FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 6, 2017
CONTACT: Liz Iacobucci 334-329-7258
‘Take Back Our Republic’ Calls on Gov. Martinez to Sign SB 96,
Requiring Disclosure by ‘Dark Money’ Groups
The nationwide conservative campaign finance reform group Take Back Our Republic today called on New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez to sign SB 96, “An Act Relating to Campaign Finance.”
The bill would close a loophole in state law that exempts SuperPACs from the public disclosure requirements that candidates, political parties and regular PACs have to follow. The state Legislature passed the bill last month with overwhelming, bipartisan majorities. Gov. Martinez faces a Friday deadline to sign the bill; if she doesn’t, the bill will be automatically vetoed.
“New Mexico is only one of a handful of states that do not require outside groups to disclose the sources of their funding,” said Take Back Executive Director John Pudner. “It’s a problem because outside money is now drowning out New Mexicans’ First Amendment rights – in essence, letting big money, out-of-state special interests replace the voice of the voters.”
“When it comes to ethics and good government, New Mexico’s reputation has been abysmal,” Pudner said. “The Legislature took a giant step forward when it approved a constitutional amendment that goes to ballot next year which will create an independent ethics commission. Now the Governor must finish the job and sign SB 96. It is tailored to comply with Citizens United and other legal decisions, and does not hamper the efforts of legitimate charities and non-profits.”
“Citizens deserve to know who is funding campaigns so they can make a more informed choice,” he said.
Polling by Common Cause has – for years – shown that nine-out-of-ten New Mexico voters want groups who are spending money on political campaigns to report who their donors are and how the money is being spent.
A Committee for Economic Development poll done last year showed that 87% of New Mexico’s business leaders support a requirement that all political contributions and expenditures from all sources be made public.
“Politicians should be responsible to the people – not to self-serving, Big Money interests who seek special treatment at taxpayers’ cost,” Pudner said.
“We hope Gov. Martinez signs this bill and ends the disclosure loophole for SuperPACs. The voters of New Mexico have wanted that loophole closed for years. The Legislature wants the loophole fixed. Now it’s just up to Gov. Martinez,” he added.
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Take Back Our Republic is a growing grassroots organization that now has chapters in 37 states, including New Mexico. We believe that individual participation in the American political system is the best way to preserve and strengthen our liberty. We believe politicians should be responsible to the people and not to self-serving moneyed interests who seek special treatment at significant cost to taxpayers. Take Back was started by Republican political consultant John Pudner in 2015 after he helped economist Dave Brat beat the sitting US House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, in one of the most unprecedented upsets in political history.
Research on state spending shows that government corruption distorts public priorities and costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. States with higher levels of corruption spend more on budget items that benefit special interests – and less on education, public welfare, health and hospitals.
Research also ties government debt to corruption levels. More-corrupt states have about 9% more long-term debt, particularly debt related to construction of private projects such as sports stadiums and parking lots.
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