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Eye On Boise

Wed., July 12, 2017, 8:48 a.m.

Campaign finance, ethics panel opens first meeting at Capitol

The Idaho Legislature's campaign finance and ethics working group opens its first meeting at the state Capitol on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Betsy Z. Russell)
The Idaho Legislature's campaign finance and ethics working group opens its first meeting at the state Capitol on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Betsy Z. Russell)

The Legislature’s working group on ethics and campaign finance is holding its first meeting all day today at the Capitol; you can listen live here.

As the meeting opened, Co-Chair Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, said he favors more transparency. “If every time anybody spends money they have to report it that day, and any time anybody receives money they have to report it that day, it’s pretty hard to be devious, nefarious, etc.,” he said. “I mean, if you can track the money easily, and you can track all of the money easily, it’s pretty hard to get afoul of what the people really intend when they talk about transparency in campaigns.”

Co-Chair Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, said she wants to make sure the panel focuses on an “Idaho solution,” rather than looking to what other states do. “We are different, we are a more independent state, we have good ideas here and we have good people and our people want to do what is the very best. I’m going to be looking at what’s best for my constituents, what’s best for the citizens of Idaho, what makes reporting easy,” and also, she said, as a former teacher, “what’s going to be fair as people fight it out in the sandbox.”

The charge to the panel is to review campaign finance and disclosure laws, ways to increase transparency in those, penalties, contribution limits, lobbyist disclosure requirements, applicability to recall campaigns and special elections, and two areas where Idaho has no requirements – “revolving door” rules and personal finance disclosure requirements.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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