The Dark Ages of Campaign Reporting

Yesterday was the first deadline of the year for candidates to file campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State’s office. Candidates are encouraged (I write “encouraged” because anybody filing a report can claim a “hardship” and fax in their paper reports) to file donation and expenditure reports on-line.

According to news reports, the Secretary of State’s office has announced that it is granting a 24-hour extension for candidates to file. Additionally, the public learned this morning that this first set of campaign finance reports will not be available on-line until May 26th.

May 26th. That’s just one week before the June 3rd primary election. Consider that the second candidate campaign finance report is due to be filed on May 29th. If the Secretary of State’s office continues this practice of delayed public disclosure, then the second report won’t be available until June 12th — nine days after the primary election.

Folks, it’s 2008. New Mexico has had an electronic reporting law on the books for five years.

Ostensibly, the law has been in effect for over two years.

With today’s news of deadline extensions and two-week delays, one can only conclude that, when it comes to on-line reporting and public transparency, the Land of Enchantment has been thrown back to the Dark Ages.

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