The Secretary of State’s Office is investigating State Rep. Andy Nuñez’s campaign finance reports because the numbers don’t add up, The Santa Fe New Mexican is reporting.
Nuñez’s 2014 campaign inherited $11,993 of debt from his 2012 campaign, according to the newspaper — all of it money Nuñez loaned his own campaign. Then, between April 2014 and April 2015, he reported loaning himself another $4,332 and repaying himself $14,600.
But the total Nuñez, R-Hatch, listed in unpaid campaign debt on his last report only changed by $67 from the year before, his reports show. Based on the numbers he reported for loans and loan repayments, it should have been thousands of dollars less.
Nuñez, The New Mexican reported, couldn’t explain the discrepancies. “I’m going to have to look at it,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Nuñez is the latest New Mexico elected official to have his finance reports come under scrutiny. Most notably, Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a Republican whose office is responsible for the campaign reporting system, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges related to abusing that system.
From The New Mexican:
Because of the allegations of wrongdoing involving campaign money, the director of Common Cause New Mexico is calling on the Secretary of State’s Office to join with the Attorney General’s Office to review the reports of all elected officials.
“I know this is a huge task, but with so many questions swirling around in the media, having a full audit across the board can help clear up the questions and the mistrust so many of our citizens are feeling right now,” Viki Harrison said in a letterWednesday night to officials in both offices.
Harrison said in an interview that, based on phone calls she’s received, she expects several more lawmakers to face questions about their use of campaign money.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Secretary of State’s Office is planning an extra audit of the next batch of reports, which are due Oct. 13. State law requires the office to audit a random selection of 10 percent of the reports filed after each election cycle. Though an audit isn’t required at this time, the wire service quoted a spokesman for the office saying they plan to review those reports anyway.