August 12, 2016

SOS fixes campaign finance site glitch

The Secretary of State’s office fixed a problem in the state’s troubled campaign finance reporting system.

NM Political Report confirmed the fix with a spokesman in the office on Thursday.

SOS spokesman Ken Ortiz said the problems came in a rarely used part of the website and said it was, indeed, one that no one in the office had used. He said the problems had been fixed before work hours on Thursday.

The problem in the coding caused it to appear on one section of the system that the candidate failed to list the required “purpose” for each of their campaign purchases.

Ortiz explained the PDFs of expense forms filled out by candidates, which anyone can download from the Secretary of State’s website, are the official campaign finance records.

Many have been critical of the state’s campaign finance reporting system for years, including both candidates for Secretary of State.

The fix comes a day after Democratic Secretary of State candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver revealed what she called a “glaring hole” in the campaign finance filing system.

While Toulouse Oliver said this did not come from a complaint against her Republican opponent, Nora Espinoza, that complaint likely cited some of these mistakes within the campaign finance system as violations by Espinoza. Espinoza reported the purpose of her campaign expenses, which are reflected in the PDFs versions of her report but didn’t completely show up on all parts of the state campaign finance system until Thursday.

That complaint was filed by Robert Lara, the Treasurer of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, in his personal capacity.

Espinoza accused Lara of manufacturing false documents to make the complaint.