Teachers union reports making contributions during special session


A teachers union that lobbies the Legislature donated $3,900 to 18 lawmakers or legislative candidates during the special legislative session earlier this month, an apparent violation of state law.

New Mexico In Depth examined reports filed earlier this month by candidates and political action committees, selecting contributions reported as received or donated on the first four days of the special session: Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 2 and 3.

Legislators or those running for state House or Senate seats are prohibited from soliciting donations but can accept them during regular or special legislative sessions, such as the one from Sept. 30 through Oct. 6.

However, the law prohibits lobbyists or their employers from making contributions during a legislative session.

The American Federation of Teachers of New Mexico listed 18 contributions to lawmakers or legislative candidates for a total of $3,900 made on Oct. 3 in the report the PAC filed on Oct. 5.

Sen. John Pinto, D-Gallup, and Rep. Nick Salazar, D-Ohkay Owingeh, were the only lawmakers or legislative candidates to list the donations on their reports. Each listed a $200 contribution received on Oct. 2.

AFT President Stephanie Ly said the teachers union automatically sends campaign checks to candidates it endorses at the beginning of each month. Ly said she believed that is consistent with the law.

“Our interpretation is that legislators cannot solicit contributions,” she said. “No legislator solicited those contributions during session.”

New Mexico law states: “It is unlawful during the prohibited period for any lobbyist or lobbyist’s employer to contribute to or act as an agent or intermediary for political contributions to or arrange for the making of political contributions to the campaign funds of any statewide elected official or legislator or any candidate for those offices.”

After being read the statute, Ly said, “We’ll have our attorneys look it up.”

Heather Ferguson, legislative director for Common Cause New Mexico, said the union should be familiar with the law.

“That was right in the middle of the prohibited period,” Ferguson said. “AFT should know well what the guidelines are for the prohibited period since they are also the lobbying arm of the union.”

Fred Nathan, executive director of Think New Mexico, donated $100 to Republican House Speaker Don Tripp on Oct. 3, according to Tripp’s report and Nathan’s original lobbyist filing. Nathan is registered as a lobbyist with the nonpartisan think tank he leads.

He said the check was dated Sept. 25, and one of his staff people mistakenly recorded the date on his lobbyist filing. The filing has been amended.

“I sent it before the special session,” Nathan said of the check.

The Committee on Individual Responsibility, a PAC operated by New Mexico trial attorneys, reported giving $5,400 to two Democratic House candidates on Oct. 1: Candie Sweetser, of Deming, and GloJean Todacheene, of Shiprock.

Both candidates reported receiving the contributions before the special session — Todacheene reported receiving the COIR contribution on Sept. 25, while Sweetser reported receiving her contribution on Sept. 29.

And the National Education Association of New Mexico reported giving Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque, $250 on Oct. 3. Padilla didn’t report receiving the contribution in his report filed Oct. 10.

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office hasn’t received any complaints about lobbyists or their employers making campaign donations during the special session, said Ken Ortiz, the agency’s chief of staff.

The office is investigating complaints made by the state Republican Party that two Democratic candidates failed to disable fundraising buttons on their websites, Ortiz said.

More than 40 legislators or potential legislators reported receiving nearly $111,000 in campaign contributions during the first four days — Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 — of the seven-day special legislative session.

It is legal for lawmakers or those running for the Legislature to accept unsolicited contributions during a regular or special session.

House Speaker Tripp and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez topped the list. Sanchez reported receiving $12,650, while Tripp listed $12,300 in donations.

More than half those candidates reported receiving contributions from groups employing lobbyists or lobbyists themselves during the prohibited period — from Sept. 30 through Oct. 6. Most of the lobbyists or employers reported making the donations on earlier dates.

Seven of the contributions couldn’t be located in Secretary of State political action committee or lobbyist filings.

Ferguson of Common Cause said lawmakers listing lobbyist-related contributions as coming during the session creates a poor perception, even if the dates are incorrect.

“In terms of what we’re doing to rebuild the public trust, this doesn’t help,” she said. “That still makes the public question whether or not they’re being influenced.”

Here’s a look at campaign contributions reported by candidates during the first four days of the special session. Reports filed in early November will cover the final three days of the session.

NameLobbyist or lobbyist employerAmountCandidate reportedContributor reportedCompany NameCityOccupation
Alonzo Baldonado$47.759/30/16Rodney WoodsLos Lunas
Alonzo Baldonado$95.509/30/16John KeislingBelen
Craig Brandtyes$250.009/30/16Greater Albuquerque Medical Association PACAlbuquerqueHealth Care
Joseph Cervantesyes$350.0010/3/168/23/16Presbyterian Health PlanAlbuquerqueHealthcare
Daymon Ely $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerquePAC
Joanne Ferrary$650.009/30/16Committee to Elect Miguel P. Garcia State RepresentativeAlbuquerqueCampaign Ctte
Joanne Ferrary $2,000.00 10/3/16New Mexico Defense FundAlbuquerquePAC
Joanne Ferrary $2,000.00 10/3/16Zia 52Las CrucesPolitical Action Committee
Joanne Ferrary $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerquePolitical Action Ctte
Natalie Figueroa $4,000.00 10/1/16A Strong New MexicoAlbuquerquePAC
Richard Garcia$25.009/30/16Barbara J & Linda J Himmel-RobertsSioux Falls
Stephanie Garcia Richard $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerqueCampaign committee
Candace Gould$200.0010/1/16Michael DavisEastonVice President/convenience stores
Candace Gould$500.0010/3/16Steven and Cynthia PearceHobbsCongressman
Mary Hotvedt $2,000.00 10/3/16New Mexico Defense Fundsanta fepac
Stuart Ingleyes$250.009/30/169/22/16Mickey D. BarnettAlbuquerqueConsulting
Denise Lang$25.0010/1/16Paul DuranLa LuzRetired
Ronnie Martinez$100.0010/2/16Marie SedilloAlbuquerque
Rodolpho Martinez $2,000.00 10/3/16New Mexico Defense FundSanta FePAC
Ronnie Martinez $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerquecommittee
Rodolpho Martinez $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerquePAC
Rebecca Morgan$100.009/30/16Jeff ParkesFarmington
Rebecca Morgan$250.009/30/16Joyce BrownFarmingtonretired
Rebecca Morganyes $1,000.00 9/30/16Sunray GamingFarmingtoncasino operator
Harold Murphree$10.0010/3/16Robert & Susan BarrettEdgewood
Harold Murphree$25.0010/2/16Vicki SpanogleTijeras
Harold Murphree$100.0010/2/16Richard EllenbergSanta Fe
Harold Murphree$100.0010/2/16Cooper Kathy and JoeSandia ParkRetired
Harold Murphree$100.0010/2/16Darlene SingerCedar Crest
Steven Nevilleyes $2,000.00 9/30/16Sunray GamingFarmingtonRace Track
Greg Nibert$200.0010/3/16Pat BarncastleRoswellLaw enforcement
Greg Nibertyes$300.0010/3/169/26/16New Mexico Independent Finance AssociationSan AngeloFinance
Greg Nibertyes$500.0010/3/169/7/16Consumer Lending AllianceCrawfordvilleLending
Gerald Ortiz Y Pinoyes$750.009/30/168/23/16Presbyterian Health PlanAlbuquerquehealth
Michael Padilla$250.009/30/16Steven MaestasAlbuquerqueCommercial real estate development.
Michael Padilla $2,500.00 9/30/16Mountain Run PartnersAlbuquerqueRetail shopping management.
Michael Padilla $2,500.00 9/30/16Blanchard PropertiesAlbuquerqueLand development.
Mary Papen$200.0010/3/16Heather and Warren PollardLas CrucesRetired
Mary Papenyes$500.0010/3/169/15/16Lovelace Health Systems, IncAlbuquerqueHealth Care System
Mary Papenyes$750.0010/3/168/23/16Presbyterian Health PlanAlbuquerqueHealth Care
Mary Papenyes $1,000.00 10/3/169/24/16Western RefiningTempeoil and gas
John Pintoyes$200.0010/2/1610/3/16AFT New Mexico-CopeAlbuquerquePolitical Committee
Ane Romero $1,100.00 10/3/16Parnall Law FirmAlbuquerqueAttorney
Ane Romero $2,000.00 10/3/16New Mexico Defense FundAlbuquerquePAC
Ane Romero $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerquePAC
Sander Rue$100.0010/3/16Paul SilvermanAlbuquerque
Sander Rueyes$350.0010/3/168/23/16Presbyterian Health PlanAlbuquerqueHealthcare
Sander Rueyes$500.0010/3/169/15/16Lovelace Health Systems, IncAlbuquerqueHealthcare system
Sander Rueyes$500.0010/3/169/26/16Independent Insurance Agents of NMex PACAlbuquerqueInsurance Agents Assoc.
Patricio Ruilobayes$350.009/30/168/23/16Presbyterian Health PlanAlbuquerqueHealth
Nick Salazaryes$200.0010/2/1610/3/16AFT New Mexico-CopeAlbuquerquePolitical Committee
Michael Sanchez$100.0010/3/16Marie Garcia-ShaffnerLos Lunas
Michael Sanchez$100.0010/3/16Annadelle SanchezEspanola
Michael Sanchez$100.0010/3/16Fred HarrisCorrales
Michael Sanchez$150.0010/3/16Tracey KimballSanta Fe
Michael Sanchez$200.0010/3/16Patricia Rael Training & Consulting LLCAlbuqueerque
Michael Sanchez$500.0010/3/16Railway Land Company, LLCAlbuquerqueDevelopment
Michael Sanchez $1,000.00 10/3/16Timothy JenningsRoswellRancher
Michael Sanchezyes $1,000.00 10/3/169/15/16Lovelace Health Systems, IncAlbuquerqueHealth Care Services
Michael Sanchez $1,000.00 10/3/16Judy AndrewsBelenRetired Educator
Michael Sanchez $1,000.00 10/3/16Mary Jane GarciaDona AnaRetired
Michael Sanchez $2,500.00 10/3/16Democratic Party of New MexicoAlbuquerqueState Democratic Party
Michael Sanchezyes $2,500.00 10/3/169/15/16Everytown for Gun Safety AFNew YorkPAC
Michael Sanchezyes $2,500.00 10/3/16Sheet Metal Workers' LU 49 Gen. Oper. FundAlbuquerqueUnion
John Sapien$500.009/30/16Committee To Elect Debbie RodellaEspanolaLegislative Campaign Account
John Sapienyes$500.009/30/169/28/16Fort Sill Apache Tribe Of OklahomaLawtonNative American Tribe
John Sapien $4,400.00 9/30/16New Mexicans For Working FamiliesAlbuquerquePolitical Action Committee
William Shareryes$250.0010/3/169/21/16MDB Consulting LLCAlbuquerqueattorney
William Shareryes$250.0010/3/169/28/16Bowlin Travel CentersAlbuquerqueTravel Centers
William Shareryes$350.0010/3/168/23/16Presbyterian Health PlanAlbuquerqueinsurance
William Shareryes$400.0010/3/168/24/16DCP MidstreamDenveroil & gas
William Shareryes$500.0010/3/169/13/16Eli Lilly & Company PACIndianapolispharmaceuticals
William Shareryes$500.0010/3/169/26/16New Mexico Independent Finance AssociationSan Angelolending
William Shareryes$500.0010/3/167/22/16NRA Political Victory FundFairfaxgun rights
William Shareryes$500.0010/3/169/26/16Independent Insurance Agents of NMex PACAlbuquerqueinsurance
William Shareryes $1,000.00 10/3/16Sunray GamingFarmingtonGaming
David Simon$20.009/30/16Thomas AllenAlbuquerque
David Simon$50.0010/3/16Rita SilbermanWilmington
David Simon$60.0010/3/16Frances KahnShelburne
David Simon$150.0010/3/16Fred MondragonAlbuquerque
David Simon$250.009/30/16Harold AlbertAlbuquerqueRetired
David Simon $1,500.00 9/30/16People for Mimi StewartAlbuquerquePolitical Candidate Committee
Nathan Small$15.009/30/16Martha LoustaunauLas Cruces
Nathan Small$50.0010/2/16Leslie LakindSanta Fe
Nathan Small$100.0010/1/16David RoseSilver City
Jeff Steinborn$20.009/30/16Anonymous UnknownLas Cruces
Jeff Steinborn$27.009/30/16Anonymous UnknownLas Cruces
Jeff Steinborn$100.009/30/16Judith LaPointeLas Cruces
Jeff Steinborn$100.009/30/16Nathan P. CoteLas Cruces
Jeff Steinborn$100.009/30/16Jay S. ParnesEmerald Hills
Jeff Steinborn$100.009/30/16Ian H. LeslieLas Cruces
Jeff Steinbornyes$200.009/30/169/28/16Resources for ChangeSanta Fe
Jeff Steinborn$250.009/30/16Jerry WertheimSanta FeAttorney
Jeff Steinborn$250.009/30/16David SlagleLas CrucesFarmer
Jeff Steinborn$500.009/30/16Albert Gutierrez TrustLas CrucesFamily LLC
Jeff Steinborn $1,000.00 10/3/16Wendy VolkmannSanta FeConsultant
Mimi Stewart$200.0010/3/16Committee to Elect Liz ThompsonAlbuquerqueCampaign Committee
Mimi Stewartyes$500.0010/3/169/15/16Lovelace Health Systems, IncAlbuquerqueHealth
Sharon Stover$1.0010/1/16Katharine ClarkLos Alamos
Sharon Stover$1.0010/1/16Ashley LongLos Alamos
Sharon Stover$1.0010/1/16Laurie TomlinsonLos Alamos
Candie Sweetser $2,000.00 10/3/16New Mexico Defense FundAlbuquerquePAC
Candie Sweetser $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerquePAC
Elizabeth Thomson$50.0010/1/16Jan ThomsonAlbuquerqueLegal Aid
Elizabeth Thomsonyes$200.0010/1/169/27/16Fort Sill Apache Tribe of OklahomaLawtonTribe
Elizabeth Thomson$200.0010/3/16Margaret DetwilerSanta FeRetired
Elizabeth Thomson$250.0010/3/16The Zamora Law Firm LLCSanta FeLaw Firm
Elizabeth Thomson $1,000.00 9/30/16People for Growing our Economy PACGallupPAC
Elizabeth Thomson $1,500.00 9/30/16A Strong New MexicoAlbuquerquePAC
Elizabeth Thomson $2,000.00 10/3/16New Mexico Defense FundAlbuquerquePAC
Elizabeth Thomson $2,500.00 10/3/16House Democratic Campaign CommitteeAlbuquerquePAC
Donna Tillmanyes$200.0010/3/16NM Pharmacists PACAlbuquerque, NM
Don Trippyes$100.0010/3/1610/3/16Fred NathanSanta Fe
Don Tripp$150.0010/3/16Socorro Federation of Rep. WomansocorroRepublican Group
Don Tripp$250.0010/3/16Sandia Peak Tram CompanyAlbuquerqueEntertainment
Don Trippyes$250.0010/3/168/25/16Bowlin Travel CentersAlbuqueruqeAdvertising
Don Tripp$250.0010/3/16Pat WoodsBroadviewSenator
Don Trippyes$500.0010/3/168/23/16Presbyterian Health PlanAlbuquerqueHealth care
Don Trippyes$500.0010/3/169/12/16Car of New MexicoAlbAutomotive
Don Trippyes$800.0010/3/167/29/16Apartment AssoicationAlbuquerqueReal Estate
Don Trippyes $1,000.00 10/3/168/24/16NM Horsemens AssocationsAlbuquerqueRacing
Don Trippyes $1,000.00 10/3/168/26/16Premier DistributingAlbuqueruqeBeer Distributing
Don Tripp $1,000.00 10/3/16Country GasGallupOil & Gas
Don Tripp $1,000.00 10/3/16American InsuranceWashington,Insurance
Don Trippyes $1,000.00 10/3/168/18/16Concho Resources IncWashingtonOil & Gas
Don Trippyes $2,000.00 10/3/169/19/16PfizerMemphispharmaceutical
Don Trippyes $2,500.00 10/3/169/9/16ChevronSan RamonOil & Gas
John Wallace$25.0010/2/16Dennis and Vicki SpanogleTijeras
John Wallace$30.0010/2/16Alexis and Gabriel LopezTijeras
John Wallace$100.0010/2/16Richard EllenbergSanta Fe
John Wallace$100.0010/2/16K. and J. CooperSandia Park
John Wallace$100.0010/2/16Darlene SingerCedar Crest
Charles Wendler$20.0010/1/16Jan JungewaelterLas Cruces
Charles Wendler $1,000.00 9/30/16Charles WendlerLas CrucesEducator, retired
Charles Wendler $2,000.00 10/3/16Charles WendlerLas CrucesEducator, Retired
James White$50.009/30/16Ronald GlaserAlbuquerque
John Woodsyes$100.009/30/169/7/16SAM RAYSAN ACACIARETIRED
John Woodsyes$500.009/30/168/26/16Premier DistributingALBUQUERQUEFOOD PRODUCTS
John Woodsyes$500.009/30/168/18/16Concho Resources IncWASHINGTONLOBBYIST
John Woods $1,000.00 9/30/16PALLA, INCCLOVISDAIRY / FARMING
Monica Youngblood$250.0010/3/16John C Ryan for State SenateAlbuquerqueState Senator
Monica Youngbloodyes$300.0010/3/169/15/16Lovelace Health Systems, IncAlbuquerqueHealthcare

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