Common Cause New Mexico just released our latest “Connect the Dots” report focusing on lobbyists and lobbying in New Mexico. The research looks at who are the lobbyists; who are their employers; political contributions to legislators by both lobbyists and their employers; and money spent by both lobbyists and their employers to entertain and feed legislators.
Among the findings:
• Six top lobbyists in the NM legislature have 20 or more clients
• 26 former legislators are now lobbyists
• Lobbyist have spent three-quarters of a million dollars feeding, entertaining, and giving gifts to candidates for state office, over the past year and a half
• Representatives opposing a bill to regulate oil and gas operations received three and one half times more contributions than those voting for it
“We want to clarify that the correlations found here between lobbyist spending, campaign contributions and voting behavior do not imply that legislators are trading votes for campaign donations or fancy dinners,” says Viki Harrison, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico.
“However,” she continued, “the correlation between contributions and voting behavior alone can erode trust in government and interest in politics among the population. If the public believes that powerful interest groups can use their financial resources to steer policy in the direction of their interests, it is not good for the status of democratic governance in our state.”
Your support is critical to our good work, and I am asking you to please give generously so that we can execute our ambitious agenda. Our democracy works much better when the people are involved every step of the way – and with your help, CCNM will be there!
Viki Harrison and the rest of the team at Common Cause New Mexico
and the rest of the team at Common Cause New Mexico
You can also mail a contribution to: Common Cause New Mexico, P.O. Box 278, Albuquerque, NM 87103.
Connecting the Dots: Lobbying in the Land of Enchantment: Special Interests and their Hired Guns
Our latest “Connect the Dots” report focusing on lobbyists and lobbying in New Mexico. The research looks at who are the lobbyists; who are their employers; political contributions to legislators by both lobbyists and their employers; and money spent by both lobbyists and their employers to entertain and feed legislators.
Want to know how much sway lobbyists have on lawmakers and the laws they craft in the New Mexico Legislature? Or if the hired guns in Santa Fe are exerting undue influence by virtue of their omnipresence and their clients' deep pockets? Or do you think they simply provide information for unpaid legislators with no salary, no permanent staff and little time and expertise in technical issues? We explore all of these questions and more in this research report.
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Healthcare policy has dominated legislative activity in New Mexico in recent years. Not surprisingly, several industries have been highly active in the healthcare policymaking process within the state over the past decade.
Between 2000 and 2010, various healthcare industries contributed a combined total of $4,863,088 to candidates running for political office in New Mexico. Furthermore, contributions from these industries have increased substantially over time, from $268,096 in 2000 to $1.3 million in 2010. It is therefore likely that this contribution trend will continue at an exponential rate. This report seeks to shed light on the important question of whether the rise in campaign contributions from various industries in the state has had an impact on policy outcomes.
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In the past decade, the health care industry has become a powerful and influential participant in New Mexico’s policymaking process. Over the past five election cycles, the health care industry, including pharmaceutical companies, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and hospitals contributed over $1.6 million in campaign donations to candidates for New Mexico state office. This report examines why the health care industry has invested so heavily in New Mexico’s political campaigns.
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This report discusses Albuquerque's new public campaign financing system, which was used during the municipal election on October 2, 2007 for the first time. The report also outlines some small changes that should be implemented to make a good system even better.