Idahoans strongly support reforms to the state’s campaign finance laws that would ban gifts from lobbyists and campaign donations to anyone doing business with the state, among other ethical issues, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey finds that 79 percent of Idahoans support such reforms, 16 percent oppose and 6 percent don’t know.
A citizen initiative petition dealing with these issues is being proposed for this November’s ballot, with supporters saying they already have the 48,000 voter signatures required.
The new poll results should be a boon for the initiative effort, for it shows super-majority support for the proposed reforms.
Idaho already has campaign donation limits for legislative and statewide offices, like governor and attorney general.
The limits (listed here) could be further tightened, however.
And questions of penalties for violating the law are also being examined.
And there are not limits to how much a person or business can give to a political action committee or a state political party – although those entities do have limits that they, in turn, can give to a candidate.
Jones asked: “Do you support or oppose an overhaul of Idaho’s campaign finance laws that would ban lobbyists from giving gifts to lawmakers, prohibit donations from anyone doing business with the state, limit contributions to candidates, and increase penalties?”
Gifts to legislators from lobbyists have been an issue for some time.
The current law requires that registered lobbyists file financial disclosure reports on how much they spent on entertainment and such things.
But these are only totals and don’t detail on whom the money was spent.
Jones finds that a super-majority of Idahoans want more disclosure in which public officials are taking what from whom.