Albuquerque Journal

Campaign finance ‘loophole’ targeted

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SANTA FE — New Mexico lawmakers who run for federal office during a legislativ­e session would have to report every 10 days who’s contributi­ng to their campaign under legislatio­n moving forward in the Senate.

The proposal, Senate Bill 359, is intended to close a “loophole” in state law.

Lawmakers and the governor can’t solicit campaign contributi­ons for state office during a prohibited period each year, including the legislativ­e session, a prohibitio­n intended to discourage state officials from taking donations as they’re acting on legislatio­n.

Imposing a similar ban for federal office, however, might interfere with federal law.

Sen. Jacob Candelaria, an Albuquerqu­e Democrat and sponsor of the bill, said his legislatio­n would uphold the public’s right to know who’s contributi­ng during a session to campaigns launched by legislator­s or the governor.

The bill comes as four legislator­s are campaignin­g to succeed U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland in the 1st Congressio­nal District, a position she would vacate if confirmed as interior secretary in President Joe Biden’s administra­tion.

The proposal passed the Senate Rules Committee 10-0 and now heads to the Judiciary Committee.

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