Romney: I'm still concerned about the country. Utah GOP effort could stall reform. To-be missionary claims LGBT protest cost him.
Happy Thursday. Mitt Romney lost the election but still says he's concerned about the future of America. In an interview yesterday, the former presidential candidate said he felt a certain "frustration" at his diminished role now that the campaign is over, not that he'll quietly go away:
-> "I'm very concerned about the country," Romney told radio host Dennis Miller. "I wouldn't have gotten into this if I thought everything was going swimmingly." [CNN]
Topping the news: The Utah GOP's reform stall might spur a ballot initiative that could change how candidates are nominated. [Trib]
-> A 20-year-old in the Pacific Northwest claims that he was barred from serving a mission for the LDS Church and stripped of his temple recommend after revealing his support for same-sex marriage and LGBT people in a pre-mission interview. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill that closes a loophole in state investigations, a move that would prevent Attorney General John Swallow from probing the allegations against him. [Trib] [Herald]
Tweet of the day: From @StevenTDennis: "One thing that didn't actually come up in today's gay marriage #SCOTUS debate: Sex."
From @daveweigel: "In related news, Rand Paul to filibuster RT @postpolitics: President Obama invites Senate Republicans to dinner again"
Happy birthday: To our favorite pollster, Craig LaCasse.
In other news: Check out this analysis of the Utah Legislature's biggest nay-sayers this session. [UtahDataPoints]
-> An interesting take on the caucus-convention system by a member of the GOP's state Executive Committee. [JonisFrontPorch]
-> A WVC cop involved in a shooting that led to a woman's death last year speaks out, telling Fox 13's Ben Winslow that it was a justified shooting. [Fox13]
-> Google Maps is partnering with UTA to roll out a new feature that allows public transportation riders to check the status of trains and busses in real time. [Trib]
-> After 60 years, Tooele County is calling off its annual fair due to tightening purse strings. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on when Associate Justice Antonin Scalia will finally come down on the side of love. [Trib]
-> While she doubts that Utah will repeal its anti-same-sex marriage law anytime soon, Peg McEntee praises the national sea change regarding LGBT rights. [Trib]
Nationally: The Supreme Court took up same-sex marriage again on Wednesday as it examined the Defense of Marriage Act and its limits on parter benefits for same-sex couples. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> Here's a transcript of Wednesday's proceedings. [AtlanticWire]
-> Despite seeming like the catalyst that would spur lawmakers to enact comprehensive gun control laws, more than 100 days have passed since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. and Congress has yet to pass a new law. [Politico]
-> The Pima County Sheriff's Department released thousands of pages of documents in a shooting that killed six people and wounded former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords along with 13 others. While the shooter, Jared Loughner is currently serving a life sentence plus 140 years in federal prison, the documents - which include police reports and witness statements - offer information on Loughner's mental state. [NYTimes] [Politico] [APviaTrib]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz meets with Emery County commissioners and hits Republican conventions in Emery and Carbon counties.
Rep. Chris Stewart meets with Sevier County commissioners and Sylarus Technologies, holds an open house at his St. George district office and has a town hall meeting at Southern Utah University.
Gov. Gary Herbert films a disaster preparedness PSA, holds his monthly news conference and reviews bills.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker holds budget meetings, a Capital Improvement Project meeting, a Wasatch Front Regional Council meeting and meets with airport director Maureen Riley.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder heads to a Jordan River Commission best practices workshop, hits a Conference of Mayors meeting and has an economic development quarterly update.
President Barack Obama meets with senior advisers, talks gun control measures, meets with President Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde and then meets with Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
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Thomas Burr and Emily AndrewsTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilytandrews