PAC spending $52K so far on drivers license ads

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Advance New Mexico Now, a Republican political action committee, is spending $51,790 on 125 TV ads supporting a change Gov. Susana Martinez wants to New Mexico drivers licenses.

New Mexico In Depth checked contracts filed with the Federal Communications Commission by the state’s commercial TV stations to come up the amount being spent. It’s possible the group will purchase more advertising in the coming weeks.

The bill supported in the ads, House Bill 99, passed its first committee Thursday and next goes to the House Judiciary Committee.

A compromise on drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants is one of the most contentious issues of the 30-day legislative session. Martinez and Republican lawmakers want driving permits instead of licenses.

The federal government is threatening not to accept New Mexico licenses because they don’t comply with the Real ID Act.

Here are some details about Advance New Mexico Now and the ad buys:

  • The ads are airing on four Albuquerque stations – KOAT, KOB, KRQE and KASA – mostly on news programs.
  • All four stations had ads scheduled through Thursday. KOAT and KOB have posted contracts that run starting today through next Thursday.
  • SRCP Media of Alexandria, Va., purchased the ads. That’s the same buyer that purchased some $3 million worth of ads for Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in 2014.
  • Advance New Mexico Now had more than $230,000 in its account as of Oct. 15. The PAC paid Jay McCleskey, Martinez’s top political advisor, more than $26,000 in September 2015.
  • Of the $270,000 raised by the PAC from June through September 2015, $185,000 came from Texas businesses.
  • Advance New Mexico Now played a key role in helping Republicans win the House in 2014 for the first time in 60 years.
  • The PAC took $100,000 during the 2014 cycle from a Texas developer who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence in Las Vegas in 2013 for assaulting his girlfriend.

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