Paying her daughter $6,000 for hair and makeup services constituted a legitimate campaign expense by New Mexico’s Democrat governor, the secretary of the state has determined, clearing her of any impropriety.
Thus, it was apparently okay under state law for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to do business with her daughter, hair and makeup specialist Erin Grisham of “Beauty by Erin,” according to regulators.
John Block, the editor of the New Mexico-based, Pinon Post conservative news and opinion website, had filed an ethics complaint against Grisham based on a premise that using campaign dollars for such personal expenses violated state law and pursuant to the 2020 Candidate Campaign Finance Reporting Guide published by the New Mexico secretary of state’s office.
In a letter, the state’s election director told Block, however, that the expenses in question were “reasonably attributable to the candidate’s campaign and not an expense that would have existed but for the Governor’s candidacy…The key analysis is whether the expenditure is reasonably attributable to the candidate’s campaign, not solely what the expense is,” the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Current requirements for state-required campaign-finance recordkeeping in “no way precludes a candidate from making an expenditure on hair, makeup and nails,” the official, Mandy Vigil also noted, which seems to contradict what is set forth on page 27 of the guidelines.
The expenses in question included campaign photoshoots, campaign commercials, official speeches, and media appearances.
The current secretary of state in New Mexico is a Democrat. Various purported examples exist of politicians across the country improperly paying family members out of campaign coffers, but the secretary of state’s office concluded that this wasn’t one of them.
Block was less than pleased with this outcome.
“Gov. Lujan Grisham’s ability to duck responsibility despite glaring evidence of shameless public corruption proves once again that New Mexico’s political system is rotted to its very core,” he asserted.
“Whether it be paying $62,500 in hush money to sexual accusers for crotch-grabbing incidents or delving out over $6,000 to her daughter for hair and makeup, institutions New Mexicans are supposed to rely on refuse to hold the governor accountable. It seems only the voters (who Lujan Grisham mocks as ‘lizard people’) can bring long-awaited justice at the ballot box in 2022.”
Block was referring to Grisham’s decision to settle a lawsuit with a former campaign staffer who accused her of sexual harassment which was also paid out from campaign funds.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 12, 2021
Earlier this month, as Block alluded to, the lockdown-loving Grisham smugly dismissed protesters at an event where she was announcing her reelection bid as “QAnon lizard people.”
New Mexicans deserve a governor who will face their constituents in their frustration, not insult them. pic.twitter.com/7ivRagjQk4
— Republican Party of New Mexico (@NewMexicoGOP) June 4, 2021
According to the Pinon Post, “Despite state law and the Secretary of State’s own guidelines explicitly forbidding candidates from using campaign funds for cosmetic expenditures, the Secretary of State’s office appeared to reverse its prior guidelines, giving the all-clear to state candidates to use donors’ funds for beauty needs if they are related to the campaign.”
A spokesperson for the governor told the Santa Fe New Mexican that Block’s objection was a “blatantly sexist complaint from a discredited Republican operative” that was “was frivolous and without merit.”
Separately, Grisham has previously come under criticism for spending about $13,000 of taxpayer money for groceries, dry cleaning, and adult beverages last year.
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