Santa Fe's city election may be history, but the final city campaign expenditures released yesterday show political action committees and labor organizations that supported Mayor Javier Gonzales spending a total of $64,421 in the election.
Both Santa Fe Working Families PAC, which was mostly funded by the Washington DC headquarters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Working America, which is a project of the national AFL-CIO, provided the bulk of the spending with more than $30,000 each.
In total, the outside spending surpassed the $60,000 given to mayoral candidates who qualified for the city's public campaign finance system. Gonzales, who was the only mayoral candidate who benefited from outside spending, won the election handily with 43 percent of the vote, while opponents Patti Bushee and Bill Dimas received 28.7 percent and 28 percent respectively.
In this week's issue, Gonzales, who denounced the outside spending throughout the election, speaks to SFR about reforming the city's public finance code.
"Councilor [Peter] Ives is working on a piece of legislation, which I'll be working on with him, that helps tighten up the public finance code to identify ways either to create more barriers for entry by outside groups or to develop a more equitable playing field, which means looking at providing more funds to campaigns that don't have the benefit of outside groups participating," he says.
Both Gonzales and Dimas spent all of their $60,000 in public money during the election, while Bushee still reported more than $3,500 on hand.