This morning's Albuquerque Journal reports AJ Salazar, who resigned as Director of the Bureau of Elections in the Secretary of State's office, wrote a letter of resignation alleging Secretary of State Mary Herrera solicited money from firms that contract with her office in part to "sponsor" elections seminars and training events for county clerks. The Journal goes on to state that Deputy Secretary of State Francisco Trujillo II, in a telephone conversation with the Journal,indicated these "sponsorships" were part of normal practice, and that when Salazar complained about it, the Secretary of State's office sought legal advice from an attorney who advised against continuing the practice.
The practice seems pretty sleazy to me, but given the highly aggressive ways politicians have skirted fund raising laws in the past few decades, often without challenge, it could be ruled "not illegal," or not proven to be illegal. Sleazy, but not illegal: a pretty good description of how our political system has come to legalize, or at least not illegalize, the kind of sleaziness common folk used to call illegal.
More than a year ago I stated here it was time to clean up the state in the wake of the multiple scandals involving not just the governor, but two former state treasurers, a powerful former state senator, a former mayor, public housing funds, bilingual education funds, wi-fi contracts in Sandoval county, hundreds of millions in pension funds, etc., etc. After two sessions of the legislature, I'm still waiting. Sometimes, when the political class refuses to clean up, the voters have to do the job themselves.