Why did the Sun-News reverse it’s endorsement of Andy Nuñez?: “the deciding issue is ethics”

It pays to be State Representative Andy Nunez.

 

We sent Nunez to Santa Fe to stand up for us, but instead Nunez has looked out for himself.

 

The Attorney General’s office and Secretary of State’s office have begun investigations into Nunez

See copies of both complaints online here.

AG Spokesman: “I Can Confirm The Office Of The Attorney General Has Received A Referral, Which Has Now Been Made Public By ProgressNow New Mexico, And This Matter Is Under Review.” According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, “‘I can confirm the Office of the Attorney General has received a referral, which has now been made public by ProgressNow New Mexico, and this matter is under review,’ said James Hallinan, a spokesman for Attorney General Hector Balderas. ‘All complaints received by the Office of the Attorney General are fully reviewed and appropriate action is taken.’” [Las Cruces Sun-News, 10/5/16]

A recent complaint claims Nunez used campaign funds to make cash payments to himself, repairing his personal car and his home office and buying power tools from sears.

In the campaign expenditure records submitted to the Secretary of State’s office on we found 8 disbursements listed at “cash” paid to Andy Nunez between May 14, 2014 and December 15, 2015 totaling $1,605.00.

Additionally, another 11 transactions are itemized that are not labeled “cash”, but are petty cash payments to himself between October 14, 2011 and June 21, 2016 for $100-$400. These cash payments from campaign funds to Andy Nunez total $2,625.

The charges are so serious the Las Cruces Sun-News revoked its endorsement citing quote recent revelations that allege State Representative Andy Nuñez repeatedly used campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses, including during a period of time when he wasn’t even in the Legislature but was working as a lobbyist. Unquote.

According to an editorial in the Las Cruces Sun-News, “In the race for House District 36, the Sun-News endorses Nathan Small. In the race for Senate District 36, we endorse Jeff Steinborn, Both are Democrats challenging republican incumbents. We place a great value on proven effectiveness and the ability to ensure that southern New Mexico is well represented in Santa Fe. For that reason, we have tended to favor veteran lawmakers serving in leadership positions. And so, our endorsement in this race originally would have gone to Republican Andy Nuñez, a veteran lawmaker and a respected expert in the Legislature on issues dealing with water and agriculture. We changed our endorsement after recent revelations that allege Nuñez repeatedly used campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses, including during a period of time when he wasn’t even in the Legislature but was working as a lobbyist. New Mexico generously reimburses lawmakers for expenses incurred in attending meetings or conferences. It is both illegal and unacceptable for lawmakers to dip into campaign contributions to cover those expenses.” [Las Cruces Sun-News, Editorial, 10/10/16]

 

Quote, the deciding issue is ethics, unquote.

 

Not surprisingly, Andy Nunez opposes new ethics legislation until he and other legislators got a guaranteed salary.

In 2008, Nunez Said He Would “Oppose All Ethics Legislation Until The State Constitution” Was “Changed To Allow Legislators To Be Paid A Salary.” According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, “Rep. Andy Nunez, D-Hatch, said he will oppose all ethics legislation until the state Constitution is changed to allow legislators to be paid a salary. ‘I’m not against ethics, but I don’t think we’re the ones causing the problems,’ Nunez said. ‘Every time an ethics bill comes through, I want to attach an amendment that says none of those bills take effect unless we approve a salary for legislators. ‘I’m not going to be there forever. These young guys need some funding,’ Nunez said.” [Las Cruces Sun-News, 1/13/08]

It pays to be State Representative Andy Nunez, too bad we’re the ones picking up the check.

 

Paid for by Patriot Majority New Mexico