Martinez also vetoed a bill that would have closed a loophole that lets lobbyists avoid reporting gifts to public officials under $100. The veto means that tens of thousands of dollars of lobbyist spending on lawmakers will continue to go unreported, according to one New Mexico watchdog group.
In a setback for efforts to fight dark money in politics and reduce the influence of special interests, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed two campaign-finance bills late last week.
The more far-reaching of the bills would have required independent political groups to disclose their donors, so voters can know who’s funding the political messages they see. It had support from both Democrats and Republicans.
Disclosure is one of the few campaign-finance reforms that the Supreme Court left open in its 2010 Citizens United decision, which barred limits on political spending by outside groups.
“Gov. Martinez is out of step with a majority of New Mexicans, who value transparency in politics,” Catie Kelley of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based group that supports campaign finance reform, said in a statement. “Secret campaign spending withholds important information from the public.”
Martinez, a Republican, said in her veto message she supports increased transparency but that the bill could force charities to report the names of contributors, and that reporting requirements could be burdensome for non-profits.