Recently proponents of Proposition 5 have been making the claim that 3 percent or less of their money is coming from out of state (Associated Press, Take Two, Oct. 5). This statement directly contradicts the report filed with the Lieutenant Governor's Office by their campaign. That report shows approximately $102,000 out of the $419,000 raised coming from out-of-state individuals or organizations, roughly 25 percent of the total.
When this discrepancy is pointed out to Proposition 5 supporters, they explain it away by stating that local individuals gave money to local chapters of national nonprofit organizations, presumably receiving a tax deduction in the process, and these chapters then funneled the money through their national bank accounts.Donations to campaigns are not deductible. It appears that the Proposition 5 campaign may have attempted to find a way around the law by asking potential donors to send their checks to a tax-exempt nonprofit group so that they could claim it as a deduction. If the intent was not to get a tax deduction for campaign contributors, then why not simply have the individuals give the money directly to the campaign?
It needs to be pointed out that nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations cannot solicit donations with the sole purpose of giving it to a political campaign. This is called money-laundering. I suggest the supporters of Proposition 5 either admit a good share of their contributions have come from out of state, or explain how and why they "funneled" more than $100,000 through national bank accounts when the donations allegedly came from Utah residents. The right of the people to vote on certain issues is being challenged by Proposition 5. At the very least they should be told the truth about who is funding the campaign to take that right away.
Utah Voting Rights Coalition
Salt Lake City