The regular session of the 2009 Mexico State Legislature is over now, but the aftermath of what happened in and around the Roundhouse keeps floating down around us like tiny flecks of ash.
One detail that’s just been released is the amount of money that Westland/SunCal spent on advertising during the legislative session.
Many New Mexicans were curious to know just how much the California-based development company spent blanketing the state with print, broadcast and online advertisements touting the benefits of TIDDs – or tax increment development districts. The ads were part of Westland/SunCal’s effort to get legislators to approve a bill that would have given the financially-troubled company $408 million in future tax revenues to develop a parcel of land on Albuquerque’s West Mesa.
The Secretary of State’s office said state law allowed the company to take up to 15 days after the session to report the advertising expenses.
In the waning hours of the session, the Westland/SunCal TIDD was narrowly voted down – and this week New Mexicans found out the price tag for the company’s huge public relations push.
According to a report filed this week with the Secretary of State’s office, Westland/SunCal spent $232,540 to tout the benefits of TIDDs, including about $80,000 on local network television advertising, $55,000 on cable, $23,000 on billboards and more than $10,000 on radio.
That near quarter-million dollar total is pretty shocking all by itself.
But at least one veteran legislator suspects the report barely scrapes the surface of what Westland/SunCal laid out to try to get New Mexico legislators to pass the TIDD bill.