Secretary of State Dianna Duran is sticking by her initial opinion that Gov. Susana Martinez's campaign's recent radio ads did not violate any election laws. The ads were trying to whip up support for bills that would deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
The Martinez campaign had 20 days to respond to a letter sent last week by Duran's office. Obviously, they didn't take that long.
According to a letter sent today to Somos Un Pueblo Unido, which had filed the complaint against Martinez, the campaign committee argues that it now serves as Martinez's re-election committee. The expenditures were made to "produce and air radio spots to promote the governor's issues and ideas and that the promotion of such issues and ideas are standard campaign activity."
Duran also points out that former Gov. Bill Richardson's committee spent $1.3 million during the first four months of his second term. (Duran doesn't mention that early 2007 was the time in which Richardson formally began his presidential campaign.)
Duran said she does not intend to refer the complaint to the attorney general.
UPDATE 7 p.m. Marcela Diaz, executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, responded to the decision. "In her response to this complaint, it seems the Governor is admitting what we've suspected all along, that the true motive for pushing the driver's license issue isn't based on what's good for public safety, but on her re-election campaign. That's extremely unfortunate for New Mexico."
DURAN Letter to Somos