SLC residents believe corporations, politics, money should not mix, opinion poll shows

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SALT LAKE CITY -- An overwhelming majority of Salt Lake City residents believe corporations, cash and politics should not mix, according to results of an opinion poll released Tuesday.

Salt Lake City officials sent out an opinion ballot asking residents if they agree with this statement: corporations are not people and money is not speech.

Eighty-eight percent supported the statement and 12 percent disagreed. The city paid $98,000 to administer the opinion poll.

“It’s more than what we would normally pay for a Dan Jones poll or any other kind of polling process,” said Salt Lake City Council chairman Kyle LaMalfa. “But I think this opinion precisely reflects the opinion of voters in Salt Lake City.”

Move to Amend Salt Lake, a grassroots organization, approached the city about sending out the mail-in ballot as a way to poll local opinion on campaign finance.

Campaign finance has been a hot topic since 2010 when the U.S. Supreme Court voted that corporations had a First Amendment right to spend as much money as they wanted on political campaigns.

Move to Amend wants a constitutional amendment to overturn that decision.

“Anything that give voters an opportunity to participate to put input into the process – that’s powerful,” said Giles Larsen with Move to Amend. “And that’s what the council did with this new process.”

The majority of the city council voted for the opinion ballot because they believed it would be useful to gauge opinion and interest in issues facing the city.