Regional
6:59 pm
Tue February 16, 2010

NM House Approves Campaign Contribution Rules

New Mexico – A proposal that would prevent lobbyists, state contractors and prospective contractors from making campaign contributions to New Mexico candidates and political parties has been passed by the House.

Lawmakers debated the bill for close to four hours over two days before voting 46-24 in favor of the measure.

Supporters say it would help stop potential pay-to-play corruption in which contributions influence governmental decisions and the awarding of contracts.

Democrat Rep. Jose Campos of Santa Rosa says the measure would ensure that state contracts are awarded based on merit and go to those contractors who offer the best goods at the lowest price.

Critics say the measure fails to solve the problems that led to New Mexico's pay-to-play scandals, and it would trample free speech rights.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.