The Anomaly: SunCal

surpriseThe Associated Press’ Barry Massey filed a report  late yesterday afternoon (updated today),  highlighting the spending of New Mexico lobbyists and their employers during the first four months of 2009.  Not surprisingly, spending on meals, beverages, gifts and grassroots lobbying efforts were way down this year.

This lower spending trend wasn’t universal.  The one anomaly was SunCal.  Tracy highlighted SunCal’s advertising spending in an earlier post.  But, now we can put that spending in context.

In the first four months of 2009, all lobbyists and their employers in New Mexico (there are hundreds of them) spent just over $354,000 on food, beverages, gifts and advertising.  However, SunCal spent a whopping $232,000 just on an advertising campaign to support their bid for a $400 million dollar Tax Increment Development District (TIDD) on Albuquerque’s Westside.

That $232,000 is a big number on its own.  But when you compare it to the overall spending for all lobbyists, combined, in the state, it becomes a jaw-dropping anomaly.

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One Response

  1. I don’t see reasons given for the lobbyists spending to be down. Do you think it’s because:
    1. There are now limits on gifts to legislators.
    2. The state doesn’t have much to spend on capital outlay projects this year.
    3. The legislators with the biggest connections to lobbyists have been replaced.
    4. The Gov is under investigation for improper payments, so they have backed off
    5. The companies usually doing the lobbying are poorer this year
    6. They spend their money on the presidential race and the 4 congressional races we had this year

    or something else?

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