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Taking it to the Limit – WYO Campaign Finance Reform Debated

February 23, 2009

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Legislature is debating campaign contribution limits, and one proposal would more than double the maximum donation an individual can make per election.

If it succeeds, the limit will increase from $1000 to $2400. Dan Neal, executive director for the Equality State Policy Center, questions the need for more money, since his group has found it just doesn't cost that much to run a campaign. The average contested state legislative race cost between $8,000 and $15,000 each, he says.

"Politicians, candidates for the legislature, need to get out and walk their districts and get to know the people that they're trying to win the honor to represent."

While state legislative races are relatively low-cost to run, Neal concedes that statewide races are much more expensive. So, he believes the higher donation limit makes sense only for those races, and an amendment is being offered.

"Let's retain the $1000 limit on legislative and other campaigns in Wyoming, because they're just not that expensive and there's no reason to pour more money into the system."

Supporters of the change say they're suggesting it to match state law to federal law. The proposed change is detailed in Senate File No. 12, Campaign Contributions.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY