“The proposed guidelines for campaign finance reform are a good start and will certainly go a long way to eliminating real or perceived extreme pay-to-play donations in Utah campaigns. For example, a campaign donation search using Better UTAH’s recently released Utah Disclosures Search (www.followthemoney.abueducation.org) revealed that Attorney General John Swallow received more than 10 donations in excess of $10,000. Governor Gary Herbert received dozens of donations well over $10,000, with some donations reaching a staggering $100,000. The proposed reforms would help remove the type of dangerous influence that these large donations provide.
“But are these limits enough? Public trust is founded on two pillars: the rule of law and government accountability. To satisfy these requirements, campaign limitations must be fair and transparent. These limitations should be 1) hard limits that apply to entire election cycles--including the caucuses, primary elections, and general elections, and 2) that donations disclosures are freely accessible to the public. The former is in the hands of the Legislature. We believe the latter is greatly enhanced by our recently released campaign donation database.
“While most elected leaders are ethical, hardworking individuals that are above reproach, a failure to have clear limitations on campaign donations casts a shadow over all of our elected leaders. We encourage committee members to give their full support to the proposal to put hard limits on election cycle campaign contributions.”