A coalition of good government groups rates Utah’s system for disclosing who is financing political campaigns the 45th worst in the country. The Campaign Disclosure Project notes Utah keeps last-minute donations secret until after elections are over and doesn’t require donors to list their employers. That makes it easier for a business mogul trying to buy political favors to skirt donation limits by having company employees donate en masse to a single candidate—something that appears to have occurred in Salt Lake County’s previous district attorney race. The Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office, which oversees campaign finance, is working on new software. Meanwhile, donations from Utah’s attorney general keep mysteriously disappearing from the state’s existing campaign-finance Website.
Utah’s rural county commissioners can take the wooden stakes out of the back of their trucks. A federal judge has ruled the practice of putting up road signs inside federally protected wilderness is illegal. Upset by the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in their back yards, Kane County officials erected 39 county road signs inside the monument, essentially inviting cars to travel on land the federal government wants to protect as roadless wilderness. U.S. District Judge Tina Campbell wrote the signs were a declaration that county law trumps federal law—which it doesn’t. The only recourse now left to the Sagebrush Rebellion might be seceding from the union.