News roundup: White House to go on Obamacare offensive
White House to tout Obamacare, but errors remain. Brent Ward's AG bid raises eyebrows. Chaffetz makes a stop in Iowa.
Happy Tuesday. The White House is prepared to launch an Obamacare offensive today meant to show the public the benefits of the law after getting pummeled for the last two months because of the healthcare.gov's website errors. The coordinated campaign among the White House and outside groups will run between now and Dec. 23, the last day to sign up for people wanting coverage that begins on Jan. 1. [Politico]
Topping the news: Errors are still plaguing the online federal insurance marketplace as about one-third of those who enrolled might not receive the coverage they think they will next month. [WaPost]
-> Some leading Republicans are skeptical of Brent Ward's campaign to replace John Swallow as Attorney General because Ward, a former U.S. attorney, offered Swallow immunity in a federal case against Jeremy Johnson. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Swallow's brief tenure ended Monday and in an interview with Doug Wright said he knows there is no way to convince people of his innocence. He also refused to answer questions about whether he set his resignation date to purposefully reach the vesting period for a state retirement. [DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @CuffyMeh: "Obama kicks off last second Obamacare effort. Auburn scores."
In other news: State Sen. Aaron Osmond's education legislation would require underperforming students to stay in school for more hours in a day and it would charge their parents for it. [Herald] [DNews]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz said his political stop in Iowa had nothing to do with the state's presidential caucuses or any future ambition. When asked why he was there to help a local candidate, Chaffetz responded: "Ho Ho Ho. Just helping out where I can." [DailyBeast]
-> State Sen. John Valentine's name might not be on the list of potential Swallow successors, but that doesn't mean he isn't interested in campaigning for the attorney general post in 2014 or 2016. [UtahPolicy]
-> Trash fees go up by $2 a month for some 80,000 Salt Lake County residents in the unincorporated areas and cities like Taylorsville, Cottonwood Heights and Holladay. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake County Council unanimously voted to nominate multi-term incumbents, Royce Gibson and Richard McDonald, as their nominees for seats on the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District board. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on Wall Street's version of a merry Christmas. [Trib]
-> UDOT officials say that over 500 plows loaded with 10,000 tons of salt will work through the snowstorm that will hit the state over the next few days. [Fox13]
Nationally: The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case for online retailers to collect sales tax, a case that involved Utah-based Overstock. Many states have legislation for online sales tax, and this decision might put pressure on Congress to pass a national solution. [WaPost] [Politico] [NYTimes]
-> President Barack Obama announced his administration will give $100 million for advanced research efforts towards an HIV cure. Obama said the United States will give as much as $5 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next two years. [Politico] [WaPost]
-> The month of December might have 31 days in it, but lawmakers will be in Washington for less than half of it. The House will meet a total of nine times, where the Senate will meet for 10 days. [WaPost]
-> Vice President Joe Biden is on a sensitive diplomatic mission in China as tensions flair between China and Japan. [LATimes] [WaPost]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends a Judiciary hearing, gives a radio interview and shepherds his bill involving the Provo River to a vote on the House floor.
Rep. Chris Stewart helps present a Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad to a constituent, attends the lighting ceremony of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and has dinner with the Kazakhstan ambassador.
Gov. Gary Herbert gives the Mansion Holiday DÃ©cor Tour with the First Lady, meets with majority and minority legislative leaders for budget discussions and attends the Mansion Artists Series.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with various federal agencies in Washington, D.C.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder eats breakfast with the Salt Lake County Council of Governments and legislators, sits down with with Reagan Outdoor's Nate Sechrest and conducts City Council meeting.
President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, participates in the ambassador credentialing ceremony and meets with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
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Matt Canham and Jordan Bailey Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/thejordanbailey