For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares – (505) 321-4372
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced a victory for the State yesterday, in a ruling on appeal that helps ensure New Mexico’s elections remain open and transparent. In 2020, Cowboys for Trump filed suit challenging the constitutionality of New Mexico’s Campaign Reporting Act after the group had refused to comply with an order to register with the New Mexico Secretary of State or identify its major funders. The New Mexico federal district court had dismissed Cowboys for Trump’s lawsuit, but Cowboys for Trump alleged that the laws were unconstitutional and appealed the dismissal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“All elected officials and dark money groups in this nation must follow election reporting requirements in order to protect the public interest, and no one is above the law,” said Attorney General Balderas.
Cowboys for Trump is led by Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, who registered the self-proclaimed advocacy organization as a Limited Liability Corporation in 2019 in order to avoid political registration laws. The group was formed to raise money and support former President Donald Trump and his policies across New Mexico. Griffin was arrested on January 21, 2021 after posting videos about his role in the January 6 siege of the US Capitol. Griffin goes on trial next month to answer charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building, as well as disruptive and disorderly conduct.
The State was represented in the argument by Assistant Attorney General Erin Lecocq.
The Order and Judgment can be found here: https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinion/search?combine=&parties=cowboys&judges=&field_opinion_date_value%5Bmin%5D%5Bdate%5D=&field_opinion_date_value%5Bmax%5D%5Bdate%5D=&exclude=