February 9, 2016

Poll: Business leaders support campaign finance reform

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A new survey of New Mexico business leaders shows most think there is a real problem with the influence of money in politics. And some business groups are getting serious about plans to clean up state government.

From the CED poll "Money in Politics," January, 2016.

From the CED poll “Money in Politics,” January, 2016.

Nearly 90 percent of business leaders think all political spending should be made public, according to a poll of 250 business leaders, commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development, a Washington D.C.-area think tank. It follows the release of a CED-sponsored report conducted in conjunction with the University of New Mexico, “Crony Capitalism, Corruption, and the Economy in the State of New Mexico.”

The New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry is one of many groups speaking out in support of proposals they say would give voters—and businesses—more confidence in their leaders.

Jason Espinoza is president of the statewide business advocacy group, and he says the influence of money in politics has been a hot topic for his more than 500 members.

“A lot of our priorities are about building a better business climate so we can incentivize job creation,” Espinoza said, “and transparency is important so that everybody knows they’re playing by the same set of rules.”

More than half of business leaders say the state’s campaign finance system needs a complete overhaul, according to the poll, conducted by Research and Polling Jan. 13-27.

As NMID reported, 12 representatives of business and labor groups spoke in favor of capital outlay reform in a committee hearing Monday. But proposals that would introduce a statewide ethics commission and force more transparency in campaign finance are moving slowly, with only 10 days left in the legislative session.

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