SANTA FE, NM (AP) – After a four-year hiatus, state election regulators have resumed random reviews of campaign funding disclosures by politicians, election candidates and political committees, with 10 accounts referred to the young New Mexico State Ethics Committee and prosecutors for possible Enforcement Actions.
the Random Selection of Campaign Funding Disclosures As of the 2020 parliamentary election cycle, it uses a newly introduced electronic reporting system for campaign finance in the Foreign Minister’s office, which balances a complicated network of campaign contributions, transfers and expenses.
State law requires 10% of the accounts to be sampled annually, which triggers a review of around 110 accounts. The results were published on Friday. The regulators attributed the interruption in part to scarce resources.
The alleged violations included groups that received input from unknown sources and failed to register as political committees.
In addition to the 10 referrals, six committees or candidates are currently working to resolve disagreements with the State Department. The agency focuses on education and voluntary compliance.
State election director Mandy Vigil, who oversaw the campaign funding review, says committee politicians and treasurers have new ways and means to quickly investigate and reconcile possible violations of the state’s Campaign Reporting Act. An internet dashboard indicates potential violations in real time, while reports are filled out online.
The Campaign Reporting Act has limits on political contributions, currently set at $ 5,200, which candidates or committees can accept. Political committees can contribute up to $ 5,200.
The government’s review of 2020 campaign finance records extends to political committees making independent spending – a consequence of 2019 legislation that required financial disclosures by some so-called dark money groups operating on the sidelines of coordinated political campaigns.
Among them, Enchantment PAC resolved an initial concern about incomplete reporting of independent expenses. The committee is affiliated with the progressive advocacy group OLÉ.
Existing campaign accounts related to deceased and disgraced politicians were also flagged for discrepancies and referred for possible enforcement.
Fines for late filing campaign funding disclosures are mounting against former Senator Phil Griego and his campaign account, which is still more than $ 40,000 in balance. Griego spent 15 months in prison on fraud, bribery and ethical violations convictions in 2019 after using his position as senator to profit from the sale of a state-owned building.
A political account for the former Democratic State MP Luciano “Lucky” Varela, who died in 2017, was earmarked for enforcement due to payment discrepancies.
The account managed by a relative paid $ 2,500 to the political campaign of Santa Fe mayoral candidate Joane Vigil Coppler in May, reporting a balance of about $ 15,200. She no longer accepts contributions.
Vigil Coppler challenges incumbent Mayor Alan Webber in a three-way race that ends on November 2nd.