You cannot stanch a heavy hemorrhage by sticking on a few Band-Aids. The City Council must aggressively attack all fiscal folly, not just campaign finance reform.
The intent of original monetary no-no's was burning-bush clear: no "outside" money. Legalese obfuscation doused that fiery bush. This was clarified in Alan Edward's enlightening piece on campaign finance reform (Deseret News, March 20). More than reform, Salt Lake City needs a total transfusion of truth. Now.Mayor Corradini's draft permits individuals to contribute $1,000 to council candidates, but $5,000 to would-be mayors, that's 5 to 1. Her draft limits campaign expenses for council members to $10,000 but mayoral expenses to a whopping $260,000. That's 26 to 1, $29,000 more than the $231,000 bailout, which triggered two separate investigations of her own conduct.
For the first time in recent history, this City Council has at least slightly cracked the mayoral monolith. They now need to abandon Band-Aids and write a binding regulation that says: "City officials know the salary they will receive for serving. After election, they must not accept personal gifts, in any amount, and shall make such acceptance, under any guise, punishable by immediate mandatory resignation or ouster. They may legally accept any money only from the political party of their respective choices, within legally accepted limits imposed upon the parties, and further limited to a maximum of two consecutive terms in office.
Such financial assistance recognizes that the myth of Salt Lake City's nonpartisan election tradition has long since outlived its usefulness and, indeed, has become a hindrance to public service and to wise and proper governance."
Such an ordinance would restore sensible government to our once proud city. And a mere handful of Band-Aids, it ain't.
Salt Lake City