- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Washington-based Center for Public Integrity has released data on the top five entities that donated to Utah state races during the 2014 election cycle.

The totals come from disclosures made by candidates and state political parties, as well as state and federal records of 140 independent groups that spent money on television ads during the election cycle.

The analysis does not include donations tied to ballot initiative campaigns or federal races for the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate. It also doesn’t offer a complete bottom-line on donations, given that disclosure rules and schedules vary from state-to-state. Some late-campaign or postelection contributions also were not included in the analysis.

The Associated Press reported an additional donation below from the Republican Attorneys General Association that was not included in the center’s data.

Comparisons to previous election cycles are also difficult, as well, since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowed technically independent political organizations - unions, corporate PACs and the like - to spend unlimited amounts of money directly on elections, effectively bypassing limits placed on their donations to candidates and political parties.

Here’s a look at the top five donors in Utah during the midterms:

DONOR: Utah Association of Realtors

WHO THEY ARE: A Utah trade organization of real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors.

HOW MUCH THEY GAVE: $207,413.03

WHERE IT WENT: The organization gave $32,500 to the Utah Republican Party and $8,500 to groups working to elect Republican candidates. The Utah Democratic Party received $13,400, and Democratic candidate groups received $1,750. The group also donated to 75 Republican and Democratic lawmakers and legislative candidates. Those contributions ranged from $250 to more than $5,000.

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DONOR: Ian Cumming

WHO HE IS: The former CEO of Leucadia National Corporation, Cumming was a longtime Utah businessman who now lives in Wyoming

HOW MUCH THEY GAVE: $105,000.00

WHERE IT WENT: Cumming gave $20,000 to Salt Lake City Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis, and $85,000 to the Utah Democratic Party.

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DONOR: Republican Attorneys General Association

WHO THEY ARE: A national group that works to elect Republican attorney generals around the country.

HOW MUCH THEY GAVE: $150,000.00

WHERE IT WENT: The Republican Attorneys General Association gave $100,000 in January 2014 to Republican Sean Reyes, who was re-elected as Utah’s attorney general. The group then registered a political action committee in Utah, called RAGA Utah PAC, through which they gave Reyes an additional $50,000 in October 2014.

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DONOR: Education First

WHO THEY ARE: A political action committee that advocates for accountability, innovation and investment in education.

HOW MUCH THEY GAVE: $91,550.00

WHERE IT WENT: Education First gave money to both the state Republican and Democratic parties. The state Republican party and Republican candidate groups received $11,250. The state Democratic party and Democratic candidate groups received $7,250. Education First also gave donations to lawmakers and legislative candidates of both political parties that ranged from $750 to $3,000.

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DONOR: EnergySolutions

WHO THEY ARE: A Salt Lake City-based nuclear waste processor

HOW MUCH THEY GAVE: $181,166.70

WHERE IT WENT: The Utah Republican Party received $50,000 while $14,500 went to Republican candidate groups. The Utah Democratic Party received $5,000, and another $5,000 went to groups working to elect Democratic candidates. EnergySolutions also gave $5,000 to Reyes and additional donations to more than 60 Republican and Democratic lawmakers and legislative candidates. Those donations ranged from $250 to Democratic House candidate Mike Lee to $13,500.00 to Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy.


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