It was clear from reports released this week by the two national political parties that Utah did not rank high in campaign giving or spending in 1988.
Hotel magnate J.W. Marriott Jr., a big name in the state but a resident of Washington, D.C., was the only recognizable Utah-connected personality in the reports by either the Republicans or the Democrats of large contributors to party coffers last year. Marriott was listed among 249 "Team 100" members who gave $100,000 or more to the GOP, aside from contributions to individual candidates.The lists covered giving that was not limited by federal rules governing specific races. Gifts to the presidential campaigns themselves were barred under rules that supplied federal funds to the Bush-Quayle and Dukakis-Bentsen tickets.
Not a single Utah resident showed up on the Democrats' list of 1,400 contributors to their National Committee's non-federal accounts, not subject to Federal Election Commission rules.
The Democrats' non-federal account spent $15.7 million during the campaign's final three months, but only $5,633 went to Utah, three-hundredths of 1 percent. Actually Utah got more than Alaska ($1,884), Nevada, ($2,896.82) or Virginia ($1,063). The figures made it clear that the Democrats wrote Utah off early and wasted little money in the state.
Much larger amounts went to swing states the Democrats thought they could win: California ($3.1 million), Illinois ($1.8 million) and Texas ($1.5 million).