Idaho Campaign Contribution Caps Staying Put

Oct 19, 2017

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is looking for ways to inject more financial transparency into Idaho politics.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Current limits on campaign contributions in Idaho are staying put. The legislature's Campaign Finance and Ethics Reform Work Group unanimously agreed to keep caps on political donations.

Presently, state law limits contributions from an individual to candidates running for the legislature to $1,000 in primary elections and $1,000 in the general election.

At a meeting of a legislative work group looking into campaign finance reform this week, state lawmakers seemed reluctant to change those limits.

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said he was fine with the financial ceilings staying in place. When asked if the removal of contribution caps would hypothetically allow a big donor to single-handedly bankroll a candidate, Denney said, “Absolutely.”

According to the Spokesman Review, members of the bi-partisan work group are tasked with bringing more financial transparency to Idaho politics. They say eliminating contribution limits would introduce a separate issue and send a conflicting message.

The lawmakers were also in accord on recommending future legislation include a provision mandating campaigns file monthly financial reports instead of the infrequent filings currently stipulated. The group will finalize their recommendations next month.

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