Among the allegations is that Amy Orlando failed to disclose on her campaign website who paid for it, but ProgressNow New Mexico failed to mention that Orlando’s opponent did the same thing.
Most political candidates interpret state law to mean they need to put a “paid for by” disclaimer on campaign websites, but Doña Ana County District Attorney Amy Orlando doesn’t have such a disclaimer on her site.
That’s one of two reasons the left-leaning group ProgressNow New Mexico slammed Orlando, a Republican, last week. From a blog post on their website:
“A recent mailer from Orlando to prospective voters and supporters failed to disclose the name of the person or group behind printing the mailer. … Similarly, Orlando’s campaign website, www.amyorlandoda.com, fails to disclose the person or group responsible for paying for and publishing the site.”
ProgressNow cited the relevant state statute: “According to New Mexico law (NMSA 1-19-16), failing to disclose either the printer of mailers or persons responsible for paying for campaign advertising and communications is a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18-months in jail.”
Orlando said Friday that she and her campaign team have complied with the law, but she didn’t elaborate. Three days later, her website still doesn’t state who paid for it.
Orlando told NMPolitics.net she personally paid to register the domain name.
The campaign website for Orlando’s Democratic opponent, Mark D’Antonio, also doesn’t state who paid for it, though it does state that the campaign copyrighted it, just as Orlando’s states that it’s copyrighted by “Amy Orlando – District Attorney.” ProgressNow didn’t mention the problem with D’Antonio’s website or accuse him of a felony.
Not picking and choosing which laws to follow
As ProgressNow pointed out, Orlando said this recently when explaining why she challenged D’Antonio’s candidacy in court after he left the district number of the office he was seeking off his nominating petitions:
“As district attorney, I cannot and will not pick and choose which laws I will follow.”
The Supreme Court decided to let D’Antonio and other candidates in that situation stay on the ballot.
ProgressNow called on the attorney general to investigate Orlando and called on the DA to “make it clear to the residents of Doña Ana County that she truly is the law-and-order candidate she claims to be. Ms. Orlando should self-report these two individual violations of the Campaign Reporting Act and then either appoint a special prosecutor to investigate these violations or request that New Mexico Attorney General Gary King conduct an investigation in order to avoid the potential conflict of interest.”
The state GOP responded late last week with a robocall to Doña Ana County residents that called D’Antonio a “politician” who has the backing of a liberal special interest group, referring to ProgressNow.
Update, 10:50 a.m.
Orlando pointed out that her website does disclose who paid for it on the “contribute” page. But the disclosure isn’t on the home page, which is where most candidates put it to maximize visibility.
Update, 11:25 a.m.
D’Antonio described the website he has up now as a “placeholder” that was put up by a friend about eight months ago. He said he “didn’t even know it was up until recently” and it “was never intended to be the webpage for my campaign.”
D’Antonio said he’s in the process of building a campaign website to replace the other and, in the meantime, will have his friend take down the existing site that doesn’t include the “paid for by” disclaimer.
A prior version of this posting incorrectly said the GOP robocall identified D’Antonio as a “career politician.” It actually identified him simply as a “politician.”