New Suits and Baby Sitters?

What are campaigns spending money on in Utah?  You might be surprised, if you read this Salt Lake Tribune story.

Utah might be one of the most conservative states in the nation, but it has one of the most liberal laws governing how campaign contributions can be spent by the candidates. In fact, that law is so liberal, it practically doesn’t exist.

The Deseret News published an analysis several months ago showing that a third of the $827,000 that state legislators raised from special interests for their campaigns was spent on such things as clothes, car repairs, babysitting, wedding gifts and, sometimes, in direct cash payment to themselves.

It’s all perfectly legal, since it’s up to the Legislature to determine what restrictions should apply to campaign contributions (federal campaign contributions must be spent on political campaigns). And the lawmakers apparently like it just the way it is. 

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