Scales

Campaign season is in full swing, which means there will be candidates who are unfamiliar with New Mexico state laws pertaining to advertising. We’ll assume ignorance of the law, but advertising managers and sales people should know what is required of ads that run in your newspapers.

Under state statutes, “It is unlawful for any person, organization or political committee to publish or print any campaign advertising or communication which does not specify the name of the sponsor or the name of a responsible officer who authorized the printing or publication of such material, in any election, special election, school district election or an election authorizing a bond issue.”

Those in violation of this will be guilty of a fourth degree felony.

The Secretary of State, through General Government Administration rules, has clarified these rules even further stating that advertisements “disseminated by a candidate, a campaign committee or a political committee” must include a disclaimer on newspaper ads.

Below are the relevant statutes and rules:

New Mexico Statutes

1-19-16. Campaign practices; printing or publishing campaign material without specifying sponsor; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person, organization or political committee to publish or print any campaign advertising or communication which does not specify the name of the sponsor or the name of a responsible officer who authorized the printing or publication of such material, in any election, special election, school district election or an election authorizing a bond issue. This prohibition extends only to handbills, petitions, circulars, letters or similar written material.

B. Any printing establishment shall identify itself as the printer of the campaign material.

C. Any person, organization or political committee violating the provisions of Subsection A or B of Section 1-19-16 NMSA 1978 is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be punished as provided in the Criminal Code [Chapter 30 NMSA 1978].

History: 1953 Comp., § 3-19-16.1, enacted by Laws 1973, ch. 401, § 1.

1-19-17. Campaign practices; circulation of campaign material without specifying sponsor; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person, organization or political committee to circulate or distribute any campaign advertising or communication which does not specify the name of the sponsor of such material, in any election, special election, school district election or an election authorizing a bond issue. This prohibition extends to handbills, petitions, circulars or similar written material.

B. Any person, organization or political committee violating the provisions of Subsection A of Section 1-19-17 NMSA 1978 is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in the Criminal Code [Chapter 30 NMSA 1978].

History: 1953 Comp., § 3-19-16.2, enacted by Laws 1973, ch. 401, § 2.

New Mexico General Government Administration, Title 1, Chapter 10, Part 13 – Campaign Finance.

1.10.13.31 DISCLAIMER NOTICES ON ADVERTISEMENTS:

A. The disclaimers on campaign advertising mandated by Sections 1-19-16 and 1-19-17 NMSA 1978 will be required only for:

(1) advertisements that are disseminated by a candidate. a campaign committee or a political committee registered pursuant to 1.10.13.8 NMAC. or at the request or suggestion of. or in cooperation. consultation or concert with. a candidate. a candidate·s campaign committee or a political committee registered pursuant to

1.10.13.8 NMAC: and

(2) advertisements that are disseminated by a person who has made independent expenditures in an aggregate amount exceeding one thousand dollars ($1.000) during the current election cycle. and that either:

(a) expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the passage or defeat of a clearly identified ballot measure. or

(b) refer to a clearly identified candidate or ballot measure and are disseminated to the relevant electorate within 30 days before the primary election or 60 days before the general election at which the candidate or ballot measure is on the ballot.

B. The requirements of Subsection A of this section do not apply to the following:

(1) bumper stickers. pins. buttons. pens and similar small items upon which the disclaimer cannot be conveniently printed: or

(2) skywriting. water towers. wearing apparel or other means of displaying an advertisement of such a nature that the inclusion of a disclaimer would be impractical.

C. The disclaimer statements required by Subsection A of this section shall be set forth legibly on any advertisement that is disseminated or displayed by visual media. If the advertisement is transmitted by audio media. the statement shall be clearly spoken during the advertisement. If the advertisement is transmitted by audiovisual media. the statement shall be both written legibly and spoken clearly during the advertisement. [1.10.13.31 NMAC - N. 10/10/2017]