Clay Aiken deletes anti-Romney tweets in bid for Congress. Mormons form informal caucus on Congress. Lawmaker: Utahns will protect their stoves with their guns.
Happy Friday. Clay Aiken of American Idol fame deleted a bunch of tweets before he announced he's running for Congress in North Carolina as a Democrat. But tweets don't disappear that easily. Here are a few that he didn't want you to see:
-> "Romney must be confused tonight. Told to shut up by a woman and called out by a black man. #NeverHappenedAtTheCountryClub"
-> "Playing drinking game with my brother now. We drink every time we see a black person on screen at the RNC convention. #soberasamormon"
-> And this tweet refers to a video of Jon Huntsman calling for national unity: "This man almost makes me wanna vote Republican... ALMOST." [Buzzfeed]
Topping the news: While the National Prayer Breakfast was happening in Washington, some Mormon members of Congress met for the second time, forming an informal caucus of LDS faithful. [Trib]
-> Even with the latest snowfall, a Utah official is concerned there will not be enough water to meet demand this summer. [Trib]
-> Utah lawmakers are still working out how to handle Medicaid expansion. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert's proposal to ban wood-burning stoves in counties with bad air pollution prompts one state lawmaker to note that people will defend their stoves with their guns. [UtahPolicy]
Tweets of the day: From @gopTodd: "Overheard in #utsen Judiciary committee: "The biggest single reason for divorce in this country ... is marriage."
From @RobertGehrke: "Sitting at the vet this morning. Makes the Legislature look like a fun place to be."
From @LeeHDavidson: "Clown seen at Legislature, really pic.twitter.com/3W4C0WRmR0"
Happy Birthday: To former state Rep. Bradley Daw and on Sunday to friend of Cornflakes Dave Hultgren.
On the Hill: Week two is coming to a close, today's schedule. [Trib]
-> In the first edition of the Trib's new video feature "In Their Own Words," Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, and Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, discuss legislation to criminalize revenge porn. [Trib] The bill passed a House committee. [Trib] [DNews] [APviaHerald] [Fox13]
-> Sen. Curt Bramble is joining the board of a company that seeks to help medical marijuana providers. [Trib]
-> A House panel passed legislation clarifying who qualifies as a "person of special trust" in cases of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. [DNews]
-> The Senate passed legislation allowing teachers to take six school days for professional development or preparation time. [Trib]
-> A bill to make preschool available to at-risk children by using private funds passed a House panel. [DNews] [ABC4] [CityWeekly]
-> A House committee advanced legislation giving admissions priority to grandchildren of charter school founders. Children of founders already have this priority. [DNews]
-> Students from Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind set up a classroom in the Capitol for the day. [DNews]
-> U. students are lobbying for higher education up on the Hill. [Chrony]
-> Several House Republicans asked for more time to study a report about moving the state prison in Draper before voting on the issue. [DNews]
-> Proposed legislation would cut the gas tax in half and raise sales tax by 2 cents. [KUTV]
-> The House passed legislation requiring local governments to use 10 percent of funds collected from the beer tax on education to prevent underage and binge drinking. [DNews]
-> Tobacco Free Education Day at the Capitol brought warnings and calls for regulation of e-cigarettes. [DNews] [Fox13]
-> But the idea of licensing companies that sell e-cigarettes is running into opposition on the Hill. [UtahPolicy]
-> Herbert supports repealing the law requiring Utah clean air standards to be no higher than EPA standards. [Trib]
> Legislation to raise registration fees on electric and other alternative fuel cars draws sharp criticism from Democrats. [DNews]
-> The bill proposing harsher punishments to those who damage geological features in the state is on hold. [DNews] [APviaHerald] [Fox13]
-> A Senate committee approved a proposal to quicken the process for a citizen referendum to overturn taxing decisions made by city governments. [Herald]
-> Lawmakers are considering two bills regarding drones. [APviaHerald]
-> A Senate panel advanced a bill allowing people to go hunting with a licensed hunter before getting a license themselves. [Trib] [Herald]
-> The Senate passed legislation that prohibit arrests that did not result in convictions from appearing on background checks. [Trib]
-> A Senate committee approved a resolution urging Congress to stop "playing games" with funds used to reimburse tax revenue to counties with federal land. [Trib]
-> A Senate panel has given a nod toward tightening up a state law that clarifies the residency status of candidates. [Trib]
-> Legislation requiring members of Utah's Electoral College to vote in accordance with the popular vote stalled in committee. [Trib]
-> Herbert responded to House Speaker Becky Lockhart's criticism in her speech on the opening day of the session. [KUTV]
-> The Legislature honored a Draper officer who was killed on duty in Sept. 2013. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott talk about the week's political news, from the gas tax to the idea of spending $300 million on technology in classrooms. [UtahPolicy]
-> The Senate moved ahead with a resolution to honor the date the legislation adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance was introduced. [Herald]
-> Herbert called for Utahns to check the box on their tax returns and increase their donations to the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund. [KUER]
In other news: Holladay residents show support for a proposed ordinance that would prohibit housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> The conservative Christian lobby The Family Research Council filed a brief in support of Utah's defense of Amendment 3. [DNews]
-> Sen. Mike Lee spoke on prayer and his late father, former Solicitor General Rex Lee, at a dinner sponsored by the organizers of the National Prayer Breakfast. [DNews]
-> Paul Rolly discusses how the Canyons School District put 315 new health textbooks in storage because they contain sex-ed topics banned from Utah schools. [Trib]
Nationally: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said immigration reform is unlikely to happen until House Republicans can trust President Barack Obama to enforce the law. [WaPost]
-> Though touted as a possible return presidential candidate, Mitt Romney says no way. [Politico]
-> The TSA temporarily banned liquids, gels, powders, aerosols in carry-ons on all flights from the U.S. to Russia because of potential terrorist threats at the Winter Olympics. [WaPost]
-> A move to extend long-term unemployment insurance stalled in the Senate. [WaPost]
Where are they?
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox hits the Governor's Cabinet Meeting.
- SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams has an interview on KSOP radio and speaks at the screening of the film "Rising from Ashes."
- SLC Mayor Ralph Becker speaks at the Commercial Real Estate Women Leadership Summit, hits the Homeless Coalition meeting, the Mayor's Innovation Project Steering Committee conference call and the Climate Forum planning meeting.
- President Barack Obama speaks and signs the farm bill at Michigan State University.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at email@example.com. 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