UEG News

UEG Urges Campaign Contribution Limits

September 27, 2010

Utahns for Ethical Government applauds Mayor Corroon’s invitation for the gubernatorial candidates to voluntarily limit their campaign contributions to donations of not more than $10,000 and return to donors the amounts any contributor has given in excess of that. We also applaud Governor Herbert’s willingness to at least consider a joint agreement to that effect and not to rule it out.

“This is an opportunity for all of the candidates to take a very positive step that most Utah voters have long supported, and we believe it will show real leadership on each candidate’s part,” said Dixie Huefner, speaking for UEG’s Executive Committee.  “While a $10,000 limit is higher than the ceiling UEG has proposed, it’s a major step, because Utah is one of only four states with no campaign contribution limits at all.”

David Irvine, one of the initiative petition’s drafters, said, “Obviously, this can only work if all the candidates agree, but it can be a huge win for Utah, for the candidates who’ll together show real leadership by a joint agreement, and it will send a powerful signal to the Legislature that it’s time to act on moving Utah out of the D- category for ethics laws.”

Kim Burningham, UEG chair, noted that, contrary to the Governor’s concern that contribution caps might violate free speech, “a voluntary cap is just that—voluntary on the part of the candidates, no different from a fair campaign pledge. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court continues to specifically uphold the principle of campaign contribution limits because they do not impinge on free speech. Instead, they help keep elections honest.”