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Yvette Herrell: Secretary of state says ‘no further action needed’

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

I want to take a moment to respond to Friday’s editorial. I feel that it is extremely important that voters get the benefit of the whole story rather than just chapters the liberal media want them to know.

I hold an ownership stake in a family limited liability company in which my father gifted partial ownership to my siblings and me in 2000. It is operated and managed by my father, and I have absolutely no say in the day-to-day operations of the company or any contractual agreements. Since this company was formed, I have always disclosed my interest in it through proper documentation with the Secretary of State’s Office. There has not been a single disclosure where this company was omitted. The issue is the interpretation of extremely vague questions written on government forms.

The item on the financial disclosure asks that the reporting individual disclose “any goods or services provided to state agencies by the reporting individual or their spouse in excess of $5,000.”

In 2013, I asked the Secretary of State’s office if I needed to change or amend my disclosure because of the two properties Herrell Properties had purchased in 2013 that had existing state leases. The response from the Secretary of State’s office was “no” because I do not receive any direct lease payments, the leases are not between me personally and the state of New Mexico and I do not receive a 1099 from the state. I filed my financial disclosure forms with that understanding and guidance and have continued to file the same way.

When this issue surfaced, I immediately contacted the Secretary of State’s Office and discussed this issue with them. As a result of those discussions, I learned that their interpretation of this question was now different, and I immediately filed amended documents reflecting my interest in Herrell Properties as lessor under that section. As of this week, the Secretary of State’s office has assured me no further action is needed to clarify this issue. Ultimately, this entire series of events is nothing more than an attempt by (Republican political consultant) Jay McCleskey and Monty Newman (one of my opponents in the Republican congressional primary) to call into question my moral character, and they are doing so by pointing at fog and calling it smoke. There was never, is never, and will never be a time or situation where I will hide anything from my constituents or the people of New Mexico.

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