Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Campaign Finance Day!

UPDATED 3:15 pm

See updates below main post

Today is the deadline for the first campaign finance reports for the year for state races. It will be the first clear indication of the fundraising strength of all five Democratic candidates for governor -- as well as that of incumbent Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who has been raising funds all over the country for the past year.

So far, the only gubernatorial candidate to file a report is Mario Martinez of Clovis, who is running as a write-in. According to his report, he raised exactly ZERO dollars. I have no reason to doubt that.

The only peep out of the other candidates is a press release from Democrat Alan Webber's campaign, which said he'd raised more than $834,000. One thing I'll be watching for in his report is how much, if any of his own money he put in. He said when he first announced that he wouldn't be self-financing.

Another interesting race to  look at is the Secretary of State race to see whether Democratic challenger Maggie Oliver continued to outpace GOP incumbent Dianna Duran, as was the case when the last reports in October were filed. Neither has filed a report yet today. In October, Oliver had raised more than $68,000, while Duran had raised only $6,100. Neither has a primary opponent.

Watch here and on the New Mexican site for the complete numbers when they come in.

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m

Allen Webber is the first gubernatorial candidate to post his campaign finance report. He reported raising more than $811,000 (slightly lower than what his press release said this morning) -- more than half of which coming from himself and his wife, Frances Diemoz. The total Weber and Diemoz gave is $450,057, which includes a $150,000 loan to the campaign. Also, Webber reported nearly $7,000 in in-kind (non-cash) contributions.

Back in October when he announced his candidacy, Webber, a former magazine publisher, told reporters he would not self-finance, telling the New Mexico Watchdog,  "I don’t think it’s good for democracy." Ive asked the campaign for a response.

The only other report I've seen so far is Secretary of State candidate Maggie Oliver, who reports raising $109,354 since October. I'll post Dianna Duran's total when it comes in.

Neri Holguin of the Webber campaign just replied to my question:

Half raised and half contributing is hardly self-financing. Alan is committed to New Mexico and has always said he would “put his own skin in the game” and he has done just that.  See what he said when he announced -- he says it best:

“I don’t believe in self-financing campaigns. I don’t think it’s good for democracy. I think people should not buy their way into public office. I’m going to put some of my own money in the game. I believe candidates should put their own skin in the game. Not just, obviously, their time, everyone who runs works really hard and cares really deeply, but I think we all need to step up and put something in the pot to show we’re committed. But after that, I’m going to be asking for New Mexicans to create a network of people to contribute their ideas and their passions and also involved contributing money.” 

Please note, I corrected the figure that Webber and his wife contributed to their campaign. I was over by $10,000.

Also, the Martinez campaign just sent out a news release saying they'd raised $1,396,169 in contributions since October, plus $114,188 in  in-kind contributions. The news release said that 88 percent of the contributions were from in-state. More later.