Mayoral candidates notified of campaign filing issues

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The Albuquerque City Clerk is asking six mayoral and two city council candidates to fix campaign filing mistakes ranging from anonymous contributions to missing employers and occupations.

The candidates have 10 days to remedy the errors or face fines.

Susan Wheeler-Deischel received the most reprimands. As New Mexico In Depth previously pointed out, her campaign listed “NA” for employers in 17 instances. Another entry was blank.

In four instances totaling $439.54, no name was listed for contributors in the report Wheeler-Deischel’s campaign filed April 15. As the city letter notes, anonymous contributions must be donated to a charity or to the city general fund.

Wheeler-Deischel said the anonymous donations in her report came from either a GoFundMe page or jars set out to collect cash at two events she held.

The letter to Wheeler-Deischel also noted that she failed to list addresses for vendors who received payments for the campaign and didn’t provide adequate descriptions of the businesses.

Wheeler-Deischel called the process “convoluted.” She said the anonymous donations in her report came from either

“This is (City Clerk) Natalie Howard’s first mayoral election,” Wheeler Deischel said. “This is kind of new stuff for her… We were told to call cash donations anonymous.”

Howard said all candidates received a range of information about how to file the campaign finance information.

“We give them a list and we sign for all the forms we actually hand them,” Howard said. “We hand them the charter, printed. We give them the rules, printed. We give them the rules and regulations, the ethics code.”

The City Charter clearly prohibits anonymous contributions.

And it makes clear that contributors’ employers are to be included in the disclosures.

Candidate Tim Keller had the only other contribution listed as anonymous, and he donated the $100 to the Roadrunner Food bank, said campaign manager Alan Packman.

Keller did not receive a letter from the clerk’s office, Howard said.

Mayoral candidates Deanna Archuleta and Augustus Pedrotty also were instructed to provide employer information. Archuleta left nine contributors’ employment information blank. Pedrotty listed two employers as “unknown” and left one entry blank.

Five other candidates were asked to provide information about the quantity and size of items printed for their campaigns. Those candidates were Brian Colon, Dan Lewis, Stella Padilla, District 5 council candidate Jose Orozco and District 9 council candidate Paul McKenney.

Orozco and McKenney were the only council candidates to file first-quarter reports this month. Council candidates aren’t required to file reports until mid-July.

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