Thursday, December 02, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Campaign Cash

One more reason for enactment of UEG Ethics Reform Citizens Initiative in November 2012

From the Weber County Forum back burner we'll focus in this eye opening 11/29/10 editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune for those readers concerned about the corrupting influence of special interest campaign donations on the Utah legislative process. Here's the lede, which breaks out some startling figures:
To many Utah legislators, local is better — except when it comes to campaign donations. One-third of the lawmakers who will take their seats on Capitol Hill in the next general session didn’t raise a dime in campaign donations from their own district. Half raised less than 1 percent from constituents.
Overall, only $1 of every $20 in campaign donations came from the folks in the district. That means all the rest came from corporations, labor unions, political action committees, individuals outside the district, political parties, lobbyists, other politicians. In other words, special interests.
This is worrisome because these contributors don’t give money out of the goodness of their hearts. They give it to buy influence.
The editorial goes on with several recommendations to "encourage candidates to raise money from more sources, making them less beholden to any one."

Read the full editorial here:
Campaign cash
As regular WCF readers are well aware, the UEG Ethics Initiative, which would impose reasonable individual campaign contribution limits for our state legislature, and would ban corporate contributions entirely, among other things, has technically qualified for the ballot for November of 2012. In the meantime however we believe the above-linked SLTrib editorial provides one more reason for enactment of this important citizens initiative.

6 comments:

HILARIOUSINVESTIGATION said...

When our Mayor was asked about Envision Ogden on a recent Channel 17 television program, his first response was "it's hilarious". Really, Blain Johnson being investigated by the Utah attorney general for possibly taking illegal campaign funds is funny? I must have missed the punchline.............

ozboy said...

Off topic here, but there is an article in today's Tribune about how the various cities in Utah are doing with their web sites, and more specifically how transparent the cities are with the information they put on their sites. The article quotes a study by the Sutherland Institute.

See the report here: http://www.sutherlandinstitute.org/

Congratulations to Ogden's worker bees in the IT department for the good showing they made. The Ogden site (a very good one in my opinion) garnered the top rating of A- and was only a half a point behind the six cities ahead of us - who also got A- grades. There were 29 cities graded behind our Ogden group.

Interesting how Ogden can have the least transparent city government in the state yet have one of the most transparent web sites! Too bad the boys and girls in the IT department don't run the mayor's office!

Jennifer said...

Oz:
can you find anything relating to the city's dept of economic development on the website yet?

TLJ

ozboy said...

TJF

I haven't looked. My opinion of the Ogden web site is based on how it looks and how easy it is to navigate. I never did have the expectation that it would ever reveal anything near the truth about the sleazy machinations of the Godfreyites.

The "transparency" thing was something the Sutherland people came up with. That is not a word I would normally use in reference to the Godfrey administration. My above usage of the word was just me reporting on what the Tribune wrote. I'm not sure just what they meant by that. Interesting question now that you bring up the subject. I think I will write them and ask them WTF they meant by "transparency" in this study and report.

In reading your post and my reply it occurs to me that you only ask about if I found the ED Dept on the site. Interesting how I read so much into that! I simply must get control of my inherent naysayer self!

Dorrene Jeske said...

I missed the WCF article on the Veladrome/Fieldhouse, so I want to ask all WCF readers and posters, "Has anyone considered WHERE this wonderful, magical project is going to be built and which businesses it will dislocate?
It is suppposed to be "Olympic"sized which makes it huge. Do your research -- there's only one place it will fit downtown! The Marriott hotel! Oh well, so what? We're going to get a new hotel that will be right in the Junction! Oh, Boy!

Back to the Veladrome -- if it is built the same size as other "Olympic" veladromes around the Country, there will not be enough room for the required parking, let alone the outdoor water park and other venues that have been mentioned as part of this wonderful, magical Veladrome/Fielldhouse! And while you're checking out how large it is, check how large the price tag is! It is about the same as the streetcar! Now we know why Godfrey has sabotaged it by insisting that it go up 36th St.

Tell me does Godfrey really care about Ogden? Which does Ogden need the most -- the streetcar or the Veladrome/Fieldhouse?

dwilson said...

DJ said....What does Ogden need the
most--the streetcar or the Velodrome/Fieldhouse?

Good question Dorrene. My answer is that first we need a new Mayor, then a streetcar system. The rest of it should be relegated to the long list of myopic Godfrey visions

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