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Legislator’s backer complains about nonprofit groups

May 22, 2018 GMT

Legislator’s backer complains about nonprofit groups

A supporter of state Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, filed a complaint accusing several groups of breaking the rules for tax-exempt nonprofits by wading into his contentious re-election race against Andrea Romero. But the groups called the allegations a “fantasy conspiracy theory that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

The complaint, filed with the Secretary of State’s Office on Friday by local resident David Neal, points to three groups — the Center for Civic Policy, OLÉ and ProgressNow New Mexico — which signed on to a letter supporting lobbyist Laura Bonar, who has accused Trujillo of sexually harassing her.

Neal says the organizations’ tax status bars them from partisan political campaigning.

But the groups countered that efforts to support Trujillo’s challenger come from separate political action committees that are not associated with or sponsored by the charities.

Progressive groups are not endeared to Trujillo, who they view as too conservative on some issues, and many have backed his primary challenger, Romero, in the June 5 election.

Still, the complaint adds to accusations from both sides that interest groups from outside the district are using the race to advance their agendas.