Thursday, February 24, 2011

Do Martinez' ads violate campaign law?

That's the question the good government group Common Cause New Mexico is asking today, after Gov. Susana Martinez started airing ads urging people to call their lawmakers to support a movement to repeal the state law allowing drivers' licenses for immigrants. More on that here. (In short, Martinez wants to do away with the law, but is being blocked by Democrats in the Legislature and so has taken to the airwaves with leftover campaign cash.)

Here's what Common Cause said in a statement urging Attorney General Gary King to look into the matter:
Following a careful review of New Mexico’s Campaign Reporting Act, Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) has come to the conclusion that Governor Martinez may have violated this act when she used leftover campaign funds to pay for radio spots lobbying for a bill favored by her administration. CCNM has urged the Attorney General’s office to investigate this matter.

"The Campaign Reporting Act places strict limitations on how campaign funds can be used,” said Steven Robert Allen, executive director of CCNM. “Funding this kind of lobbying advertisement seems to be a clear violation of this statute."

Secretary of State Dianna Duran has said the spending is fine; King's office shas aid the SOS looks at the matter first, although some speculate he now will take a look as well. . . The question of what can be done with leftover campaign funds is an interesting one, as many big campaigns in recent elections have had money left over.

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