The Democratic Party of New Mexico, filed an ethics complaint Monday with the Secretary of State’s Office in response to Rep. Nora Espinoza’s publicly using her legislative website – an official government resource – to promote her potential candidacy for the very office that oversees and enforces campaign ethics rules.
“It is more important than ever that New Mexicans have candidates whom they can trust,” DPNM Chair Debra Haaland said. “With the scandal that landed the last secretary of state in jail and the federal investigations that continue to plague the Martinez Administration, it is critical that candidates for Secretary of State, in particular, maintain the highest ethical standards. Rep. Nora Espinoza has already violated the public’s trust, and she’s not even an official candidate yet.”
Specifically, the Democratic Party of New Mexico cites in its complaint a recent radio interview in which Espinoza, R-Chaves and Lincoln counties, repeatedly directed listeners to her official, legislative website in order to get information about her campaign.
“Official government resources cannot and must not be used for campaigning. Period,” Haaland said. “It violates the law and it violates the public’s trust. We are calling on Secretary of State Brad Winter to fully investigate Rep. Espinoza’s conduct in order to ensure that voters know that the system works and they can trust their elected representatives.”
The complaint was submitted to the Secretary of State’s office via email Feb. 1, 2016. The Secretary of State has not yet responded to the complaint. Full audio from Espinoza’s radio interview can be found here.