Common Cause New Mexico recently conducted our 2016 Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform Candidate Questionnaire.
We asked candidates seeking a seat in our New Mexico Legislature to answer the following six key questions:
In addition to ruling that corporations and unions have the right to make unlimited political contributions, the 2010 Citizens United opinion also ruled that requiring disclosure of the sources of contributions and expenditures in political campaigns is necessary.
- Do you support bringing our state’s Campaign Reporting Act up to date by requiring independent political groups to report who their donors are and how their money is spent on campaigns?
It is increasingly difficult for members of the public or media to determine which individuals or groups are influencing legislative decisions that impact various aspects of our daily life here in New Mexico.
- Do you support improving the transparency of our lobbying reporting system to ensure consistency, provide for enforcement, and increase the availability of detailed reports from organizations and the individuals who are lobbying elected officials?
A December 2016 poll by Common Cause New Mexico demonstrated that 85% percent of New Mexicans believe corruption is a serious or very serious problem in our state and support the creation of an independent ethics commission.
- Would you support the creation of an independent commission to oversee and investigate public officials (both in the legislature and in executive offices) and public employees in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, voluntary public campaign financing is available for qualified candidates for the Public Regulation Commission, appellate judgeships, as well as some municipal races.
- Do you support expanding such a system to include races for statewide executive positions such as governor, attorney general, and secretary of state? What about State Senate or State House?
In the 2016 legislative session, a bill was introduced to compel the online publication of capital outlay projects. These projects are currently undisclosed unless a list of projects is specifically requested by a legislator and approved by the legislative council to be released.
- Would you support reforming the capital outlay system so that it is not only more transparent, but also uses a merit-based process to plan and prioritize projects?
The drawing of electoral districts is not transparent and all too often, there is no public participation. The resulting districts can often serve the political interests of the people who draw them, rather than the interests of the people being represented.
- Would you support the creation of an independent commission to establish written criteria for re-drawing district boundaries and require a fair and transparent process for conducting redistricting?