-> New stats show Utah's December unemployment drops to 6 percent from 6.4. [Herald]
-> A new poll by Prosperity 2020, Utah Policy and Exoro shows 58 percent of Utahns think the state should be out of the business of controlling liquor sales in the state. [UtahPolicy]
Tweet of the day: From @maxroth: "No matter what happens, here's history: GOP will nominate their first Mormon or Catholic candidate unless Ron Paul gets the nod."
Happy Birthday: to state Rep. Patrick Painter and, on Sunday, to former state Rep. Steven Mascaro.
In other news: The Chamber of Commerce comes out in favor of a statewide law banning employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> Pat Bagley's take on the XL pipeline debate. [Trib]
-> Utah takes the No.1 spot for economic outlook in a national economic report by The American Legislative Exchange Council. [DNews]
-> Rep. Ken Sumsion proposes a speed-limit break for those using highway express lanes. [Trib]
-> The American Legislative Exchange Council praises Utah. Again. [Trib]
-> John Swallow won't follow Mark Shurtleff's footsteps on immigration reform if he's elected Utah attorney general. [Trib]
-> Former state Archaeologist Kevin Jones fights his layoff which the state calls a retirement. [Trib]
-> Good government group challenges Utahns and major political parties to get voters involved. [Trib]
-> Former NFL lineman Jason Bucks declares his candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District. [Trib]
-> Utah Policy's LaVarr Webb says Americans should be focused on more important things than SOPA and HB477. [UtahPolicy]
-> Utah's Board of Regents could pick a new University of Utah president Friday. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly has quite a bit to say about Craig Frank, who is getting his old legislative seat back. [Trib]
-> The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration puts its money where its mouth is to advance a land swap with the feds. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County Republicans prefer Sen. Orrin Hatch over state Sen. Dan Liljenquist by a 2-1 margin, according to a new poll. [UtahPolicy]
-> The White House is encouraging tourism to "America's treasures," including Utah's scenic red rock country. [Trib]
2012 watch: There were only four lecturns at the Republican debate last night but all of them were bringing their game. [WaPost] [LATimes]
-> In the debate, Mitt Romney pledges to reveal his tax returns in April if selected as the GOP nominee. [LATimes]
-> Rick Perry drops out of the race, endorsing Newt Gingrich for president. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [CNN] [FoxNews]
-> With both a Perry endorsement and media onslaught, Thursday turned out to be a tumultuous day for Newt Gingrich. [NYTimes]
-> Gingrich's ex-wife says the presidential hopeful wanted an "open marriage" an allegation Gingrich denies. [ABCNews] [CNN]
-> When asked about the allegations in the Republican debate, Gingrich shook a fist at the "destructive, negative" media. [Politico]
-> Rick Santorum says he's committed to taking on Florida, no matter what the South Carolina primary has in store. [CNN]
-> What does Romney do before the big debate before the big primary? He goes shopping. At Brooks Brothers. [LATimes]
-> S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley explains why she endorsed Romney. [BusinessWeek]
Where are they?
Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz attend the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, M.D.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell meets with Utah's constitutional defense council, then joins Gov. Gary Herbert and former Utah governors to honor Sen. Bob Bennett for his service, later presenting awards at the annual Davis County chamber banquet.
S.L. County Mayor Peter Corroon makes a stop at the Sundance Film Festival to see the Ethel Kennedy documentary, Park City Racquet Club, later going to the Sundance Gala at Rose Wagner Theater.
SLC County Mayor Ralph Becker attends the mayor's innovation project meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder has no public events.
President Barack Obama will attend a campaign event in Washington, D.C.
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Thomas Burr and Laura Schmitzwith Dan Harrie