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Latest Utah Forum Posts

  • Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz set off a social media firestorm Tuesday morning when, during a CNN appearance to stump for the House Republicans' plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he compared health care spending to the decision to purchase an iPhone.
  • Former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave a blistering rebuke of 2016 Republican front-runner Donald Drumpf on Thursday, leading an attempt by the party establishment to halt the rise of the outspoken New York billionaire. Romney, a Republican elder statesman and the nominee four years ago, urged Republicans in states that have not yet held nominating contests to back Drumpf's opponents to stop his march to the nomination for the Nov. 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama.
  • Spencer Zwick has been the most courted political fundraiser in GOP circles. He pulled in nearly $1 billion for Mitt Romney's unsuccessful 2012 campaign. So, naturally, several 2016 Republican contenders this year have been trying to rope him in. But, as Politico reports, Zwick has rebuffed all the candidates in favor of becoming chairman of America Rising PAC, an outfit dedicated to developing and disseminating opposition research targeting Hillary Clinton. The group was co-founded by Matt Rhoades, who ran Romney's 2012 effort. This move certainly seems to guarantee that this get-Clinton crusade will be generously funded.
  • It's early December, 10:30 in the morning, and Rene Zepeda is driving a Volunteers of America minivan around Salt Lake City, looking for reclusive homeless people, those camping out next to the railroad tracks or down by the river or up in the foothills. The winter has been unseasonably warm so far—it's 60 degrees today—but the cold weather is coming and the van is stacked with sleeping bags, warm coats, thermal underwear, socks, boots, hats, hand warmers, protein bars, nutrition drinks, canned goods. By the end of the day, Rene says, it will all be gone.
  • President Barack Obama was not amused by Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential election concession call, according to a new memoir. In “Believer: My 40 Years in Politics,” former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod writes that the GOP candidate implied on the call that Obama had won because of his popularity in black communities, according to the New York Daily News, which acquired an advance copy of the book.
  • In 2012, Mitt Romney's career as a businessman who earned many millions of dollars became a net loss, as political foes slammed him for running Bain Capital, a private equity firm that invested in US companies that downsized and shifted jobs overseas and that obtained financial stakes in foreign companies that depended on US outsourcing for profits. At the same time, Romney, who refused to do a full release of his tax returns, was hit with questions (he didn't answer) about mysterious personal investments in offshore accounts. Should he mount a third presidential effort, as he has told GOP funders he is considering, all of these issues are likely to return.
  • In the past five years, more Utahns have been killed by police than by gang members. Or drug dealers. Or from child abuse. And so far this year, deadly force by police has claimed more lives — 13, including a Saturday shooting in South Jordan — than has violence between spouses and dating partners. As the tally of fatal police shootings rises, law enforcement watchdogs say it is time to treat deadly force as a potentially serious public safety problem. "The numbers reflect that there could be an issue, and it’s going to take a deeper understanding of these shootings," said Chris Gebhardt, a former police lieutenant and sergeant who served in Washington, D.C., and in Utah, including six years on SWAT teams and several training duties.
  • Curtis Penfold got kicked out of his apartment, fired from his job, and left Brigham Young University all in the same week. He left BYU—a private university operated by The Church of Latter-day Saints—because he had started to disagree with some of the Church’s views, causing tension between him and school officials. His exit from the school caused him to lose his on-campus job, and he subsequently resigned from the Mormon Church. Resigning from the church resulted in getting kicked out of his religiously-affiliated private housing, and he received angry emails from old friends and phone calls from his disappointed parents who said he “lost the light” and “used to be so good.” “I felt so hated by this community I used to love,” Penfold said.

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