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Politics Notebook: Arizona governor to headline N.M. GOP fundraiser

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The Republican Party of New Mexico has tapped Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to headline a party fundraiser in Albuquerque next month.

Brewer, a Republican, has developed a national profile as a tea party favorite and hard-line enforcer of immigration rules while serving as Arizona’s governor since 2009.

New Mexico Republican Party Chairman John Billingsley said Brewer’s Sept. 27 visit to New Mexico – a state considered more deferential to immigrants than Brewer’s – will help raise money for the party and build momentum in advance of the 2014 election.

That election slate is expected to include a re-election bid by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, the state’s first Hispanic female elected governor, who leaned heavily on support from New Mexico Hispanics to help her win in 2010.

“2013 has already been an exciting year for the Republican Party of New Mexico, and we know that Gov. Brewer’s visit will only add to the growth and excitement,” Billingsley said.

Brewer’s push to crack down on illegal immigration in Arizona drew national attention in part for rules that allowed state and local police to check federal immigration status by stopping individuals suspected of illegal immigration.

That provision of the state’s 2010 immigration law was among several struck down by the Supreme Court last year.

Tax-exempt Politics: Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham turned to Washington, D.C., media to bolster her case for changing the federal policies that allow tax-exempt 501(c)4 groups to harbor unlimited, anonymous political donations.

In a letter published in The Washington Post on Saturday, Lujan Grisham challenged the Internal Revenue Service regulations that allow the so-called social welfare organizations to engage in independent political activity and secret fundraising while claiming their operations are primarily intended to benefit social welfare.

Lujan Grisham is a sponsor of legislation that would enforce federal laws that require such groups to operate exclusively for social welfare needs and eliminate the potential for political activity.

Lujan Grisham’s push to limit tax-exempt political activity comes as 501(c)4s aligned with her own party have been some of the state’s most active in terms of fundraising and campaigning in New Mexico elections.

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