New Mexico seeks disclosure on anonymous political donations

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Independent political groups that spend unlimited amounts of money to influence New Mexico elections would have to report the sources of donations under a bill approved by both chambers of the state Legislature.

The state House on Monday voted to approve new disclosure rules for contributions to political committees that do not coordinate directly with candidates.

The bill responds to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United case that opened the door for corporations and unions to make unlimited independent expenditures in elections.

The initiative from Republican Rep. James Smith and Democratic Senate majority leader Peter Wirth also would set a $5,000 donation limit on direct candidate contributions each election cycle. That more than doubles current limits for legislative candidates and slightly lowers limits for statewide candidates.