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Politics & Government

Idaho Campaign Finance Reform Initiative Makes Final Push To Gather Signatures

Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

An initiative to update Idaho’s laws around campaign finance has until Monday at 5 p.m. to reach the signature threshold. Former Democratic state lawmaker Holli Woodings is leading the initiative, called Keep Idaho Elections Accountable.

Woodings says that if the initiative passes muster, voters in November will have the chance to decide how Idaho deals with money in politics.

"Lobbyists and constituents need to be on a level playing field," she says. "And having no gift limit in place and only a reporting requirement really makes it so that lobbyist’s voices can be heard more than the general person.”

The initiative would cap lobbyist gifts to legislators – including meals and lodging – to $50.

Another element of the proposal would ban large government contractors from donating to political campaigns. Woodings referenced political donations made by former state contractor Corrections Corporation for America.

Woodings says the initiative has gathered more than the roughly 48,000 votes necessary, and even more will be gathered over the weekend. But she says the question now is whether all those signatures are valid. The secretary of state’s office will look at each signature to make sure it belongs to current registered voters in Idaho.

Volunteers have been working to get signatures from people around Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, the Treasure Valley and Pocatello.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

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