Group data on NM site excludes some lobbyist spending - Albuquerque Journal

Group data on NM site excludes some lobbyist spending

The Roundhouse

SANTA FE — New Mexico lobbyists spent about $44,000 this year that wasn’t revealed in the group data available from the state for download this week.

The extra spending pushes the total spending reported by lobbyists and their employers during this year’s legislative session to $195,000.

Alex Curtas, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said the missing information was properly reported by lobbyists.

It just didn’t make it into the aggregate report that can be downloaded through the Campaign Finance Information System, he said. The state was working with its vendor, Curtas said, to determine what happened.

The spending, in any case, is available in another section of the website, where digital copies of each lobbyist filing are posted.

But the part of the website that aggregates the data — allowing it to be downloaded as a group and analyzed — didn’t include all of the lobbyist spending.

The state, in any case, is preparing to revamp the financial reporting system. Legislators appropriated about $985,000 in 2018 to update the website.

Curtas said the changes are intended to make it easier for the public to track campaign finance activity and lobbyist spending. The updated site, he said, should also be easier for people who file reports.

It’s scheduled to be available later this year.

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