SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe City Councilor Patti Bushee reported spending $285 more on her recent mayoral campaign than the $60,000 in taxpayer money she received under the city public campaign financing system.
That’s not supposed to happen, since candidates who qualify for public financing can’t take money from private donors to supplement the $60,000 in public campaign funds.
Bushee’s final campaign spending report, filed this week, says she spent $60,284.86 on the race in which she and fellow Councilor Bill Dimas lost to Javier Gonzales. All three candidates qualified for the $60,000 in public funding.
Bushee’s report does list as an expense a deposit for the overspending amount of $284.86 “to cover overage due to check reg (sic) error.”
Bushee campaign aide Walt Borton said via email the overspending may have resulted from typographical errors when a check amount was recorded earlier or when checks were filled out, causing the campaign to accidentally top $60,000 in spending. The mistakes then could have been discovered during a final reconciliation, and that may be why campaign treasurer Facundo Garcia made a deposit to cover the overage, Borton said.