Just in case the previous item left any doubt that lawmakers are concerned about what the folks back home think of them, the Republicans in the Utah House of Representatives and the Senate have hired public relations advisers.

GOP lawmakers are being asked to contribute $100 or so in any leftover campaign funds toward the $6,000 that Ed Snow, a former spokesman for Morton Thiokol Inc., and Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, will earn for two months' work.Snow's job will be to make sure the public knows what their Republican representatives on Capitol Hill are doing, especially those lawmakers from outside the Wasatch Front.

The good press will serve to drown out some of the criticism coming from tax protesters and others, GOP leaders believe.

"We're competing with the Mills Crenshaws of the world," acknowledged Moody, referring to the radio talk-show host whose program is often devoted to blasting the Legislature.

Besides press releases tailored for the home-town media, Snow will also be responsible for grooming the GOP legislators for appearances at the weekly press conferences promised by House leadership.

- NOT TO BE OUTDONE, image-conscious Democrats decided Tuesday they should hold weekly news conferences beginning Friday. They hope to present a unified voice on issues.

While they're at it, Democrats hope to establish a common theme for this year's legislative session and for the 1990 election, although they have no idea right now what that theme will be. House Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, D-Price, said Democrats need to distinguish themselves from the "other" party.

"We have to identify ourselves with the middle classes, with the working person raising a young family and heavily in debt," he said.