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Snowden: We spy more on Americans than anyone else. Utah politicians distance selves from NAACP rant. Count My Vote deal under fire.

Happy Thursday, and welcome to May. Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor whose leaked documents sparked a national debate about government spying, says he's still shocked to be facing felonies while the head of the intelligence community got away with lying to Congress about domestic surveillance. "We watch our own people more closely than any population in the world," Snowden said yesterday, accepting an award via an Internet chat. "That is not hyperbole." The NSA leaker, still hiding out in Russia, said he thought by now he'd be in prison and not getting awards. [USNews]

Topping the news: Utah politicos kept their distance Wednesday from comments by a Republican lawmaker suggesting that the NAACP is racist. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]

-> A former challenger to Rep. Jason Chaffetz calls Utah's caucus/convention system "pretty messed up." [Herald] Meanwhile, the Count My Vote compromise may be headed to court, challenged by the Utah GOP. [KUTV]

-> Under pressure from ranchers and local officials, the BLM is hastening an effort to round up wild horses in southern Utah. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @AaronBlakeWP: "NRCC press release: 'If you didn't think anyone in America was worse at math than journalism majors...'"

Happy Birthday: To the Tribune's political boss Dan Harrie, former Taylorsville Mayor Janice Auger Rasmussen and Wasatch County GOP Chairman Aaron Gabrielson.

A big thanks: To Tribune intern Topher Webb whose work this semester has made putting out this email possible. We wish the new U. graduate the best of luck in his future ventures!

In other news: Sen. Mike Lee urged conservatives to fight "crony capitalism" at the Heritage Foundation Wednesday. [DNews]

-> Lee and his Senate bestie Ted Cruz, R-Texas, do lots of things together including taking a photo with a tiger pelt and now raising money. [NJ]

-> With cattle grazing in the news, two environmental groups are filing suit arguing that Capitol Reef National Park needs to study the impacts of such grazing on a cactus inside the park. [Trib]

-> The Salt Lake City Council had some questions about a proposed streetcar line in downtown SLC. [Trib]

-> The creator of the Twilight Concert Series parted ways with the Salt Lake City Arts Council after 27 years. [Trib]

-> A new study says because of the increased number of undocumented immigrants in the United States, Congress needs to look at the impacts on state and local governments before creating a large-scale forgiveness program. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley explores a unique perspective into Donald Sterling and his girlfriend. [Trib]

Nationally: Senate Republicans blocked a vote to move forward on a bill to raise the minimum wage. [WaPost]

-> House Speaker John Boehner had a minor, unscheduled back procedure. [WaPost]

-> The botched execution of an inmate in Oklahoma will not likely lead to major changes in capitol punishment nationwide. [WaPost]

-> Remember J.D. Winteregg, the tea-party candidate running against Boehner who accused the Speaker of having "electile dysfunction" in a TV spot? Well, the Christian University where he teaches French let him go because of the ad. [RollCall]

Where are they?

Rep. Jason Chaffetz hits a NRCC leadership meeting, an Oversight hearing about Libya and returns to Utah.

Gov. Gary Herbert attends the UVU Commencement.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at Utah Bar Law Day.

SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams goes to a Sports Commission board meeting, a Council of Governments meetings and meets with SLC Mayor Ralph Becker.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker hits budget and Salt Lake Council of Governments meetings and meets with SL CO. Mayor Ben McAdams.

President Barack Obama has lunch with VP Joe Biden and honors the 2014 National Teacher of the Year and finalists.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at 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 and

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