Toulouse Oliver Calls for New Campaign Finance Changes


Clerk Wants State to Close Loophole That Allows ‘Hidden Money’ in County Races

For Immediate Release
Tuesday August 16th, 2016
Contact: Alan Packman

A week after Bernalillo County Clerk and Secretary of State candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s discovery of a significant error in the state’s campaign finance reporting led to immediate reform, Toulouse Oliver on Tuesday renewed her call for improved campaign finance rules in response to a loophole that let a big-moneyed special interest influence the outcome of a county commission race without disclosing its contributions in a timely manner.
 
“As Secretary of State I will immediately work to correct the unacceptable, confusing, incomplete and inconsistent rules and regulations around campaign finance reporting,” Toulouse Oliver said. “As I have done consistently throughout my career, I will work with the Legislature to close the loopholes in existing law. Candidates, political committees and lobbyists need clear, accurate rules that are understandable and easy to comply with so that voters always have the information they need before they cast their ballot.”

Toulouse Oliver’s comments came in response to the recent revelation of a controversial legal loophole that allows contributions to political action committees and county commission candidates in the last days of a campaign to remain hidden. In contrast, all non-judicial statewide and legislative candidates must report contributions within 24 hours of receipt during the final week of a campaign.
 
“There’s more to be addressed, though, than simply what happened in the County Commission race,” Toulouse Oliver said. “Beyond requiring all candidates and political action committees to file timely financial contribution reports in the final days of a campaign, the reporting requirement should also apply to all expenditures and in-kind contributions. Further, as Secretary of State, I will advocate for legislation -- similar to Sen. Peter Wirth’s recent bill -- to shine the bright light of transparency on dark money in politics. Any organization that spends money to elect or defeat candidates in New Mexico should register, report and be accountable to the people of New Mexico. Voters deserve nothing less than full transparency and accountability.”
 
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Background:

Maggie has served as Bernalillo County Clerk since 2007 and has made protecting the right to vote, improving the integrity of the election process and ensuring accountable leadership her top priorities.
 
Recognizing the need for important reforms to New Mexico's campaign finance and electoral systems that allow for transparency and accountability in government, Maggie has been an outspoken advocate for the establishment of a Statewide Ethics Commission and an overhaul of how campaign contributions are tracked, reported and audited.
 
As our next Secretary of State, Maggie will build on her progress modernizing the election process and protecting the right to vote, and work to ensure public trust in New Mexico's governmental institutions.
 
Maggie is a 2009 recipient of a New Mexico Technology Excellence award. In 2011, Maggie received the Distinguished Service Award from United Voters NM and Verified Voting NM for her work in promoting election integrity. In 2012, she was named one of NM Business Weekly’s “40 under 40” young professionals. Maggie was named one of "30 Women to Watch" by MSNBC and to Democracy for America's "Dean's Dozen" in 2014 and earned Common Cause New Mexico's "Best in Government 2015" award for her efforts to pass an on-line voter registration bill.
 
Maggie grew up in New Mexico, attended Albuquerque Public Schools and received her Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. She lives in Albuquerque with her two sons.