In its last meeting of the year, the Salt Lake City Council followed through on its campaign-finance-reform pledge by slashing contribution limits. In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the council cut maximum contributions to a mayoral candidate from $7,500 to $3,500. It also reduced maximum donations to council candidates from $1,500 to $750. Those limits apply to individuals, corporations, nonprofits and unions. The caps apply only to Salt Lake City. Utah state law contains no limits on campaign contributions. Tuesday was the last meeting for council members Luke Garrott and Kyle LaMalfa, who will leave office Jan. 4. Garrott has long been an advocate for reducing money in politics.
Earlier this fall, the grass-roots organization Move to Amend approached the council with a proposal to limit personal contributions to $500 in mayoral and council races. Corporate donations would be banned, according to the proposal.
Move to Amend Utah is one of 61 chapters of a national movement that wants to undo the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission. That opinion opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate money and union spending on federal and state political campaigns.