New Mexico Becomes Sixth Clean Money State!
Public Regulation Commission Officials Soon To Have Opportunity
To Run For Office Free From Special Interest Contributors
Washington, D.C. – Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) today signed the "Voter Action Act" that will enact Clean Money, Clean Elections campaign finance reform for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) beginning in the 2006 Election cycle. The legislature showed overwhelming support for the bill, voting 40 to 24 in its favor in the House and 20 to 11 in the Senate. New Mexico becomes the sixth state to enact Clean Elections campaign finance reform joining Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Vermont.
The PRC, a five-member elected board, was created in 1996 to regulate public utilities, telecommunications companies, and insurance companies as well as the registration of corporations and compliance with applicable laws.
"Governor Richardson is to be congratulated for signing the Voter Action Act into law. New Mexico now joins the growing ranks of states that are taking steps to open up the political system and end the stranglehold that powerful special interests have over the public’s elections," said Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign. "In 2006, individuals who run for New Mexico's PRC will have a choice to fund their campaign without accepting political contributions from the same corporate interests they are mandated to regulate. New Mexicans can now look for decisions based on sound policy without regard to campaign contributions."
"Congratulations to New Mexicans for Campaign Reform for a job well done," continued Nyhart. "We all appreciate their dedication and hard work on passing this landmark piece of legislation."
Funding for the system will be set at $300,000 per election cycle and will come from a small surcharge on the regulated industries that the PRC oversees.
New Mexicans for Campaign Reform, a broad-based coalition led the fight for the Voter Action Act . The coalition included members from over 30 organizations including Re-Visioning New Mexico, Common Cause, ACORN, American Association of University Women, and New Mexico Public Interest Research Group.
Clean Money, Clean Elections campaign finance reform provides a grant to individuals who run for public office after qualifying by collecting a set number of $5 contributions. Arizona, Maine, and Vermont implemented Clean Money, Clean Elections in the 2000 election cycle. Currently, there are over 25 states with an active movement to pass Clean Money, Clean Elections campaign finance reform.