Home New mexico tax New ad targets government’s discretionary fund

New ad targets government’s discretionary fund

A new ad takes aim at a familiar target – the governor’s spending from a discretionary fund earmarked for social and diplomatic events. (Source: Get Families Back to Work announcement)

SANTA FE — Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s spending on a discretionary fund for social and diplomatic events continues to fuel attack ads targeting her re-election bid, including a new ad that draws on excerpts from television news.

The new 30-second piece – which will air starting Wednesday – was launched by a group affiliated with the Republican Governors Association.

Lujan Grisham “continues to waste our tax dollars on his personal interests,” the ad reads, intercut with excerpts from TV reports about his discretionary fund spending.

The fund has been a source of controversy not only for Lujan Grisham, but also for his predecessors.

Republican Susana Martinez, for example, used the fund in 2015 to throw an end-of-year party that prompted a police intervention.

Just last month, Lujan Grisham’s campaign refunded the discretionary fund after it was originally used to cover about $1,837 in expenses related to a Democratic Governors Association party at the Governor’s Residence. . A spokeswoman for the governor said the campaign repaid the state “almost immediately,” though it’s unclear why the state fund was used in the first place.

The controversy makes its appearance in the new ad.

Last year, state auditors also reviewed the governor’s use of the fund and found Lujan Grisham’s $17,546 spending on food, alcohol, cooking equipment and Christmas decorations did not violate not state law. But the report from State Auditor Brian Colón’s office also said lawmakers should clarify how the fund can be spent.

The Republican Governors Association has been active in New Mexico this year, with its political action committee reporting expenses of about $179,000.

The new announcement is attributed to Get Families Back to Work, a separate group affiliated with the RGA.

Lujan Grisham also went on the attack. The first big television splash of his campaign from the general election campaign questioned Republican Mark Ronchetti’s experience, describing him as a “television weatherman” who is not ready to fight crime.

Ronchetti, for his part, characterized his career as a strength – proof that he is not an entrenched politician.

Karen Bedonie, a libertarian, is also campaigning for governor. She won the party’s nomination on June 7 with 87% of the vote, beating a write-in candidate.

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New report from Legislative Finance Committee analysts warns New Mexico policymakers to expect budget shortfalls in capital projects and prepare to spend more to complete work that cannot be completed for their original cost.

The report also suggests a series of longer-term changes — such as establishing a central office of infrastructure — to improve the management of New Mexico’s capital projects.