More Independent Billboards Hit Salt Lake City Mayoral Contest

A political action committee that independently purchased billboard ads to aid the candidacy of Salt Lake City mayoral candidate Jackie Biskupski is now making expenditures for another candidate – Luke Garrott. Garrott is none too pleased about it.

As first reported by, Utahns for Independent Government, a PAC formed by the owners of Reagan Outdoor Signs, put up billboards supporting Biskupski independent of her campaign. The group is not subject to Salt Lake City's spending limits since they are not making a direct donation to a mayoral candidate.
Now, UIG has erected billboards supporting Luke Garrott, and Garrott has demanded the group take them down.
“I was shocked and then outraged,” said Garrott in a press release. 
Garrott has limited his campaign donations to $1,000, which is far below the $7,500 ceiling. He says he met with Reagan to discuss some in-kind donations for billboards. Garrott claims the company asked if he would like "additional exposure," which he refused.
“I am disgusted with how Reagan has used this PAC to circumvent the spirit of our campaign contribution limits, but unlike Jackie, I’m not going to let big money continue to get their way.”
Biskupski's campaign also raised eyebrows recently for coordinating with another PAC to provide some polling for her campaign.
Garrott blasted the presence of outside money in the race, primarily in support of incumbent Ralph Becker and Biskupski.
“Neither Ralph nor Jackie have clean hands here. Big money accounts for about 3/4 of Ralph’s contributions and about 2/3 of Jackie’s contributions,” Garrott noted. “With Ralph raising $272,000 of his $365,000 and Jackie raising $145,000 of her $220,000 from big money, voters should be very concerned about the corrosive effect this money has in city hall.” 
Matt Lyon, a spokesperson for Becker's campaign, said Utahns for Independent Government should not be inserting themselves into the race.
"This type of unlimited corporate, money with a single special interest, infiltrating our local elections is bad for our city and bad for our democracy," he said.
In an email release, Utahns for Independent Government says they are providing the billboards to highlight the need for new leadership in Salt Lake City.
"Utahn's (sic) for Independent Government is not endorsing, coordinating with or supporting any specific candidate. These advertisements are intended to inform the public of all the other candidates for Salt Lake City Mayor."
The PAC says they have launched billboards in support of all non-incumbent candidates in the race. UIG says they also will not honor Garrott's request that they remove the billboards.
Jackie Biskupski's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.