AP NEWS

Changes likely for dark-money in New Mexico elections

March 11, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The sources of independent expenditures to influence elections in New Mexico must be made public under a bill headed to the governor.

The Senate gave final approval Sunday to the bill from Democratic Sen. Peter Wirth of Santa Fe that requires the reporting of independent political expenditures to state election regulators that exceed $3,000 in a statewide election. The reporting threshold for non-statewide elections is $1,000.

The bill seeks to provide the public with information on the origin of so-called dark money that is spent on elections without direct coordination with candidates and campaigns. New Mexico midterm elections in 2018 were replete with independent advertising and social media campaigns aimed at influencing voters.

The legislation would require identification of people making independent expenditures and the purpose of the spending.