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When Republican-candidate-looking-for-a-race Morgan Philpot blasted Gov. Gary Herbert last month, he apparently upset his day-job boss.

Philpot, you might recall, publicly chastised Herbert over allegations that the governor had intervened in the Legislature's redistricting process by advocating a relatively friendly congressional district for Democrat Jim Matheson because the governor worried Matheson would challenge him if he wasn't satisfied with his gerrymandered district. Herbert denied the allegation.

Philpot's criticism led to speculation he is gearing for a GOP challenge to the governor next year.

But that didn't stop Philpot, who lost to Matheson in the 2010 congressional race, then moved to Orem in anticipation of running for Jason Chaffetz' 3rd District seat until Chaffetz messed everything up by announcing he will seek re-election instead of challenging Orrin Hatch.

"The Matheson threat is of greater concern to Utah's governor than fairness and due process," Philpot said in a prepared statement. Herbert "is demanding the ultimate perk from our Legislature," Philpot's statement said. "And I know we're all mutually offended."


Philpot, in all his political bravado, forgot to check with his employer, Reagan Outdoor Advertising, which relies on friendly government regulations to advance its business, before he issued the press release.

"It has come to my attention that an employee [Morgan Philpot] … has taken issue with certain of your stands and positions," Reagan President Dewey Reagan wrote in a personal letter to the governor.

Philpot is Reagan's in-house attorney.

"I wanted to let you know that I was not aware that he was going to do this and we, here at Reagan, did not have any discussion …about this matter," said the letter, which was obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune through the Government Records Access and Management Act.

Reagan, whose company is one of the most generous campaign contributors to Herbert and other political candidates, reiterated the company's support for Herbert's re-election.

That unabashed support for Herbert from Philpot's employer can't bode well for him, since Philpot, I'm told, has already had discussions with key Republicans about challenging Herbert.

Then there were two • Utah Republicans don't have to worry about gerrymandering to diminish the already paltry number of Democrats in the state Senate.

They just have to sit back and watch the Democratic incumbents run for Salt Lake County Mayor, now that incumbent Democratic Mayor Peter Corroon has said he won't seek re-election.

Earlier, Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake, officially announced he was running for mayor.

Now, watch for Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake, to announce soon he also is running for mayor, pitting two colleagues in the Democratic caucus against each other in the Democratic primary.

McAdams would go only so far as to say he is strongly considering it and has been encouraged by other Democrats. But sources who have talked to McAdams say it is a done deal.

Waving the bloody shirt • When Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon said during his annual budget address Tuesday that all county budgeting and accounting operations should be transferred from the independently elected Auditor's office to the Mayor's office, in accordance with the advice of the Government Finance Officers Association, County Auditor Greg Hawkins and his entire staff stood up and abruptly walked out of the meeting.

At least Hawkins didn't yell: "You lie!"

The issue has been a bone of contention among the mayor, Hawkins' office and some county council members who argue the people doing the budgeting and accounting shouldn't be the same people auditing the people who do the budgeting and accounting.

The walk-out is reminiscent of the days when former Salt Lake County Attorney Doug Short didn't get along very well with the old County Commission. It seemed back then that Short was either walking out of meetings or getting thrown out by the commissioners.

It's deja vu all over again.