Ethics Violation? NM Democratic Gov Slammed for Spending Huge Campaign Funds to Pay Daughter


A conservative media outlet editor has filed an ethics complaint against New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s re-election campaign, alleging the Democratic governor improperly used campaign funds on her daughter’s beauty business.

The complaint from conservative activist John Block focuses on a $1,040 payment in October to “Beauty By Erin Grisham,” which was described by the governor’s campaign spokesman as a media preparation expense, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Block says that Erin Grisham’s business focuses on cosmetology, instead of media preparation, and argues the money is not a permissible campaign expense, as outlined in the 2019 campaign finance guide.

“No public servant in New Mexico should be above the law regardless of what office they may occupy,” he said in the complaint filed Thursday.

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Grisham’s campaign spokesperson pushed back against the complaint, calling it “frivolous and sexist,” according to The Associated Press.

“These routine political expenses were for the governor’s speech and 14 other events she addressed for the Democratic National Convention in August 2020,” Jared Leopold said, the Alberquerque Journal reported.

“This type of event preparation expense is a common and necessary political expenditure for politicians of both parties.”

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Leopold pointed to Lujan Grisham’s predecessor, Republican Susana Martinez, who reported similar campaign expenditures for “styling” in 2010.

The Secretary of State’s Office regulations allow candidates to spend campaign donations on things that are “reasonably attributable to the candidate’s campaign,” but not for personal expenses.

Spending is prohibited if “the expense would exist even in the absence of the candidacy,” according to Albuquerque Journal.

The complaint was filed with the State Ethics Commission, which referred the issue to the Secretary of State’s Office.

A spokesman for the office told the Albuquerque Journal that he couldn’t comment on the issue until a ruling has been issued.

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Block is a campaign volunteer who lives in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

He is also the founder of the Piñon Post, which reported further evidence on Lujan Grisham’s improper use of campaign funds.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, the Democratic governor made four other payments to her daughter’s business for “media preparation,” bringing the amount of donor money spent to $6,083.

She reportedly paid Beauty By Erin Grisham $643.88 on Aug. 17, 2017, $2,080 on May 14, 2018, $1,920 on Oct. 10, 2018, and $400 on March 5, 2020.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith