Saturday, August 9, 2008

Local Nonprofits Issue Rebuttal to Attorney General's Statement on Primary Election Dispute

Colleen Heild has the latest on the non-profit mailer controversy in the Albuquerque Journal

Note we received these statements from several of the the groups involved.

John Boyd - Counsel for Center for Civic Policy and New Mexico Youth Organized

Sara Berger - Counsel for Center for Civic Policy and New Mexico Youth Organized

The United States Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that election officials are only permitted to regulate public statements that explicitly address elections. They are not permitted to regulate public statements that relate to officeholders' conduct, even though those officeholders may be running for re-election. This is fundamental to the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. The Attorney General's statement that he recognizes what can be regulated on the basis of whether it 'walks like a duck' is an indication that he doesn't understand the law in this area, and he is inviting entirely unnecessary litigation against the State of New Mexico."

Eli Il Yong Lee - Executive Director, Center for Civic Policy

We are disappointed by Attorney General King's uncharacteristically glib assessment of a serious matter. At stake is the ability of nonprofits throughout New Mexico to hold elected officials accountable for their actions and to advocate for issues that are critical to their missions. Further, we are disappointed that the Attorney General is issuing a verdict through the media prior to his office completing its research on this matter."

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