Secretary of State’s Office Says Dem Candidate for Governor Gary King Accepted Illegal Contributions

Today the Republican Party of New Mexico sent out the following email confronting Governor Gary King for the campaign donations that the Secretary of State’s office says are illegal:
Albuquerque – New Mexico’s “King of Hypocrisy” is at it again.  Today’s Albuquerque Journal reported that the Secretary of State’s Office believes Gary King accepted three illegal contributions.  However, King remains defiant and refuses to play by the rules even though just a few years ago he “championed” stricter campaign finance laws.
 
“Gary King’s hypocrisy knows no bounds,” said Republican Party of New Mexico spokeswoman Emily Strickler.  “King claims to stand up for children, yet he was the only legislator who voted against a bill that cracked down on deadbeat parents.  He attacks Governor Martinez on equal pay despite her record of achievement on the issue, yet he was sued repeatedly for paying women lawyers in his office less than men.  And just last week he sent out a press release lamenting drunk driving in New Mexico, but the very next day, he raised campaign dollars with a man who faces a child abuse felony for allegedly driving under the influence with his daughter in the car.  Now, again, he is acting like he’s above the very campaign finance laws he hypocritically claims he fought for.”
 
Strickler continued, “All this raises the question: How can New Mexicans believe anything that Gary King says?”
 
King reported taking two $10,400 donations from Ed and Trudy Healy after the Democratic primary, despite laws against donations over $5,200 for each election cycle. It gets worse.  The Healys created the “Susana La Tejana” campaign in 2010.  
Trudy Healy said at the time that she created the group because she wanted to get the Spanish away from the name Martinez, which was an attempt to create a rift between people in Northern New Mexico who trace their ancestry to Spain and those of Mexican decent.  When Diane Denish used the term Tejana” in a TV ad, the Albuquerque Journal called it “a subtle form of race baiting. 
King previously broke campaign finance laws when he took a $15,000 contribution from a New York City law firm in 2011.  His excuse then: The money was going to be used to cover campaign debts from his 2010 reelection campaign, so he could keep the illegal money.
 
As the great Yogi Berra said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
 
State says 3 donations to King exceed cap
Albuquerque Journal
By: Dan Boyd
July 16, 2014
 
SANTA FE – Secretary of State Dianna Duran has ruled that Attorney General Gary King, the Democratic nominee for governor, accepted three campaign contributions that exceeded the state’s established donation limits.
In a letter sent to King this week, the ethics administrator for the Secretary of State’s Office told King to either put $10,900 – the sum of the three contributions in question – in the state’s public election fund or lay out why he should not be required to do so.
“Absent additional information received in writing from your campaign … it is the finding of the Secretary of State that the contribution limits have been exceeded,” ethics administrator Billy Velarde wrote in the letter, dated Monday.
In response, King’s campaign manager, Keith Breitbach said Tuesday that the campaign had not received the letter.
“The attorney general is confident that current state law allows political campaigns to accept contributions in order to pay off past campaign debts,” Breitbach told the Journal.
He said King will determine how to respond once he receives the letter, and questioned whether the secretary of state’s interpretation of the law means Gov. Susana Martinez’s campaign has also violated the state’s law on contribution limits.
Martinez, who is seeking re-election to a second term, has received numerous donations in excess of $5,200. However, all those contributions appear to have been made before the primary election, which the Martinez campaign has said makes them allowable under state law.
New Mexico lawmakers in 2009 established campaign contribution caps, though the limits did not take effect until after the 2010 general election. Previously, most candidates and political committees could accept donations of any amount.
The current limit on a donation from an individual to a candidate for statewide office is $5,200 per primary and general election cycle.
In the case of King’s scrutinized contributions, he reported receiving $10,400 each from Trudy and Ed Healy of Taos on June 25. He also reported receiving $5,700 from Amelia Carson of Santa Fe on June 28.
The timing of the donations is important because they were received after the June 3 primary. The general election cycle began the next day, according to Duran’s office.
Martinez, a Republican, has a sizable financial advantage over King with four months remaining until the Nov. 4 general election.
The incumbent governor reported having $4.3 million in her campaign war chest earlier this month, compared with $116,078 for King. King has lent his campaign about $540,000.

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