New Mexico In Depth: Governor vetoes campaign finance reform (In the News)

New Mexico In Depth: Governor vetoes campaign finance reform

By Trip Jennings

The governor vetoed Senate Bill 96…

“While I support efforts to make political process more transparent, the broad language in the bill could lead to unintended consequences that would force groups like charities to disclose the names and addresses of their contributors in certain circumstances,” Martinez wrote in her veto message…

Critics of the legislation, however, celebrated Martinez’s decision to kill the legislation, saying it preserved contributors’ privacy when they donate money to nonprofits involved in the political process.

Bradley A. Smith, chairman of The Center for Competitive Politics, which touts itself as the country’s largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political speech rights, lauded Martinez for siding “with the First Amendment by vetoing this poorly written bill.”

“The purpose of disclosure laws is to allow people to monitor their government, not the other way around,” he said in a statement. “If this complex bill would have become law, only groups that could afford lawyers could safely speak out about elected officials. We should make it easy for groups of all sizes to exercise their free speech rights.”

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.