Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing Comments on SoS “Disclosure” Proposal Regulations

Albuquerque, NM – The Rio Grande Foundation has submitted comments to New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver in opposition to proposed new regulations aimed at forcing charitable non-profits – like the 501(C)(3) – Rio Grande Foundation to disclose its donors if the organization attempts to educate voters about public policy issues.

For example, any discussion of a candidate, even an incumbent officeholder who is running the government, can trigger the “independent expenditure” requirements if it is done close in time to an election. Thus all 501(c)(3) organizations are under threat of having to disclose their donors, even if they are only focusing on issues, if they happen to mention a candidate (and candidates are often incumbent officeholders).

Fresh from its efforts to educate voters in Santa Fe on the impact of sugary drink taxes, the Rio Grande Foundation understands all too well how well-intentioned disclosure regulations can hinder citizen involvement in the political process both through the disclosure process itself as well as due to onerous paperwork burdens placed upon citizens.

Foundation president Paul Gessing will be present to deliver public testimony at comment periods in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

You can read the full written comments here.