Utah has a terrible, dysfunctional public official ethics check-up system! It has unlimited corporate and special interests cash contributions. Many legislators receive less than 10% of their contributions from their voters. A majority receive more than 50% of their campaign money from PAC’s, corporations or special interests. It is the best political system money can buy! Utah is one of only four states with this corporate pay-to-play system. It is a SHAME. A DISGRACE!
America’s elections and political processes have become increasingly opaque and disconnected from voters. While political donations provide candidates the ability to engage voters, the rapid growth in spending over the past decade stems from a growth in the influence of moneyed special interests, not popular interests. Allowing money to direct politicians’ moves destroys their relationship with constituents and sows the seeds of corruption in policy-making.
The 2010 Citizens United decision undermined existing election finance laws which had bipartisan support. The ensuing deluge of money into politics has allowed candidates across the country to prioritize the interests of wealthy mega-donors who are no longer limited in their giving. Anonymity and the lack of accountability have clouded transparency in the electoral process.
I believe that strong campaign and ethics laws will enhance voters’ power over their lawmakers and that a more transparent government will serve as a better government. Elected officials should be held accountable to these standards. They are not, at present, in Utah.
Unconscionable partisan gerrymandering has left Utah in a precarious position over the last generation. Sadly, while democrats have received over 39% of the vote, they only have a 21% representation in the Utah Legislature. Those are the kind of numbers that would make Vladimir Putin proud. Getting an independent commission to do redistricting in 2021 is a paramount issue for preserving our representative form of government in Utah. I will work in every way possible to make sure that happens.My bill would turn partisan gerrymandering into a deliberative choice by an independent panel of experts who would bring their plan to the legislature for action. I will continue fight against Gerrymandering in Utah!