [DNews]
-> Former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett looks at some of the arguments for and against the Keystone pipeline. [DNews]
Weekend in review: Alright folks, the weekend's over, time to get back to the Hill. Today's schedule [Trib]
-> Some Republican lawmakers are skeptical of Gov. Gary Herbert's plan to help low-income Utahns get health insurance. [APviaHerald] [KUER] [Fox13]
-> Lawmakers are considering extending autism treatment programs that have greatly helped children, but unless they reach an agreement soon those programs will end in June. [Trib]
-> The Senate passed a bill requiring insurers to cover autism treatments. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Infertility is a condition that affects 15 percent of the population and legislation on the Hill would allow, but not require, insurance companies to cover treatments that can range from $7,000 to $15,000. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers have an extra $58 million to work with. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER]
-> The Senate moved to toward a final vote on a bill to allow voters to decide if the AG should be appointed by the governor rather than directly elected. [Herald]
-> Legislation to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes passed the House with an amendment the sponsor said removes key provisions of the proposal. [Trib] [KUER]
-> A House committee advanced a proposal to increase funding to improve STEM education in schools. [Trib]
-> Utah veterans have made an agreement with the VA to start back up weekly sweat lodge ceremonies, but they still want their leader back. [Trib]
-> Hill Air Force Base is a key stop for F-35 fighter jet maintenance and the base may be a place to save money on the upkeep costs of the plane. [Trib]
-> A Senate committee passed a bill allowing police to take DNA samples from those booked into jail suspected of felony charges. [DNews]
-> There are only nine days left in the legislative session as there is still a lot to do. [Herald]
-> Here are five hot issues to follow this week. [APviaTrib]
-> Lawmakers are considering three bill concerning sexual assault and schools. [DNews]
-> Rep. Jim Matheson talks about balancing family life and congressional duties. [DNews]
-> Tooele area residents shared their thoughts about a possible move of Stericycle's medical waste incinerator to remote Tooele County. [DNews]
-> The House passed legislation requiring cities and state agencies to designate a person to attend a yearly seminar on state's rights and become their go-to person on the issue. [Trib]
-> Sen. Deidre Henderson talks with Bryan Schott about the need for more women in politics. [UtahPolicy] Video of Henderson playing a lightning round. [UtahPolicy]
-> Lawmakers honored 19 fallen soldiers on Friday. [Trib] [DNews]
-> A Senate committee passed a bill to rename a section of SR 73 after fallen Utah County police officer Cory Wride. [Herald]
-> Dozens of local government agencies consistently are late to file reports to the State Auditor's office that allow tax payers to see how their money was spent. [Trib]
-> SLC Mayor Ralph Becker wants to sell 2.85 acres of opens space along the Sugar House Streetcar line. [Trib]
Nationally: The crisis in Ukraine will test if President Barack Obama's foreign policy strategy to use diplomacy over military might has increased America's power abroad or not. [WaPost]
-> Some big money donors are starting to put their money into groups where they can have more say where their money goes lessening the sway of political parties. [NYTimes]
-> Mitt Romney is not running for president in 2016 and the battle for his donors in already underway. Here are five potential candidates the donors are interested in. [WaPost]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz appears on Fox News in the morning and hits some Utah meetings.
- Rep. Chris Stewart returns to Washington, votes and attends a AIPAC Policy Conference Leadership reception.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox hits a Capitol Hill working group meeting and the Governor's Strategy Meeting.
- President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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