Utah lawmakers received $96K in contributions from alcohol, tobacco companies

Governor opts to return money after Deseret News inquiry

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  • albluhm Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    Everyone should know by now there are no morals left in politicians or politics. They will lie cheat and steal even from each other; what do you think they willingly do to us every day? Then when they get caught they just hope to weather the storm unless their party pushes hard enough to get them to leave because they don't want to get any of the stink on them to.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 4, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    $96k? That's nothing. Utah lawmakers rake in hundreds of millions of dollars from lobbyists and we're fretting about $96k from alcohol and tobacco? That's the equivalent of a penny in an average person's bank account.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 10:24 p.m.

    @ Bryan

    "The tobacco and alcohol lobbies are the industries that I fear least here in Utah."

    Sure, what's a few million deaths worldwide each year.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Let us have a list of all the legislators and who got what.

  • Bryan Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    The tobacco and alcohol lobbies are the industries that I fear least here in Utah. When was the last time that either of those were able to unduly influence the Utah legislature? I doubt that it's happened in the last 50 years. What about other interests? Health care, mining, education, etc.? I have nothing against those industries, but if Herbert got (for example) $5,000 from the UEA, would he be giving that back? I doubt it.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 3, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Why would someone gladly accept money from, say, an Oil and Gas Company looking for favorable legislation, and sun an Alcohol or Tobacco company contribution?

    If these "contributions" do not sway ones treatment of either company, why should it make a difference?

    Until we get all payoffs out of politics, we will have poor decision making by our elected officials.

    One cannot carp about the bad influence of "union money" while yelling "freedom of speech" at superpacs. And vise versa.

    One cannot deride the Koch brothers political influence while giving George Soros a pass. They both want to purchase politicians. And not for the good of the country.

    I urge you all to speak out against ALL contributions to politicians. Not just those that the other side gets.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Feb. 3, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    That certainly is an eye opener.
    Appears to go along with continuing "conflicts of interest" which have recently come to light.
    Do they begin their meetings singing "Do as we say, not as we do" ?

  • Agustis Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 3, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Thank you DN. You set the example. I just wish you could cover more national and world issues.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    If the Governor didn't realize the Tobacco industry paid him $1,000 for a table at his gala type event, then it would be similar to the ICORE project contractor $87,000 that he got?

    Sort of like John Swallow and their integrity quotients. Maybe their parents didn't teach them about avoiding the appearance of evil and not just that it is against the law.

    They forget that in their high and glorious offices as elected officials in Utah that they aren't like Chicago where the fishbowl is cloudy and people can't see the clearness through the glass. If we are becoming like our neighboring states and countries about integrity, then we may have a problem with ethics, also.

    If the legislature avoids talking and making decisions on ethics for the next 100 years, then the problem will go away. If they accept the blood money from contributions from "lobbyists" like you, then we will have more problems in the future that we don't see today.

    It all comes back to what the definition of "is" is. If in 2004 morals were marginal in a lot of people, it may not be better today. If we had only listened.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    Frankly, I am much more concerned about contributions from entities with far greater potential to harm the interests of Utahns by pushing legislation that wastes money, or imposes undesirable and pernicious mandates.

    Like the trial lawyers, the teacher unions, and the public employee unions.

    How much did they "invest" in Utah politicians last year?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 3, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    Members of congress are supposed to avoid even the "appearance of impropriety".

    No elected official should cast a vote on any issue for which they have received anything of value.

    Can you imagine how much cleaner our politics would be?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 2:20 a.m.

    So much for principles....