Wednesday, January 31

Republican outcry over Governor Bill Richardson's fundraising

Some people think that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson makes an excellent presidential candidate. He has served as a United States Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of Energy, and now as Governor of a Western state with a rapidly growing population.

...but is he legally allowed to raise funds while serving as Governor?

The El Paso Times reported Tuesday that Richardson raised about $60,000 at the home of an El Paso supporter this week. Now Steve Terrell at The New Mexican is reporting that state republicans think the Governor is breaking the law.

In a letter to Attorney General Gary King, Senate Minority Whip Leonard Lee Rawson of Las Cruces noted state law “prohibits the governor and legislators, among others, from soliciting contributions for a ‘political purpose’ from January 1 until, in the case of the governor, 20 days after the legislature adjourns and, in the case of legislators, until adjournment.”

Rawson also wrote, “The Lobbyist Regulation Act similarly prohibits registered lobbyists from contributing ‘to the campaign funds of any statewide elected official or legislator’ during the same periods.”

According to the Richardson camp, this law is intended for state elections and should not stop candidates for federal office.

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