Monday, January 28, 2013

Who's Paying for This Party?

Every year during the session I track the lobbyist expense reports, which, by law, are required to be  filed within 48 hours of spending $500 or more.

My first story on this was in Saturday's paper.

What I learned on Friday is that several events listed in the Legislature's social calendar that looked like they probably cost over $500 were not listed in the reports that have been filed so far.

There might be some legitimate reasons for these -- i.e. the group that put on the party doesn't have a registered lobbyist.

But if that's the case, shouldn't there be some kind of mechanism to track that? My feeling is that they're our representatives and we ought to know who's buying them drinks.

And remember, there's nothing illegal about lobbyists spending money on legislators as long as they keep within the limits and file their reports.

Watch this blog and The New Mexican for periodic updates on lobbyist spending.

UPDATE: 12:08 pm  I was just contacted by Bryan Wilcox of Presbyterian Health Services who informed me that he did filed an expense report to the Secretary of State's Office for a Legislative Appreciation Dinner on Jan. 16 at La Posada. The company spent $11,136 on that event.

1 comment:

  1. Please keep a list! It might be interesting to compare, at the end of the session, how much WE, the taxpayers, are spending to maintain these folks compared to how much the special interest groups are spending to entertain them. Maybe legislators should have to report attending these events so a deduction can be made from their daily compensation for the free meal.

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