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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Under The Gun: Guv's Machine Targets Auditor Candidate McCamley's Questionable Financial Forms; Mystery Over His Income And Employment 

Bill McCamley
The Governor's political machine is going to work on Bill McCamley, the Dona Ana County state representative and Dem state auditor candidate, and it appears he has no one to blame but himself.

In his finance report this week McCamley reported he loaned his campaign $45,000 but on the financial disclosure form state officials are required to file, McCamley reports no employment, no source of income that provides him with more than $5,000 a year, no spousal income or employment and no financial interests that may present a conflict of interest.

So where did McCamley get $45,000 if he doesn't have a job or any assets? That was the question that former State Senator Rod Adair, a charter member of the Guv's machine, posed on social media.

McCamley, 40, isn't required to reveal if someone other than himself loaned him the money and he in turn loaned it to his committee, but for someone who is running for the position that audits agencies across the state and given his self-reported circumstances, how he came up with this loan will raise suspicions. Still, McCamley ignored a request for comment, leaving it to speculation whether he received a loan, for example, from someone who might do business with the state auditor's office and which could represent a conflict of interest.

McCamley responded to this report Thursday and offered an explanation for the loan, saying it was from personal funds. His full response is below.

But if McCamley loaned himself the money where did it come from? If he is being straight on his state financial disclosure forms for the past several years he has had no income or employment. And if it's true he had no employment during this long stretch what does that say about him wanting to become State Auditor? And if he has a trust fund and gets at least $5,000 a year from it, that must be reported.

We asked Brian Colón, McCamley's opponent for the auditor nomination, for comment but he did not respond. But current GOP State Auditor Wayne Johnson, who was appointed by Gov. Martinez when Tim Keller was elected ABQ mayor and whose campaign for election we're told is being handled by none other than Guv Machine leader Jay McCleskey, jumped at the chance to take McCamley down. Seemingly out of the blue he issued a news release that compiled the financial disclosure statements required for elected officials. He said:

Certain candidates and elected officials are required to file Financial Disclosure Statements, which reveal their sources of income and potential conflicts of interest. Officials are required to disclose any income over $5,000 and identify its source, using a list of broad and general categories. The report found that not all elected officials have complied, concluding, “Despite this requirement, four (4) financial disclosures contain no reported sources of income at all for either the elected official or the official’s spouse in this category.”


And, of course, McCamley, a potential Johnson general election foe, is one of those only four officials who reported no sources of income. We get the point, Wayne, but in case we didn't Johnson helpfully posted all the disclourse forms, including McCamley's.

Johnson condensed the disclosure forms that are filed with the Secretary of State so to make sure his information was true we looked at the McCamley statement filed with the SOS and it matches what Johnson put out.

McCamley is a former Dona Ana County Commissioner. During his campaigns for the legislature we recall him reporting several jobs he had, including one in the solar industry. On his candidate website he says "he has had many diverse jobs."

Well, the political community eagerly awaits McCamley's explanation of his financial resources as they assess the candidates qualifications for the financially sensitive position of state auditor. Meanwhile, Rod and Jay have got Bill pinned to the mat. And he may not get back up.

McCAMLEY EXPLAINS

Here is Rep. McCamley's explanation of the loan which came after our report was posted.

Yes, I’ve lived off of my legislative per diem and a few small contracts for the last few years. I’ve done this by keeping my expenses low. I live in a studio apartment, drive a used car, and haven’t had a vacation in a year and a half because I take my role as a Legislator seriously. I’ve devoted my time to work on serious policy issues and respond to my constituents when they have problems.

Furthermore, I’ve never hid the fact from my constituents and even documented how and why I do this in a 2016 Facebook video.

The $45k loan I gave myself to run for Auditor? That is half of my life savings. Some of it came from an inheritance I got a decade ago when my grandmother passed away. Most of the rest came from my work selling solar panels in 2014-15, combined with the markets growing in the last few years of the Obama administration. It did not come from anyone else but me. I view public service as one of the most valuable things we can do to make our communities better, and am proving it by being willing to put half of what I own into the process.

The fact that I am being attacked by Jay McCleskey and Wayne Johnson on ethical grounds is hilarious.

I have been known for my work on ethics as a legislator, co-sponsoring a bill to establish our first ethics commission. I also am one of two legislators that has not taken meals, ski or golf passes, etc, from lobbyists. Because of this, I have received the highest grade possible from New Mexico Common Cause.

Wayne Johnson was appointed State Auditor on Dec 1. Instead of resigning his seat on the Bernalillo County Commission immediately, he stayed on for a few months. This not only gave him two taxpayer funded salaries, it allowed him to vote on Dec 12th to give a $13 Million County contract to Yearout Electric. The company's CEO has been a large and regular donor to Mr Johnson in his races for County Commission and Albuquerque Mayor. The later is now under discussion with the City ethics panel.

It’s no secret I have been one of the toughest fighters against Susana Martinez’s terrible term as Governor and when information came out that she and the Jay McCleskey-run Susana PAC were possibly getting illegal campaign contributions last year, I asked the Attorney General to investigate. And this wasn’t the first time McCleskey has had run-ins with the law, being investigated by the FBI for similar problems in 2015.

So what’s happening here is obvious. Wayne Johnson has ethical issues and is scared that I am the strongest candidate who can defeat him in November. So he hired the Governor’s attack dog, with his own history of problems, to attack me in order to cover up his own ethical lapses.

THE BOTTOM LINES 

From BernCo:

The County Commission is accepting applications from individuals interested in filling the vacant District 22 seat of the NM House. Governor Martinez will appoint a replacement for James E. Smith who resigned from the legislature to fill the Bernalillo County District 5 seat on the county commission. The County Commission District 5 seat was vacated by Wayne Johnson who is now the State Auditor. Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and Sandoval Counties will each send nominees for the Governor’s consideration. Nominations from interested individuals in Bernalillo County will be accepted until Tuesday, April 17, at 5 p.m. 

This week we identified Kristin Haase as the PIO for the Public Regulation Commission. Her correct title is assistant to PRC Commissioner Sandy Jones . . .

ABQ Journal reporter Dan McKay tweets out:

Cross another one off the list: NM Supreme Court rules former Representative Idalia Lechuga-Tena can't run in the ABQ district she hadn't lived in for a year.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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