After our statewide focus during the long legislative session, CCNM is now refocusing our efforts to level the political playing fields of campaign finance at the municipal level. Some of our work is focused on changes needed to address current statute language for public campaign financing and bring these laws into conformity with recent court decisions that held major parts of our public campaign finance laws unconstitutional.
Significant movement on these initial municipal campaigns will greatly advance our goal to reduce the influence of money in politics throughout the state.
Our first municipal targets are:
- Santa Fe: Santa Fe’s Ethics and Campaign Review Board, headed by Justin Miller, has been meeting since January 2015 to discuss constitutional updates to the public financing laws and tighten the current coordination language in the city’s election code. CCNM has presented suggested changes to the board along with local and national partners, including the Brennan Legal Center. The Board plans to send a full recommendation to the Council by the first of June for their consideration and eventual vote by the council.
- Albuquerque: The City has appointed a Charter Review Task Force to review the City Charter, including the public financing and election laws. They will meet weekly throughout May and then make a recommendation to the City Council on June 15, 2015. The City Council is off during the month of July, and in early August, they will review the recommendations from the Task Force. We will be asking that the City Council approve a comprehensive update to the public financing system as well as the city’s campaign disclosure laws and place them on the October municipal ballot. Our suggested language will fix the current charter language in regards to matching funds which has been ruled as unconstitutional as well as other legal fixes so that the city’s public campaign financing system will be viable for candidates again.
- Las Cruces: A work session is scheduled with the Las Cruces City Council on June 22, 2015. At this meeting, CCNM will present our suggestions for public financing language in their election code. At this work session the City Council may decide to act on it, can refer it to the voters or postpone further action.
In all three of these cities, we will be launching a public education campaign to engage local citizens, our partner organizations and local businesses and ask that they:
- Attend city council meetings in support of these initiatives
- Contact their Councilors to publicly support the reforms
- Ask their Councilors to vote in favor of public campaign finance reforms
YOU are the key to our success! We will be working to garner public support for these critical reforms and we won’t be able to make this happen without your help! Keep an eye on this blog for ways you can lend your voice to move us forward!