Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 Weber County Election Update: The Standard-Examiner Opens the Door To An Examination of Weber County Campaign Finance

We invite you to open  online pre-election candidate cheat-sheet, and prowl around a little bit. folks -  You'll be amazed how many individuals and entities are pouring out the dough for that "precious" elected official "access" [Wink]

With our Weber County Forum countdown clock ticking down to a mere minus four days until the November 4, 2014 Utah General Election, we'll shine the spotlight on yesterday's Kathy McKitrick story from the Standard-Examiner, which zeros in, laser-like, on one topic near and dear to your blogmeister's heart, campaign finance. Here's Ms. McKitick's lede:
OGDEN — Recent campaign finance reports revealed an influx of cash to Weber County candidates who are running unopposed, which prompts the question why donors give to recipients who lack the need to actively campaign.
“If the candidate doesn’t face an expensive race and is running unopposed, it’s hard to believe that money to that candidate won’t give some sort of special access once they’re serving,” said Jenn Gonnelly, co-president of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Utah,
Read up, folks:
Surprise of surprises.  Unopposed candidates on our November 4 Weber County ballots are reeling in cash contributions like madmen, despite the fact that their 2014 campaigns are absolute slam-dunks.

County Commissioner Kerry Gibson's 2014 campaign finance disclosure report illustrates one instance of this weird phenomenon, although Ms. McKitrick also provides numerous other examples of this surprising 2014 election campaign twist:
No one from any political party mounted a challenge this year to Republican incumbent Kerry Gibson, who will sail to a second term as Weber County commissioner this November. The former state lawmaker’s Oct. 28 report — the first he’s been required to file this year — showed that he started with a fund balance of $13,302 and brought in $12,650 in donations throughout 2014. 
Gibson’s largest donations include $5,000 from a political action committee called Preserve Ogden Valley, two $1,500 contributions from Randall Moulding and a business called AFC Tanks, and $1,000 from Staker Parsons, a six-decades-old sand, rock and concrete company.
And what's the motivation for this? Why do unopposed candidates solicit and accept campaign donation whilst running unopposed?
“Usually people spend money on campaigns to get a return on their investment, but they don’t waste their money,” said Leah Murray, an associate professor in political science at Weber State University.
“I don’t know if you’re buying influence so much as access,” Murray added. “If you want to make sure they take your call, you give.”
Ms. McKitrick has done a bang up job in opening the door to a discussion of 2014 Weber County Election campaign finance.  Accordingly, we're delighted to be able to offer our gentle WCF readers a little something more.  In that connection, we'll again provide the link to our robust online pre-election candidate cheat-sheet, which includes all campaign finance disclosures from all candidates who'll appear on Tuesday's (11/4/14) ballots.  Check it out, political wonks:
We invite you to open the link and prowl around a little bit. folks.  You'll be amazed how many individuals and entities are pouring out the dough for that "precious insider access" [Wink].


Johnny B,.. said...

My question is "What does an unopposed candidate do with his contributions?".

Pamela said...

If in the future he doesn't run again or is defeated, I do believe the funds are his to keep. Yes?

Ozboy said...

Johnny B,

They take fact finding trips to the Alps to study Gondolas and to South America to look for trading partners, just to name two recent examples. Oh wait, never mind, those two events were on the tax payer's dime.

A lot of that money does get spread around to other candidates to insure their own influence in future political matters.

Not sure, but I think it might be agin the law for them to keep it or use it for strictly personal reasons - wink wink.

Is that you Cuz?

skippyjohnjones said...

Hmmmm.....Keep diggin Kathy....a political action committee called Preserve Ogden Valley created by the founder of Summit that is interesting....started by a group that bought a mountain, got a county bond to build roads through wilderness , and is swinging it's weight around the Valley..... Preservation my eye..... Mr. Bell, line one please...

Amy Steed Morgan said...

They just pass the big bucks around to each other, with a handshake and a pat on the back. Or, an "I'll scratch yours if you scratch mine".
"In July, Ebert was one of several who gave $250 donations to incumbent lawmaker Brad Dee — part of an invitation-only fundraiser held at Snowbasin on behalf of the Washington Terrace Republican who is in the running to become Utah’s next speaker of the House."
Because, what House candidate DOESN'T need another $250 when you've only got $172,000?

Mark J said...

Right, It goes right in their pocket, It is called legalized bribery.

Mark J said...

Is it true that Brad Dee had and is having an affair with his Secretary Julie.?

Bob Becker said...

Brad Dee has made it clear that he is not deserving of the public's trust. But this kind of election season allegation is just plain slimey. Absent his breaking laws, his private life is none of the public's business. and rumor-mongering about it demeans him, the electorate and, especially, the gossips.

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