Mitt Romney now one of GOP's 'coveted stars.' Utah's defense of same-sex marriage ban could get tossed on technicality. Reyes promises to deny questionable contributions.
Happy Monday. Mitt Romney may have attempted to stay low key after losing the 2012 presidential election but he's returned to the political stage in some form of late, emerging as a coveted star in the Republican Party especially on the fundraising circuit in the mid-term elections. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Investigators in the criminal probe of former AGs John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff are sifting through what could be a huge amount of data from cellphone and tech companies obtained through search warrants. [Trib]
-> The defense of Utah's ban on same-sex marriage could be thrown out on a technicality. [Trib]
-> AG Sean Reyes said he will turn down campaign contributions from companies, organizations and individuals who have "a likelihood or potential that we might be investigating." [Trib] [KUTV] [Fox13]
Tweet of the day: From @BenSultan: "White House says it will not deport Justin Bieber. They expressed concern that 'It would put too many fine American paparazzi out of jobs.'"
Happy Birthday: To Rep Jason Chaffetz's District Director Dell Smith.
Opinion section: UTA Board of Trustees chairman Gregory Hughes and vice-chairman David Burton defend bonuses given to UTA employees. [Trib]
-> Alliance for a Better UTAH Communications Director Issac Holyoak argues that Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee are harming some vulnerable Utahns. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly gives some examples of why the caucus-convention system may not be the best way of picking candidates. [Trib]
-> Rolly also discusses more parking woes in Salt Lake City. [Trib]
-> Nichole Mossalam, director for the Islamic Society of Boston Mosque, says that the response to last year's Boston Marathon bombing showed a solidarity among Americans that avoided labels. [Trib]
-> Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini says that lawmakers made excellent progress in helping to clean Utah's air, but there is still more to do. [Trib]
-> Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizen's Climate Lobby, argues that a carbon tax with the revenue given back to the public would help remove the market advantage of fossil fuels and help clean the air. [Trib]
-> Megan Lawson, an economist with Headwaters Economics in Montana, takes a look at what makes up incomes in rural, Western counties. [Trib]
-> President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Utah Inc. Philip Cofield and Vice President of Public Affairs for Fidelity Investments Charlie Lansche argue that financial literacy education is important for students' futures. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. [Trib]
-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb share a humorous tale of the shortest political books ever written. Key examples: "How to be a 'Regular Guy' While Running for President,' by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney" and "Gov. Gary Herbert -- Action Figure," by House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart." [DNews]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says it's time to pass immigration reform and addresses the concerns that some critics have raised. [DNews]
Weekend in review: Governors of some Intermountain West states that rejected Medicaid expansion are keeping an eye on Gov. Gary Herbert's alternative plan. [DNews]
-> Here's a look into the lives and issues facing day laborers looking for work outside Home Depot. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers from nine states gathered to discuss how to gain control of resource rich lands from the feds. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Read Thomas Burr's Washington Insight column about how the anger at the feds in the Cliven Bundy controversy isn't new, and isn't likely to go away soon. [Trib]
-> Utah is looking for lobbyists to help the state keep the greater sage grouse off the endangered species list. [KUER]
-> Utah has the second fastest urban sprawl rate in the country. [Trib]
-> New highway projects in the state include rebuilding a stretch of I-215, improving the "spaghetti bowl" interchange and turning more of the Bangerter Highway into true freeway. [Trib]
-> Construction on I-15 through Davis County started over the weekend. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> A Patriots' Day rally at the Capitol focused largely on Second Amendment rights. [Trib]
Nationally: Mitt Romney is a hot commodity in the Republican Party. [WaPost]
-> Common Core education standards are creating a wedge between some establishment and grass-roots Republicans. [NYTimes]
-> Democrats are working to get their supporters out during the midterm elections as if it were a presidential election year. Low-turnout in years like this has been a perennial problem. [WaPost]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz holds town hall meetings in Castle Dale, Moab and Blanding and visits the Green River Medical Center.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox attends the governor's weekly strategy meeting and tours UTA.
- SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams holds a Cabinet meeting, meets with county staff and speaks a a Workers Compensation Fund employee event.
- President Barack Obama hosts the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll with First Lady Michelle Obama.
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