NM treasurer found guilty of violating state campaign reporting laws

Democrat New Mexico Treasurer Laura Montoya has been found guilty of violating the state’s Campaign Reporting Act by the state Ethics Commission. The Democrat was found to have misreported campaign contributions. The case, Montoya vs. Tim Eichenberg, the former state treasurer, a Democrat, revealed a significant breach in campaign finance transparency.

The commission, presided over by hearing officer Alan Torgerson, reached its decision on September 29. Central to the case was a $10,000 straw donor contribution allegedly made by Adelante Sandoval, a political committee, as reported by Montoya. However, it has been disclosed that the funds actually originated from property developer Gary Plante. During the hearing, both Montoya and other witnesses conveniently could not remember key details relating to the campaign cash.

Judge Torgerson found it “highly unusual that the memories of the witnesses have faded so completely that they are virtually unable to recall anything substantive about the September 21, 2021, afternoon in question, or the fact that a large, apparently unexpected, contribution appeared immediately after a campaign event in Corrales and yet they have no memory of the circumstances or details of that contributions.”

In an additional layer of complexity, two companies under Plante’s management channeled the $10,000 in campaign funding. The New Mexico Ethics Commission, in its report, underscored the discrepancy between the reported source and the actual contributor.

The Commission’s executive director, Jeremy Farris, emphasized the importance of transparency in electoral funding. He noted that while individuals have the right to support candidates financially, the public also has a corresponding right to be informed about the sources of such contributions. 

Farris explicitly condemned straw donor contributions, such as the one exposed in this case, as undermining the transparency essential for fair elections.

Highlighting the broader implications, Farris stated, “Straw donor contributions, like those uncovered in this administrative case, undermine transparency in our elections. If wealthy individuals want to give thousands of dollars to candidates for office, that’s their right; but they can’t do it in secret.”

Farris added, “New Mexicans also have a right to know who is spending money to influence their votes. The State Ethics Commission works to ensure they do.”

“We disagree with the judge’s ruling,” said Montoya’s attorney, Kenneth Stalter. “I don’t think the evidence supports it, so we’re looking at the options for appeal.”

Montoya was given a slap on the wrist with a meager fine of $1,000.


7 thoughts on “NM treasurer found guilty of violating state campaign reporting laws”

  1. Why can wealthy individuals give thousands of dollars to candidates? I thought there was a limit on what individuals can contribute to a single candidate. A fine of $1000? Dinesh D’Souza gave $2500 to a candidate during the Obama administration. He was charged and convicted with a felony and made to spend time in prison. Here we go again with a two-tiered standard of justice. Why are our elected officials permitted to continue in office after being convicted of crimes? Same thing happened to the Dem candidate for Sandoval County Clerk. She was found guilty of using government time and resources to campaign, yet she was not forced to drop out of the race and concede to her opponent. There’s no reason for Dems in NM to obey the laws because there are virtually no consequences.

    1. “There’s no reason for Dems in NM to obey the laws because there are virtually no consequences.”

      …and there you go. A spot on quote from an intelligent resource. Thank you.

  2. That is what happens when you allow foxes to watch the hen house. Another example of New Mexico being the most corrupt state in the union.

  3. That is why when you say New Mexico to people, they think banana republic as part of Mexico. We are one party system, ruled by a mob of crooks.

  4. Oh how can this be –the states Dembocraps are always honest… NOT!!!! A corrupt SNAKE will always surround herself with like minds..

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