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Donating to Charity

I’m all for supporting charities, but this practice of politicians announcing in the press that they are turning tainted money over to their favorite charity (subscription) just doesn’t sit right with me.

Richardson on Monday vowed to donate to charity all of the campaign money his camp received from people or companies implicated in the courthouse scandal.

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and state Attorney General Gary King followed suit on Tuesday. And the state chairman of a group that battled— mostly unsuccessfully— for sweeping ethics reform in the just-concluded state legislative session said every politician who took money from Schultz should do likewise.

The purpose of campaign contributions is to buy awareness and influence voters, and by publicly acknowledging that you’re donating it to a cause, that money is working precisely the way it was supposed to work. Wasn’t Eric Serna being investigated for soliciting contributions to his favorite charity? I’m not sure this is too different.

Is it really necessary for politicians to issue press releases to announce who the recipients of the donation will be? Doesn’t this seem a bit unwarranted:

Denish in a news release Tuesday said she is giving $1,000 in contributions from those implicated in the scandal to the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation.

A very worthy cause, but did the Lt. Governor really need to release who would be the beneficiary of the donation. It seems to me that the money should just be returned to the donor. It may not be the most productive use of the dollars, but the alternative, at least with the fanfare it is being given, just doesn’t seem right.