KUNM

Poll: Biz Leaders Want Campaign Finance Reform

Feb 8, 2016

A new survey of New Mexico business leaders shows most think there is a real problem with money in politics in the state. And some business groups are getting serious about plans to clean up state government.

The poll also explored changes in business leaders' perspectives since 2015.
Credit Research & Polling, Inc.

Nearly 90 percent of business leaders think all political spending should be made public, according to a poll of 250 business leaders from across the state. The poll was commissioned by The Committee for Economic Development, a Washington D.C.-area think tank. It follows the release of a CED-sponsored report conducted in conjunction with the University of New Mexico, "Crony Capitalism, Corruption, and the Economy in the State of New Mexico."

The New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry is one of many groups speaking out in support of proposals they say would give voters—and businesses—more confidence in their leaders.

Jason Espinoza is president of the statewide business advocacy group, and he says money in politics has been a hot topic for his more than 500 members.

"A lot of our priorities are about building a better business climate so we can incentivize job creation," Espinoza said, "and transparency is important so that everybody knows they’re playing by the same set of rules."

More than half of business leaders say the state’s campaign finance system needs a complete overhaul, according to the poll, conducted by Research and Polling Jan. 13-27.

But proposals that would introduce a statewide ethics commission and force more transparency in campaign finance are moving slowly, with only 10 days left in the legislative session.

Check out all of the content from our People, Power and Democracy project. It's a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico In DepthNew Mexico PBS and the New Mexico News Port at UNM. Funding for the project comes from the Thornburg Foundation.