Letter: Transparent campaign finance

Published: Tuesday, March 18 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Recently, a Utah House committee concluded that former Attorney General John Swallow "hung a veritable 'for sale' sign" on his office door. The truth, of course, is that every elected office holder is beholden to those who contribute to his/her campaign. Not much is going to change the fact that money rules. However, what can change is the level of transparency.

There is a very simple, inexpensive, voluntary method to address the problem of campaign financing. Politicians who volunteer to cooperate could have their name on the ballot. Those not cooperating would not have their name on the ballot.

A state election commission would be created. The commission would open a bank account for any candidate who volunteered to cooperate. Every campaign contribution would be deposited in that account and every expenditure would be paid out of that account. All bank statements would be made public.

Currently, from year to year incumbents build up huge campaign "treasure chests." But with this method, after every election, any account balances would go to the state education fund.

A full explanation of this method would require more space. However, it is a concept which any honest politician will endorse.

Curt Call

Sandy

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