Proposed campaign finance rules that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver hopes to get on the books before what’s likely to be an expensive election year could be headed for a courtroom showdown. The state’s usually mundane regulatory process has become a flashpoint in a national battle over the influence of money on electoral politics. Now a coalition of conservative and libertarian groups that has campaigned against Democrat Toulouse Oliver’s policies is signaling it will sue to stop the rules. Though the policies got a final hearing last week, few of the couple dozen people who turned out for the meeting at the state Capitol were concerned about the wording of the 14-page proposal. Instead, most spoke about what the new policy would represent in a more fundamental sense.
For proponents, Toulouse Oliver’s proposals are key to curbing the power of the wealthy to influence New Mexico’s elections. For critics, they are an invasion of privacy that will scare off people from backing controversial causes.
Either way, the rules will head to the printer soon after a few more tweaks from the Secretary of State’s Office and, despite the threat of legal challenges, Toulouse Oliver says the policies will hold up in court.