Campaigning Without Limits | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Campaigning Without Limits 

Corporations had two deep pockets during the SLC Mayoral election—one on both sides.

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There were two winners in Salt Lake City's mayoral election. One was Jackie Biskupski; the other was money. To curb the influence of money on the elections, Move to Amend is redirecting its focus from the U.S. Constitution to municipal-election ordinances. The group's mantra has been "corporations are not people," and that apparently applies at the city level, too. Move to Amend asked the Salt Lake City Council to limit individual donations to $500 per person for council races, and $1,000 per person for the mayor's race. No corporate dollars. It may be a hard sell, though. This election saw outgoing Mayor Ralph Becker raise $676,618, of which 35 percent came from corporations and unions. Forty-seven percent came from individuals giving $1,000 or more. Biskupski did about the same as Becker, raising $620,978, 28 percent or $176,251 from corporations or unions. Individuals giving more than $1,000 accounted for 48 percent or $298,925. Could they run a campaign with limits? Probably. But will they? Probably not.


2015 Double Bump
The Deseret News had two stories on the front page of its local section: "Study: Bad air may trigger serious heart attacks," and "Fleeing for their health?" a story about refugees leaving Utah to find Medicaid coverage. Seems like people are sick and dying off left and right, so what's the big rush to build for that expected 2050 double bump? Sugar House residents are none too happy about the latest building frenzy—a 10-story complex slated for the old Granite Furniture site. Maybe 100 people foresee traffic and parking problems if it gets filled. Despite the din, ABC 4 managed to find one guy "excited" to fill the empty space. Unfortunately, he'll be priced out of the area.


UTA's BoardMember Beef
Oh no, the resignations of Utah Transit Authority board members caught red-faced after a Switzerland trip had nothing at all to do with the trip. Nothing. D-News reporter Dennis Romboy took an in-depth look at the issue, from a Swiss official's trip to the Sundance Film Festival to the five-star hotels the delegation booked. Through an open-records request, he got documents from the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Oops, UTA had to cancel a competitive bid when it found out its board members were chatting up a Swiss competitor. But board members insist they resigned just because it was time. It's time to get UTA out of the quasi-public sphere.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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