Daily Report for Executives provides in-depth coverage of unfolding legislative, regulatory, and judicial news from the nation’s capital, the states, and around the world. This daily news service...
New Mexico’s gubernatorial race could be transformed by a federal court’s decision on campaign money.
Two current U.S. House members—Reps. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.)—are vying for the Governor’s Mansion. Pearce has more than $1 million in a congressional campaign account registered with the Federal Election Commission, but state authorities say he can use only $11,000 of that total for the race.
Lawyers for Pearce are pressing for an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, arguing that state restrictions on his use of federal campaign money violate the U.S. Constitution.
The legal issue has practical consequences for the 2018 race to succeed current New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R). If Pearce can’t use money from his congressional campaign, it would erase a big advantage in a possible general election campaign against Grisham, who had only about $12,000 in cash on hand in her congressional campaign account at the end of June, according to an FEC disclosure report.
The office of New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, told Pearce’s campaign attorney, William Canfield, in an advisory letter sent in July that Pearce could use no more than $11,000 from his federal campaign account for the state campaign. The letter said transfers from a federal account are restricted by state contribution limits of $5,500 for the 2018 primary election and $5,500 for the general election.
Court filings by lawyers for Pearce have argued the Republican congressman urgently needs to tap his congressional campaign account to gear up his gubernatorial race and that restrictions on his use of the money are unconstitutional.
The request for a preliminary injunction said Oliver’s position on use of federal campaign funds “is contrary to both the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.” The state is restricting Pearce’s right to free speech and disadvantaging him as federal officeholder compared to state officeholders, lawyers said; state officials are allowed to use money from prior campaigns when running for state office.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kenneth P. Doyle in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)