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Dark Money Complaint Filed Against Karen Bedonie For Governor

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brett Kokinadis
Stop MLG PAC, Director

Santa Fe, NM, Thursday, July 21, 2022 – A complaint has been filed against the Karen Bedonie for Governor committee and “Private Persons of New Mexico”, an unreported Independent Expenditure with the New Mexico State Ethics Commission.

A billboard along I-40 in Torrance County features “FREEDOM. BEDONIE Governor 2022” with a photo of the candidate, the official campaign logo, and “Paid for by Private Persons of New Mexico” which triggered the investigation.

As of the last reporting period, no committee or Independent Expenditure is registered in the New Mexico Campaign Finance Information System under “Private Persons of New Mexico.”

Under New Mexico law, independent expenditures (1.10.13 NMAC) can not be coordinated.

“Dark money has no place in New Mexico or politics. Ensuring compliance and remaining transparent and honest with voters is required by law and is every candidate’s responsibility. Like Governor Grisham, Karen Bedonie demonstrates that her campaign believes it is excluded from complying with state law.”, Kokinadis said.

The billboard is managed by Sun Vista Outdoor Advertising LLC, registered in Albuquerque, NM. When Stop MLG investigators contacted the operator, it was confirmed that the Karen Bedonie for Governor committee was not remitting payment for services provided.

BedonieTough.com, the official website of the campaign, has published a disclaimer that “Photographs and images are owned by the photographer and/or Karen Bedonie herself. Express permission to use images in full and/or in part is required.”

Karen Bedonie’s social media on Facebook, Truth Social, and others contain dozens of photos, including the unlawful “Private Persons of New Mexico” disclosure as individual posts and featured in photos taken at campaign events.

“Bedonie’s campaign appears to be operating under her official committee and with the support of coordinated dark money under the unlawful Private Persons of New Mexico label, potentially to conceal funding sources. Voters are entitled to know who’s funding Bedonie’s campaign.”, Kokinadis continued.

The complaint alleges that the Independent Expenditure is unreported, unlawfully coordinated, and attempts to conceal the true identity of the responsible person(s) and funding sources.

Download the full complaint with evidence.

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