Friday, January 31, 2014

The Lobbyist Reports

The Santa Fe New Mexican this morning published my first report of the session on lobbyist expense reports.You can find that HERE.

By law lobbyists have to report any expenditure more than $500 within 48 hours. I try to note them all, updating about once a week.

The biggest report this time was the $27,750 for ski passes from Ski New Mexico, an industry organization made up of most the ski areas in the state. The group gives these to lawmakers every year.

One representative however wrote me this morning to say he didn't accept this gift.

"Like last year Steve, I did not take the ski passes," wrote Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces "Nor do I take anything form lobbyists. I have attended a reception or two (like the NEA one you mentioned) but took nothing."

I couldn't find the clip, but I do recall McCamley telling me last year that he didn't take the ski pass or other goodies from lobbyists.

I've been reporting on the "48-hour" reports for years, and sometimes I've been criticized for doing it. A couple of years ago a senator even  implied that The New Mexican doesn't like the idea of restaurants, bars and hotels making money from parties, lunches and dinners for legislators because we always run stories about these reports.

Not true. It's just that we believe the public has the right to know who is picking up the tab for our decision makers. So don't expect me to stop doing this.