Federal Court Rejects Conservative Rio Grande Foundation Attempts To Hide Donors; Group Says They Won’t Comply
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is doubling down on the Cowboys for Trump organization. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, a federal court’s dismissed a lawsuit filed by Cowboys for Trump against the state office, Toulouse Oliver released a statement Thursday, reiterating that she will continue to uphold the state’s campaign finance laws by pursuing enforcement of the arbitration order against Cowboys for Trump that was granted in July 2020.
“Though Cowboys for Trump has tried to sidestep our disclosure laws at every turn, they have already been found by an independent arbitrator to be in violation of the law and have been ordered to properly register with the state and pay the associated fines they have accrued. Cowboys for Trump, like any other political entity, cannot operate off the grid. Now that their lawsuit has been dismissed, we will pursue enforcement and accountability to ensure both public transparency and compliance with existing law,” said Toulouse Oliver.
In July 2020, an arbitration order was granted that concurred with the secretary’s claims against Cowboys for Trump, saying they were in violation of New Mexico’s campaign finance laws. The arbitration order required the group to register as a political committee, and to file all delinquent contribution and expenditure reports since their inception. They were also ordered to pay the fines associated with failing to register and file in the amount of $7,800. Cowboys for Trump filed a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of New Mexico’s campaign finance disclosure laws. Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, the group’s leader, claimed that he was acting in defense of his donors and didn’t want them attacked for contributing to the group. Griffin remains in FBI custody in D.C. without bail for his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.