Campaign launched to raise awareness of influence of money in politics

Albuquerque, NM – On Tuesday, September 9, a bipartisan group of business and community leaders, including Common Cause New Mexico and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, announced the launch of the “We Are New Mexico Campaign,” a statewide effort to raise awareness of the influence of money in politics in New Mexico.

What is the issue?

Common Cause New Mexico Executive Director Viki Harrison said, “Money in politics is holding our state back. Our state economy continues to struggle and New Mexicans have to leave the state to find good jobs. Powerful special interest groups are flooding our elections with ever- increasing sums of money. Expensive campaign costs force politicians to spend more time raising money than focusing on the needs every day New Mexicans. Our system is broken, and it is time that we fix it.”

What are we doing?

Eighty percent of New Mexicans think that the impact of money in politics on the outcome of our elections is a serious problem according to a recent poll released by Common Cause New Mexico. We are asking New Mexicans to sign the “We Are New Mexico Pledge” that details policies that can reform money in politics here in New Mexico. This is part of a positive, nonpartisan, and uniquely New Mexican public education campaign that will engage New Mexicans on the issue of money in politics and explain the personal impact of the current system. This election cycle is an important opportunity to draw attention to the influence of money in politics as New Mexicans are inundated with electoral advertising, often without knowing who is paying to influence their voting decisions.

The pledge asks citizens to support:

  • Improving disclosure in elections
  • Improving disclosure in lobbying activities.
  • Developing disclosure technology infrastructure
  • Establishing a state ethics commission
  • Proposing policy models to implement public campaign financing at the municipal and state levels

    Who is behind this effort?

    Business and community leaders from across the state who recognize the problem and expect to see real solutions. Among others, this includes Common Cause New Mexico and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. Susan Boe, Executive Director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, said about the effort, “We believe that democracy thrives where citizens have full access to information, including who is giving money to political campaigns and public officials. NMFOG will be involved in this nonpartisan effort in the capacity of helping to determine how best to use technology and disclosure reforms to get this important information to the people of New Mexico.”

    A full copy of the pledge can be found at WeAreNewMexico.org.

    For more information contact Heather Ferguson at (505) 980-9086 or hferguson@commoncause.org ###