Second in a series
Gov. Gary Herbert's political fundraising, which relies heavily on major contributions from energy and real estate companies, is the poster child for why this nation and this state need a constitutional amendment to reform campaign finance. Such an amendment should create public funding for campaigns and limit private contributions so as to eliminate possible corruption through large campaign donations by special interests.
Of the $1.5 million Herbert has raised, some $441,000 has come from oil, gas, coal and real estate interests, which leads reasonable voters to wonder how that affects his energy and public lands policies. The current presidential and congressional races, which are heavily influenced by super PACs (political action committees) that funnel unlimited donations by corporations and wealthy individuals to independent ads, may be even worse. But the Herbert campaign is a good example of why a constitutional amendment to reform campaign finances for federal offices should extend to states and cities. Herbert doesn't need a super PAC because Utah has no limits absolutely none on campaign donations by anyone.