Thursday, July 29, 2010

Martinez calls on Denish/Colón to release foundation information

A day after she outlined her anti-corruption plan, GOP gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez is asking the Diane Denish/Brian Colón ticket to release information on the Moving America Forward Foundation. She'd like to know who contributed to the group and how it spent its money.

Colón was the treasurer of the Moving America Forward Foundation. The group has been criticized for refusing to reveal who contributed the $1.7 million the foundation raised in Richardson's early years in office.

First, a little background, courtesy of my colleague Steve Terrell.

The foundation surfaced as a target last year in whistle-blower Frank Foy's suit claiming political pressure from the Richardson administration resulted in the state making $90 million in bad investments with a Chicago firm.

In a motion filed last year, Foy's lawyer, Victor Marshall, claimed it "was used as a conduit for making kickbacks" and that "donors used the foundation to launder kickbacks and other illegal inducements in exchange for investment business or other valuable consideration from the Richardson administration, while perhaps making kickbacks tax deductible in the process."

A foundation lawyer last year called the motion "an irresponsible publicity stunt" and said none of the defendants or other people mentioned in Foy's lawsuit ever contributed to the foundation.

A Denish spokesman said she had no role with the foundation, and the group doesn't have to release donor info.

"As a 501(c)3, much like the Conservative Rio Grande Foundation, Moving America Forward was not obligated to disclose its donors. Diane Denish had no role with the foundation, but as someone who has worked with foundations and non-profits in the past, she understands the rules governing 501(c)3s," spokesman Chris Cervini said in an e-mail.

I have a message into Colón and will update when I hear back.

Update, 2:56 p.m.
This from Colón, through Denish's spokesman.

"Donors to 501(c)3s have a right to privacy under the law and I respect that right. Yet again, Susana Martinez is being hypocritical, asking for the release of private donor information from a 501(c)3, yet not demanding the same of conservative organizations such as the Rio Grande Foundation, which has done a lot of her heavy lifting by supporting right-wing bloggers such as Jim Scarantino."

Guess my next call is to Scarantino, although we're getting off topic a little here. . .

Update, 3:29

Scarantino said he's an independent contractor for the foundation and "isn't beholden to anybody."

"I've never been told to write something or not to," he said.

But, he said, he will release all funding information for the web site he edits, if Colón will do the same with the foundation.

Stay tuned.


  1. The charges against Denish and Colon somewhat echo the charges against Charlie Rangel. I would have added John Murtha, but he's dead. Are there no ethical standards in the Democratic party? Don't these politicians go to church on Sundays?

  2. That Moving America Forward was dissolved in 2008 and seems like old news now. Denish probably should have preemptively asked for more info on RGf's contributions before Martinez brought up the Moving America Forward's contribution to Richardson. It seems like one is a bit more relevant than the other considering one of the nonprofits in question is no longer in existence.

    --Lily Ribeiro (