Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Senate OKs $50 limit on anonymous campaign contributions
First Published Feb 12 2013 12:25 pm • Last Updated Feb 21 2013 09:29 pm

The Utah State Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to prohibit anonymous campaign contributions in excess of $50 and require anonymous donations over that amount to be donated to a nonprofit or charitable organization.

Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, sponsored HB38 with the intent of raising the cap on anonymous contributions to $100, but Sen. John Valentine objected and suggested the limit should be lowered to $25 to improve transparency.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"I can tell you one of the reasons we don’t have abuse is because we have a $50 requirement," Valentine, R-Orem, said. "We’re [discussing] doubling that. In the future, it leads to more potential for abuse. I think we’re all about transparency. We have to live and die on what we disclose to the voters of the state."

He picked up an ally in Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, who said the amounts were small in comparison to "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in other campaigns but said the Senate should adopt the lower limit as a symbolic gesture toward more open disclosure.

The measure originated with Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, and was passed — with the $100 figure in place — by the House in January on a vote of 64-7.

The Senate approved the $50 ceiling on anonymous donations 28-1. But not before a spirited debate on the floor that lasted for close to 30 minutes.

Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said he had pored over hundreds of campaign reports to see where abuses might have occurred under the existing $50 prohibition and said he couldn’t find any. He pointedly asked Valentine during the debate over a $25 limit if the Orem Republican could produce any examples of abuse.

Valentine said he couldn’t, but believed the $25 requirement would move campaigns toward more transparency while $100 moved "in the wrong direction."

Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, took issue with another aspect of the bill, saying that requiring an aggregate total equaling $25 could be onerous to track when at events where many people might give $5 at a time. She supported the final proposal keeping it at $50.

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, a staunch supporter of raising the limit to $100, was the only senator to vote against the bill. Dayton said she felt the $100 offered donors protection — notably those "who played both sides of the race."


story continues below
story continues below

The bill now goes back to the House with the amendments.

dmontero@sltrib.com

Twitter: @davemontero



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.