Duran says Martinez ads didn’t violate law
Secretary of State Dianna Duran ruled today that Gov. Susana Martinez didn’t violate state law by using campaign funds to pay for radio ads pushing lawmakers to approve legislation would make it illegal for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
“I have no reasonable belief that the Susana Martinez for Governor Committee committed any violation of the Campaign Reporting Act, and I do not intend to refer this matter to the Attorney General or district attorney,” Duran wrote in a letter to Somos Un Pueblo Unido, one of two groups that complained about the ads.
Read the letter here.
Duran said the Martinez campaign argued that the ads “promote the governor’s issues and ideas, and that the promotion of such issues and ideas are a standard campaign activity.”
Martinez fit the definition of a candidate in the law, Duran wrote.
Martinez has put her full weight behind legislation that would repeal the bill that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. That included the radio ads paid for by her campaign urging people to call their lawmakers to lobby for repeal of the law (listen here) and robocalls from the state GOP.
Common Cause was the other group to complain about the ads. In a news release sent late last week, Common Cause Executive Director Steven Robert Allen said the Campaign Reporting Act “places strict limitations on how campaign funds can be used.”
“Funding this kind of lobbying advertisement seems to be a clear violation of this statute,” he said.
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