Money Corrupts Politics


Big political money comes from a few wealthy people and the corporations that they control. Wealthy people are not representative of the other people in New Mexico. Big money pays for the big political advertising we see during political campaigns. Well financed advertising overwhelms small and personal efforts. Secret political money pays for most negative ads.

Big money advertising is possible because the US Constitution and New Mexico election law allows candidates and independent advocacy groups to spend as much as they want. New Mexico law does limit the amount that individuals and corporations can contribute to candidates' campaigns. The identity of donors to a candidate must be disclosed. But, there is no limit to what people and corporations can contribute to "independent" political groups. And, "independent" groups may be controlled by friends and relatives of candidates. Such "independent" organizations may produce election related advertisements which are those which expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate at any time or which mention a candidate in any way within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.

Bills (SB 15 and SB 16)) were introduced in the 2013 NM Legislature. They would require disclosure of donors to independent organizations doing election related advertising. It passed the NM Senate but was not brought to a vote in the NM House.

Ideas to reduce the power of big money in New Mexico elections.

  • NM Legislature pass a constitutionally valid disclosure law for election related advertisements in New Mexico.
  • Public financing as in Albuquerque City elections and PRC elections and others.
  • Ranked choice voting empowers independents and third parties
  • Tax credit for small political contributions
  • Amend the US Constitution so that federal law and state laws may regulate or not regulate corporate financing of election campaigns.
  • Require disclosure of the identity of individual and corporation donors to political, "independent" campaigns.