ICYMI — From the Albuquerque Journal: ‘Dems Complain to Feds About Coordination

In Case You Missed It — From the Albuquerque Journal: ‘Dems Complain to Feds About Coordination

Reposted from the December 13, 2013 Albuquerque Journal

James Monteleone / Journal Staff Writer

The Democratic Party of New Mexico filed complaints this week with the Federal Elections Commission and the Internal Revenue Service alleging Gov. Susana Martinez’s re-election campaign improperly coordinated efforts with the pro-Martinez political group New Mexico Competes.

The Governor’s Office spokesman and the governor’s political adviser, Jay McCleskey, have previously denied any connection between the Martinez campaign and New Mexico Competes.
New Mexico Competes, a tax-exempt group not required to disclose its donors, joined the state’s political fray this year with a series of ads backing Martinez’s actions on recent corporate tax cuts, proposed public education initiatives and other issues.

IRS-designated “social welfare” organizations, such as New Mexico Competes, are prohibited from coordinated electioneering with a candidate’s official campaign efforts.

Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bregman said the complaint about coordination is based on quotes in a recent National Journal article that linked McCleskey to the group.

“If McCleskey is doing both, then that’s obviously a violation,” Bregman said.

Gov. Susana Martinez on Wednesday disputed allegations that her campaign had coordinated in any way with New Mexico Competes. “There’s no coordination,” she told the Journal.

The Republican governor, who has clashed with Bregman in the past, told reporters to “consider the source” of the complaint.

Republicans earlier this year criticized the Democratic-leaning group New Mexico Prosperity for alleged coordination with the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Bregman said Wednesday that he didn’t know anything about the group.