Romney heads to D.C. Utah GOP leaders call for ethics reform. 60 percent of teachers want guns.
Happy Thursday. Mitt Romney is headed to Washington, but only for a quick fundraiser two blocks from the White House. Romney, who has steered clear of the spotlight since his presidential bid loss in November, is scheduled to be in D.C. on Friday for a reception at the J.W. Marriott thrown by donor Catherine Reynolds and Marriott Hotel's Bill Marriott Jr. [ABCNews] [CNN]
Topping the news: Utah GOP leaders spoke up for the first time about Attorney General John Swallow's woes, praising him for calling for an independent investigation into the brewing scandal but simultaneously calling for ethics reforms. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> Almost six out of ten Utahns support teachers carrying guns in the classroom as a deterrent to gun violence in schools. [Trib]
-> BYU's Adam Brown ran the numbers and says that Utah Democrats are actually getting more of their bills voted on in the Legislature in recent years. [UtahDataPoints]
Tweet of the day: From @JeremyBRoberts: "What is it @governorherbert is supposed to do about inversion? Magically increase the temperature? Demolish the Oquirrhs?"
Happy birthday: To energy consultant Jeff Hartley, Utah GOP finance director Sarah Nitta, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz's daughter, Ellis.
In other news: All four of Utah's House members support a bill postponing a decision on raising the debt ceiling. Rep. Jim Matheson said it's "time to hold members of Congress accountable for budgeting." [Trib] See also: [NYTimes] [APviaTrib] [WaPost].
-> A group seeking to get women into public office is hosting a networking luncheon to help women make connections in the political world. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The LDS Church announces layoffs but cautions that it's only to maximize resources. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> A progressive advocacy group is asking the Utah State Bar to see if AG John Swallow violated any professional rules during his involvement with Jeremy Johnson. [DNews]
-> Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt says the state should run its own health insurance exchange and not turn it over to the feds. [UtahPolicy]
-> A new poll partly sponsored by Zions Bank and Exoro group says Utahns don't want higher taxes or more gun control. [UtahPolicy]
-> A group of state officials and outdoor industry leaders released a "vision" for Utah's recreation future, calling for the creation of an Office of Outdoor Recreation. [Trib]
-> In the midst of a bout of intense inversion smog, Utah doctors are calling on Gov. Gary Herbert to declare a public health emergency. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> Ogden police will be extra vigilant about double-checking addresses before serving warrants after 10 p.m., among other changes made after a mistaken identity incident last month sparked public outrage. [Trib] [StandardEx]
-> A major Utah air polluter is trying to pay it forward by partnering with the Downtown Alliance to offer free UTA passes on red air days. [Fox13]
-> Paul Rolly writes about a disgruntled citizen who, after receiving a ticket for not shoveling his sidewalk, found that three Salt Lake City Council members hadn't been shoveling either. [Trib]
Nationally: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta surprised the military community by lifting a 1994 ban on women serving in combat roles, following a recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Women make up about 14 percent of active duty members. [APviaTrib] [WaPost] [NYTimes] [Politico]
-> Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified in both houses of Congress yesterday regarding the Sept. 11 attacks at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton, while taking responsibility for the assault, spoke of comforting grieving family members of the slain consulate workers, and said that she was not aware at the time of the requests for increased security at the consulate. [NYTimes] [Politico] [APviaTrib] Abandoning diplomatic missions in dangerous territories isn't the solution to improving world security, Clinton said. [WaPost] Rep. Jason Chaffetz was critical of Clinton, saying that she can't "digest the criticism." [Trib]
-> NRA president Wayne LaPierre bashed President Barack Obama's references to new gun control measures in his inauguration speech, saying that the President is putting his views on guns above constitutional "absolutes." [NYTimes] [Politico]
-> Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman produced an updated route for the Keystone XL pipeline through his state, setting up President Barack Obama for a decisive call on climate change. [NYTimes]
-> In advance of his Senate confirmation hearing, Sen. John Kerry and his wife, heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry, are divesting from about 100 different investments, ranging from oil and telecommunications to a Chinese food company, to be clear of conflicts of interest.[Globe]
-> Did you love the First Family's inauguration outfits? Too bad. J. Crew is "retiring" Michelle Obama's sparkly belt, and while Malia's coat style will remain on racks, the bright purple color won't be replicated. [Time]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz hits the Outdoor Retailers Winter market.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert heads to the Wasatch Front Economic forum, holds his monthly news conference, meets with the Sundance Business and Technology Connection and tapes a radio show for KSL.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with his diversity and human rights coordinator, hits the U's Martin Luther King, Jr. Week celebration and delivers a lecture on planning ahead for Salt Lake City.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder cuts the ribbon at a new hospital in his city, hosts a Conference of Mayors meeting and meets with the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
President Barack Obama meets with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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Thomas Burr and Emily AndrewsTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilytandrews