(KCPW News) The Governor’s Commission on Strengthening Utah’s Democracy met yesterday to vote on two recommendations. Acting commission chairman Kirk Jowers says the proposal to create new campaign finance rules would be a significant change.
“Well at the moment Utah is one of the three states of the Wild West. We have almost no campaign finance rules at the moment,” Jowers says. “So any type of limits, any type of prohibitions would drastically change what is currently in place here in Utah.”
The campaign finance recommendation would, among other things, limit the amount of money candidates can receive from an individual or group. It was approved in a split vote.
Actually implementing this recommendation would require action by the Legislature and governor, so the commission’s vote yesterday doesn’t change anything. But Jowers says it isn’t purely symbolic.
“I’ve had a number of meetings with legislators and with our current governor and they’re very interested in this commission’s deliberations and ultimate recommendations,” Jowers says. “I think if we do it right, it is something the Legislature and governor will act on.”
The commission was convened earlier this year by former Governor Jon Huntsman to look at ethics, redistricting, campaign finance, lobbying and elections. Ethics and redistricting were later dropped from the commission’s agenda after a request from Republican state lawmakers.