Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing Provides Updated Comments on SoS Revised “Disclosure” Regulations

Albuquerque, NM – In response to revised regulations being proposed by New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse-Oliver, the Rio Grande Foundation has revised its previously-submitted comments.

Said Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing in the Foundation’s revised comments, “We applaud the Secretary of State for narrowing the scope of the proposed rules. Nonetheless, the Rio Grande Foundation remains concerned about the rules as written and the vague and complicated language and requirements they contain.”

Gessing noted that his primary concern with the proposed regulations remains procedural. Legislation addressing donor disclosure was vetoed by Gov. Martinez in the wake of the 2017 legislative session. These regulations are rightly the purview of New Mexico’s Legislature and Executive, not the Secretary of State.

In terms of our concerns regarding the proposed rule itself, the Foundation expressed a desire for clarification as to whether the Rio Grande Foundation and similar 501c3s would not be covered by the rule. In particular, we recommend that you consider revising the rulemaking again by amending the “advertisement” definition to explicitly exempt 501c3 organizations engaging in grassroots lobbying. If this change was made, it would remedy the Foundation’s chief concern about the rulemaking.

While some of the new language represents an improvement over the previously-proposed disclosure rules, we do have some serious concerns regarding the newly-added language in the “Coordinated Expenditures” section of the revised rulemaking.

Public testimony on the revised proposal will be accepted on August 30 in Santa Fe. Details including how to file your own comments can be found here.

You can read the full written comments here.

A video illustrating the importance for donor privacy can be found below: