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SANTA FE, N.M. — To help stop “pay-to-play” corruption, New Mexico should ban political contributions from lobbyists, governmental contractors and those seeking targeted taxpayer-financed subsidies, an independent think tank recommends.
Think New Mexico’s proposals came in response to a series of recent public corruption scandals, including the convictions of two former state treasurers, a former state Senate leader and the indictment earlier this year of a former secretary of state.
“By banning political contributions from contractors and lobbyists to elected officials, we can establish a bright line between legal and illegal behavior, restore public trust in government and take an urgently needed step to change the culture of corruption that continues to hold New Mexico back,” the group said in a new report that will provide more ammunition for advocates of campaign finance and ethics reforms.
Currently, there’s no limit on campaign contributions to legislators and candidates for statewide offices such as governor.
However, that will change after next year’s general election. A new law will cap contributions at $5,000 per election for statewide candidates and $2,300 for candidates for the Legislature and other non-statewide offices.
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