Saturday, August 22, 2009

Attorney General Will Appeal Nonprofits Ruling

On Saturday morning, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King told Bernalillo County Democrats, at a monthly pancake breakfast in downtown Albuquerque, that his office is preparing to appeal a recent District Court ruling exempting two nonprofit groups from New Mexico's campaign reporting laws.

During a 15 minute interview Mr. King told 770KKOB that his office is prepared to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court.

In the brief interview above, the Attorney General also told us that he does not believe his office has a conflict of interest prosecuting last weeks political corruption indictments against former Secretary of State Rebbecca Vigil-Giron and three others despite allegations being made by defense attorneys.

On Saturdya King's office issued this statement on his decision to appeal the non-profit ruling:
We will ask the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the District Court because we feel the U.S. Supreme Court has raised some important concepts that have a bearing upon States' rights to require organizations to disclose who is paying for political ads that are put forth by these same organizations," says Attorney General King. "This case has never been about the First Amendment, despite misinformation to the contrary. We are not (emphasis added) trying to control the content of political ads. We believe, however, that the case has everything to do with voters' having the right to know who is paying for political advertising.

The District Court ruling involved a lawsuit filed by New Mexico Youth Organized, known as NMYO, and SouthWest Organizing Project, or SWOP.

Earlier this month, Judge Judith C. Herrera that King and New Mexico Secretary of State Mary Herrera's threat to prosecute the non profits violated their constitutional rights.

Herrera wrote that applying state disclosure regulations to the groups falls outside guidelines set by the U.S. Supreme Court.

But, King said he disagrees with the legal reasoning used by Herrera; so, he plans to ask the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn her ruling.

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