Lobbyist spending nears $92K at end of second week

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Lobbyists and their employers have reported spending nearly $92,000 on New Mexico’s 112 lawmakers and other state officials about two weeks into the 2016 legislative session.

That’s more than $800 per legislator, though the expenses also often include guests of lawmakers as well as other elected officials. And not all lawmakers attend all the events listed on the social calendar.

Last week, NMID reported on the $818,000 lobbyists and employers spent to entertain lawmakers in 2015, as well as on the first two 48-hour reports of spending of $500 or more on events or gifts to lawmakers. Those two events totaled $14,358.

Here’s a look at the latest spending reported:

  • Ski New Mexico, via its Executive Director, George Brooks, gave lawmakers ski passes valued at $29,500.
  • The University of New Mexico spent $13,410 Monday on a reception for legislators and other officials at the La Fonda.
  • John Christopher, lobbyist for Comcast Cable Corp., reported spending $10,247 on dinner Monday at Restaurant Martin.
  • Eastern New Mexico University lobbyist Scott Smart reported spending $9,068 on a reception for lawmakers at the Inn and Spa at Loretto on Wednesday Jan. 20.
  • Randy Traynor reported spending $7,579 on a Tuesday reception at the Loretto on behalf of the New Mexico Automotive Dealers.
  • Conservation Voters New Mexico spent $4,897 for an event at the Rio Chama Wednesday.
  • John R. Thompson Jr. spent $918 for dinner at Geronimo with a group of lawmakers. He lobbies for a number of companies.
  • Matejka Santillanes reported spending $734 for food provided by Navajo Gaming Friday Jan. 22. She represents the legislative branch of the Navajo Nation Council and four other clients.
  • Stephanie Ly reported spending $518 on Tuesday on various lawmakers “with appreciation,” but the lobbyist for the American Federation of Teachers of New Mexico didn’t say what the money was spent on.
  • LaVonda Jones reported spending $500 for a reception and dinner at the La Fonda for Democratic lawmakers and guests. She lobbies for New Mexico Gas Co.

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