I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Denish wins most out-of-state dollars but trails Martinez in money
This time around Democrat Diane Denish claimed the eye-popping contributions and raised the most out-of-state money.
But two six-figure contributions and nearly $600,000 in out-of-state money wasn’t enough to power Denish past Republican Susana Martinez in dollars raised during the waning days of the 2010 New Mexico governor’s race, campaign finance reports filed Thursday show.
Martinez’s fundraising edge appears to be yet another signal of the Republican’s strength as Election Day nears.
Denish’s strong showing in out-of-state money this reporting period is a turnaround from earlier reports and puts her campaign in an interesting situation. Denish has criticized Martinez for the amount of out-of-state money the Republican has raised, particularly from Texas.
From late June through early October it was Martinez who vastly outstripped Denish in the amount of out-of-state money raised, with more than half of the $3.4 million the Republican collected coming from all over the country.
But in the last three weeks Denish outpaced Martinez in out-of-state dollars, collecting about $570,000 in contributions of more than $5,000. Martinez meanwhile took in nearly $310,000 in out-of-state money in contributions of over $5,000, the reports show.
Unions aid Denish
The vast majority of Denish’s out-of-state haul came from unions, including an Oct. 20 contribution of $200,000 from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and a $100,000 contribution Oct. 7 from the American Federation of State County Municipal Employees.
The Communications Workers of America and the American Federation of Teachers each donated $50,000 to Denish’s campaign also.
The Democratic Governors Association also contributed $75,000 to Denish’s campaign, an amended report from Denish’s campaign shows.
While Martinez collected around $300,000 in out-of-state money, she appears to have kept the lead in money raised through big contributions. Martinez raised about $645,000 in contributions of more than $5,000, compared to Denish’s $640,000.
Martinez also reported some noticeable contributions.
Koch Industries, the company whose owners are among the richest men in the world, donated $10,000 to Martinez. The Koch brothers have made headlines this year for their backing of the Tea Party movement as well as other libertarian and conservative causes.
The private prison company, The GEO Group of Florida, donated $25,000 to Martinez’s campaign. GEO is one of two private firms operating prisons in New Mexico, with the Florida company overseeing three of the four prisons under private management.. The Independent has reported on the GEO Group and Corrections Corp. of America’s problems in the state with low staffing levels that could have earned the companies millions of dollars in fines.
Other notable Martinez contributions include $25,000 from SunRay Gaming of New Mexico, LLC, a horse racing track in Farmington, N.M. and another $50,000 donation from the Republican Governors Assocation (RGA). The RGA has donated $1.3 million to Martinez so far this cycle.
Home health care company owner Mary Merrell of Belen contributed $25,000 to Martinez’s campaign. And Larry Mizel, a long-time Republican big money donor and Colorado developer, donated $50,000.
What the campaigns spent
In addition to raising more than Denish, Martinez also spent more in the three weeks covered by the report, with her campaign logging $2.1 million in expenses. Most of that money, close to $1.5 million, was spent on media buys and air time for advertisements, the reports shows.
Denish spent $1.6 million during the period, with $1 million of that expended on radio and TV ads, her report shows.
In other expenses, Martinez spent $122,000 on polling to Denish’s $71,400. Meanwhile Martinez spent $126,000 on voter contact expenses compared to Denish’s $225,000.
The Independent’s Matthew Reichbach contributed to this post.