On Wednesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign brushed off a State Ethics Commission complaint made by Piñon Post editor John Block over her misuse of government funds for cosmetology visits by her daughter, Erin, who was paid $1,040.00 last October. Her campaign claimed the complaint was “frivolous and sexist.” The campaign cited an 11-year-old case of corrupt former Gov. Susana Martinez, who also allegedly used campaign cash for “styling.”
New Mexico Secretary of State reports show that Martinez spent $1,385.00 for “styling” on August 16, 2010. Neither was the expense made to Martinez’s relative, nor was it explicitly revealed through that relative that it was for styling and cosmetic purposes, a violation of state law.
Erin Grisham did, indeed, disclose the purpose of her involvement with the campaign. She wrote very clearly that the purose of her involvement with the campaign was as a “[s]tylist and cosmetology consultant for Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor Media,” which according to state statute 126.96.36.199(B)(2) NMCA and the Secretary of State’s own guidance, violates state law.
“These routine political expenses were for the governor’s speech and 14 other events she addressed for the Democratic National Convention in August 2020,” Jared Leopold, Gov Lujan Grisham’s campaign spokesman. “This type of event preparation expense is a common and necessary political expenditure for politicians of both parties.”
But now more evidence has come out revealing that Gov. Lujan Grisham’s campaign not only paid Erin Grisham $1,040 in October 2020 for “media preparation.” According to the Secretary of State’s website, Lujan Grisham made four additional payments to her daughter for “media preparation” totaling up to $5,043.
The payments began on August 17, 2017, for $643.88, May 14, 2018 for $2,080.00, October 10, 2018 for $1,920.00 and on March 5, 2020 for $400. The amount of donors’ money expended from the campaign to Erin Grisham now totals $6,083.88 and counting.
Gov. Lujan Grisham was not speaking in front of the Democrat National Convention in 2017 or 2018. To any reasonable everyday New Mexican or even one who holds a public office, spending over $6,000 for cosmetology purposes in four years is out of the ordinary. This pattern of spending, regardless of who is doing it, is not appropriate for a so-called public servant.