NM Lobbying Spending and Disclosure
Spending by lobbyists and their employers topped $202,000 as the 2016 legislative session entered its final week.
Every week New Mexico In Depth tallies lobbyist spending — at least that spending over $500, which must be reported within 48 hours. In 2015, lobbyists and their employers spent more than $818,000 to wine, dine and gift public officials.
This week’s big spender is the AFL-CIO, which spent $15,000 Monday on digital advertising opposing the “right-to-work” bill. The spending could probably be called a success, since the bill died in a Senate committee on Tuesday.
Sandra Fish reports more details from New Mexico in Depth here.
State House Votes for More Lobbying Disclosure
The state House voted Saturday to peel back the curtain a little on lobbying in Santa Fe, but it was a small step toward revealing how money flows through the halls of the Roundhouse.
The bill (HB 137) asks lobbyists to fill in a few more fields when they file spending reports using the Secretary of State’s online Campaign Finance Information System. It’s sponsored by Rep. Jeff Steinborn, a Las Cruces Democrat who regularly introduces transparency-related bills.
Instead of being able to say they spent, say, $10,000 entertaining “various legislators,” people who are paid to influence state government will have to list exactly how much they spent on dinners, drinks or campaign contributions for each separate lawmaker.
Listen to reporter Gwyneth Doland’s story here.
Video Bites: Relying on Lobbyists & the Influence of Money
From our Money in Politics event: Senator Jerry Ortiz y Piño speaks about why law makers rely on lobbyists. Former Senator Dede Feldman explains the power and influence of money in the political system.
People, Power and Democracy is a collaborative media project between KUNM, New Mexico in Depth, New Mexico News Port and New Mexico PBS that explores the influence of money in New Mexico politics. Support for the project comes from the Thornburg Foundation.