IRONY ALERT: District Attorney Runs Afoul of Election Laws
12 April 2012
Law-and-Order District Attorney Vows
to Investigate all Violations of the Law
What will she do now that she’s the one in violation?
UPDATE (4/12/12): ProgressNow New Mexico has submitted a formal complaint to Attorney General Gary King requesting that his office inititate an investigation into the Comitttee to Elect Amy Orlando’s potential violations of New Mexico’s Campaign Reporting Act. We will keep you updated on any further developments with this story as we become aware of them. (Scroll down below the mailer in order to view our letter to the Attorney General)
LAS CRUCES – As Doña Ana County District Attorney, Amy Orlando is used to seeing the inside of a courtroom. But a recent political mailer from her campaign may give her a totally new perspective: That of criminal defendant.
A recent mailer from Orlando to prospective voters and supporters failed to disclose the name of the person or group behind printing the mailer. (Scroll down to read the mailer) The mailer is an invitation to attend a fundraiser headlined by Governor Susana Martinez on Friday. Ms. Orlando was handpicked by Governor Susana Martinez, the former Doña Ana County District Attorney, to succeed her in the post after Martinez was sworn-in as governor in 2011.
Similarly, Orlando’s campaign website, www.amyorlandoda.com, fails to disclose the person or group responsible for paying for and publishing the site.
According to New Mexico law (NMSA 1-19-16), failing to disclose either the printer of mailers or persons responsible for paying for campaign advertising and communications is a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18-months in jail.
A review of campaign finance reports on file with the Secretary of State show a March 10, 2012 expenditure to Zia Printing of Santa Fe for “Campaign Materials.” It is not clear if this is the printer for the illegal mailer. Neither of Orlando’s campaign finance reports lists expenditures for website expenses.
Just last week, Orlando told the Las Cruces Sun-News, “[a]s district attorney, I can not and will not pick and choose which laws I will follow.” Ironically, under the law, Orlando is responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of this type.
As Ms. Orlando says, the law is the law and everyone has to follow it.
ProgressNow New Mexico is thus calling on Ms. Orlando to make it clear to the residents of Doña Ana County that she truly is the law-and-order candidate she claims to be. Ms. Orlando should self-report these two individual violations of the Campaign Reporting Act and then either appoint a special prosecutor to investigate these violations or request that New Mexico Attorney General Gary King conduct an investigation in order to avoid the potential conflict of interest.
Ms. Orlando can assure the residents of Doña An County that she truly meant it when she said “I can not and will not pick and choose which laws I follow” by self-reporting her campaign’s missteps and calling for further legal investigation.
The only question now is: Will she?