SANTA FE, N.M. — Union groups who spent big to support Javier’s Gonzales successful campaign for mayor are striking back at their critics. The sign shown here went up today (Wednesday) outside the Center for Progress and Justice on Cerrillos Road, where both the Gonzales campaign and union groups have offices.
It refers to criticism – in newspaper editorials, from Gonzales’ mayoral opponents and Common Cause – about the more than $50,000 in union money that was spent to support Gonzales in a race where each of the three candidates accepted $60,000 in taxpayer money under Santa Fe’s public campaign financing system. Critics said the spending by outside groups defeated the purpose of public financing, intended to “level the playing field” and keep big money out of local races.
Gonzales, while saying he didn’t want and had nothing to do with the PAC support, defended the outside groups’ right to participate in the election. There is no legal prohibition on spending by groups like PACs or union groups in elections.