Most of us old codgers recall the quaint Presidential Election Campaign Fund, in which people would check a box on their tax returns and it would result in $1 (or, since 1994, $3) being set aside for the public financing of presidential campaigns. It turns out that Utah has a similar kind of program, but the beneficiaries are state political parties.
Both the Utah Republican Party and the Utah State Democratic Committee report regular unitemized receipts via this program. But a state lawmaker pushed a bill this year to eliminate the checkoff, saying that it blurred the lines between public and private money.
“We talk about how we shouldn’t have public funding of private entities and yet that’s what we have here,” sponsoring Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork, told legislators who advanced the bill to the Senate on a 51-20 vote.