No one wants to talk about it, not many want to learn more about it, and fewer people want to speak against those that accept it.

I figure at my age, I have little to lose in exposing it. I’m refusing to take it, and so are many other new candidates in 2018 mid-term election. Still, a large number of incumbents are on record for accepting large amounts of it. And without your taking notice, they will win with it.

Just a moment’s effort at a website like FollowTheMoney.org will reveal to you all you need to know about your area’s politicians. Put in your address in a search box, if you don’t know who represents you. Then search their names and click on links to see if their donors are large corporations and organizations with wanting a favor or a pass by or if they are voters like you and me. This information is all on public record by our state Lieutenant Governor’s Office on disclosures.utah.gov. Candidates for public office are required to report contributions received and expenditures made to bring about their nomination or election.

Candidates are putting up their signs and beginning their campaigns now for our midterm 2018 election. Will you vote for a Dark Money candidate? Or one that refuses the lobbyists fat checks and maintains their integrity? Thanks to websites like FollowTheMoney.org you can make an educated choice.

I’ve often wondered why some obvious things don’t ever change, that can be changed to improve Utah.

For example: Why do those very old antique oil refineries continue to pump out dangerous pollution 24/7 on our worst pollution days, days when we are credited as having the worst air of any city in the USA? The answer is special political favors bought to leave them alone.

Our Utah January’s are known for three annual events: The winter inversions, the start of our legislative session and the Sundance Film Festival. Often I see PACs and other nicely named organizations, as well as the directly named donors of oil and gas companies that own these refineries on the lists of candidate donors. At the same time, I see on their websites flowery statements about how these same candidates support a better environment for Utah and clean air!

You can hardly believe it when you see these donations for yourself. It seems to be human nature, why should the incumbents and others from the dominant party go knock on doors to meet their constituents for small donations, when all they need to do is deposit the large dark money checks and then have more than enough money to wage a large campaign and have large sums of money left over for the next elections campaign? It’s just so easy for them.

Unless the voters begin to care and learn how their candidates fund their campaigns, dark money will continue to win Utah elections for those that have compromised their integrity and refuse to say no. Without citizen and voter attention our Utah will continue with many of our great, but very solvable problems.

Cheryl Nunn

Cheryl Nunn, Layton, is a candidate for the Utah House of Representatives, District 16.