Dark Money Ethics Complaints Move ForwardBrett Kokinadis
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stop MLG PAC, Director
Santa Fe, NM, Tuesday, July 26, 2022 – The State Ethics Commission and Secretary of State proceeded to the next phase of investigating a dark money and unlawful coordination ethics complaint against Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Karen Bedonie and “Private Persons of New Mexico” filed initially on July 20, 2022, by Brett Kokinadis, Director of the Stop MLG Political Action Committee and First Vice-Chairman of the Santa Fe Republican Party.
“All candidates, regardless of party, should know the law and have the resources and staff to ensure compliance with campaign finance laws, restrictions, and reporting requirements,” said Kokinadis.
The State Ethics Commission has jurisdiction over this complaint and operates under the Substitute Joint Powers Agreement for Shared Jurisdiction. The complaint was referred to Sharon Pino, Deputy Secretary of State and Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, to ensure the campaign comes into compliance.
“It’s uncertain how Ms. Bedonie’s campaign can voluntarily come into compliance for allegedly coordinating with an unregistered Independent Expenditure, which is strictly prohibited. Additionally, the Independent Expenditure operates unlawfully by coordinating and remaining as an unreported, dark money entity. Enforcement and compliance will be for the NM SOS and SEC to determine.”, Kokinadis continued.
Monday evening, Mandy Vigil, State Elections Director, requested in writing that the Karen Bedonie for New Mexico committee respond to the alleged violations of the Campaign Reporting Act to determine whether the allegations within the complaint violate any component of the law administered by the Secretary of State. The campaign has until August 10, 2022, to respond to the office’s inquiry.
Should the Secretary of State be unable to certify compliance, the New Mexico State Ethics commission may choose to investigate the complaint further.