The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Aug 19, 2008

It's a Duck

There's an old saying that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck chances are... The Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday that after consulting with Attorney General Gary King, Secretary of State Mary Herrera has determined "[i]t appears that New Mexico Youth Organized is operating as a political committee for purposes of the (state) Campaign Reporting Act." (ABQ Journal - Subscription)

NMYO is just one of the non-profit organizations that have an affiliation with lobbyist and political consultant Eli Lee. These groups - Clearly New Mexico, 1 Sky New Mexico, Center for Civic Policy, New Mexico Youth Organized - are just a few non-profits whose only mission is political advocacy and they accomplish their goals through tax exempt donations from undisclosed donors.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
These lobbyist organizations argue that they are simply engaging in constitutionally protected freedom of association and freedom of speech. In fact, we'd agree with them. In our opinion their activities are fully protected by the Constitution. It's not the groups lobbying or their "educational" activities that are at issue here - it's their ability to operate outside New Mexico campaign reporting laws.

It's hard to understand how these organizations are allowed to operate as non-profits in the first place. They admit to mailing "educational" pieces targeting specific legislators. If your local church were to engage in similar activities their 501c(3) status would be yanked faster than you could say "amen."

More importantly, these early expenditures benefit specific candidates - favored candidates like Eric Griego, Tim Keller, and Elanor Chavez - by preparing the electoral battlefield. They attempt to shape issues and tear down the opposition. After all, there are only two reasons that people vote for a candidate - they either love one of the candidates or hate the other one.
You may have noticed that last week our friends Hal and Bob got new sponsors. They were originally paid for by Eli Lee's Center for Civic Policy last week these same ads were sponsored by 1sky New Mexico and New Energy Economy. If there was any doubt that these organizations are acting in concert the ad's sponsor swap exposes the behind the collusion.
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There are two questions here. The first is whether or not these organizations should be allowed to continue to operate as 501c(3) non-profit organizations - a question for the IRS. The second is whether or not they should be allowed to continue to operate outside New Mexico campaign reporting law.

We'd argue that that since their primary function is lobbying either the public or the legislature they shouldn't be considered non-profit and therefore ineligible to receive tax deductible donations. Obviously, if their main function is issue advocacy - no matter what the issue is - these non-profit organizations need to abide by New Mexico law.


Anonymous said...

SCOTUS has ruled that issue advocacy doesn't fall under the purview of campaign finance and that's exactly what the CCP and NMYO have been engaged in. I fully expect the court to overturn the SOS and AG's opinions (and that's all they are.) The AG has refused to even given any supporting arguments for his opinion beyond the duck quote that you've appropriated. His full explanation was "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's probably a duck." Literally. That's the top lawyer in our state.

This squabble has little to do with campaign finance and is all about the rift in the state Democratic party between the conservative GOP Lite that dominates the party (Most notably figures like Bill Richardson, Marty Chavez, Bruce King and his boy Gary King, Ben Lujan Sr, etc) and the progressive wing which is tired of the good ole boy network (Cisco McSorley, Eric Griego, Tim Heller, Jerry Ortiz y Pino etc)

I do like how the GOP mouthpiece blogs like this one try to hold this up as some big campaign scandal. The mailers in question were actually just pointing out that certain senators had voted against ethics reform. Why are you against ethics in government, Eye?

Anonymous said...

Eric Griego and "ethics"? Are you serious?!

Does anyone remember the campaign finance reporting issues this unemployed windbag had when he ran for mayor a few years ago?

Now his boyfriend (and former campaign manager) Eli Lee have been caught violating every single campaign finance law on the books and are rightfully facing criminal prosecution.

"Progressive"? Try "CROOKS".

There's no difference between these clowns and Manny Aragon. I

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your understanding of this issue is awesomely stupid. Nobody is acing criminal prosecution. Manny Aragon belongs to the conservative faction of the state Democratic Party. Eli Lee has been accused of violating one campaign finance law - and already has a SCOTUS ruling in favor of issue advocacy in his favor.

I like how you try to cast Griego and Lee as homosexuals though, it really shows what a small minded bigot you are. Don't let facts get in the way of your opinions, I suspect you never have.

Anonymous said...

"Awesomely stupid"? Like the fines and reprimands Griego recieved from the city's Ethics Committee for phony campaign finance reporting?


The illegal campaign contributions he received from his non-boyfriend Eli Lee.

Like the post says "It's a Duck". Griego and Lee? Quack, quack!