A former campaign manager for mayoral candidate Patti Bushee alleges the longtime city councilor violated the city's public campaign finance code. Tarin Nix, who worked on the Bushee campaign for about a month in May and June, says Bushee raised more than the $6,000 in seed money that the city code allows. She also claims Bushee spent $1,750 of her own money, exceeding rules that limit contributions to $100 per person.
In a complaint filed with the city's Elections Campaign Review Board, Nix writes that Joe Lennihan, a Bushee campaign volunteer, called her on Nov. 15 and asked her to swap a check for $1,750 that the campaign had already given to her with a different check "so my payment was noted as coming from the Bushee's Seed money account" and not Bushee's own checkbook. Nix says she refused the request.
Niether Bushee nor Lennihan returned SFR's phone calls before press time. Campaign Manager Traci Cadigan says Bushee is in Maine tending to her father's funeral. Last week, Lennihan denied any ill intent and told The New Mexican that Nix worked for Bushee before the candidate decided to seek public financing. He added that he asked Nix to swap checks based on his best understanding of the city's public finance code, which mayoral candidates are testing for the first time for the March 2014 election. (Joey Peters)