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COLUMN

Happytown

A budgetary Sharpie blots out the Smurfs in the Villages, UCF takes over Orlando (or at least it should), the Casey Anthony trial ties up valuable talking-head resources and, hey, Jon Huntsman, welcome to our closet!

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Channel 13 was the most cagey of the stations with which we spoke; when asked about the staff it is dedicating to Casey, General Manager Robin Smythe replied: "It's competitive information,so we'd not like to get into those numbers." Millions, apparently.

All right, Orlandoans, it's time to welcome your new neighbor: Jon Huntsman Jr., 51, is moving here from Washington state along with his lovely wife, Mary Kaye. And, oh yeah, Huntsman is the former governor of Utah, once served as United States ambassador to China, was formerly a Mormon missionary in Taiwan and may be pursuing the Republican nomination for president next year, a campaign he may run from right here in the City Beautiful. Why? The New York Times reports that his wife's hometown is Orlando and that Salt Lake City is just too far awayfrom key electoral states out east.

The Huffington Post calls Huntsman a "conservative technocrat-optimist with moderate positions who was willing to work substantively with President Barack Obama." Evidently, Huntsman knows what the Tibetan issue is all about, which for a Republican candidate is impressive. Still, he's been lauded by the libertarian Cato Institute for his "business friendly" tax policy a la Rick Scott, and in addition, he could not bear to take the step of supporting same sex marriage (he likes civil unions). And again, he served as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan. Welcome to our closet, John!

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