Utah PAC violates in-session contribution ban

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March 30, 2013


By Justin Haas

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: The Thomas Paine Common Sense PAC, a PAC which is run by two current members of the Utah State House and one former member, has apparently made illegal campaign contributions during session. The PAC filed a report which shows 10 contributions totaling $1,975 occurring during the session.[1]

A Utah law prohibits giving money to legislators or a PAC controlled by legislators during an active session and could result in the donors being charged with a class A misdemeanor.[1]

Representative Derek Brown (R), one of the PAC's primary officers said, "There’s no willful attempt to undermine the law. Otherwise why would you have reported contributions during the session?" He went on to say, "The reason we [formed a PAC] was just to make it transparent. The irony, of course, is if we had been less transparent, this wouldn’t have been an issue."[1]

State elections administrator Mark Thomas said that the office is looking into the case, but that criminal charges are not likely to be filed.[1]

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