New Mexico Business Leaders Survey

February 08, 2017

This survey research study was commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development. The research objectives are to assess New Mexico business leaders’ perceptions of the influence of money in politics, campaign finance reform and transparency, the effects of crony capitalism on government corruption, and proposals the New Mexico state Legislature may consider to change transparency laws and the campaign finance system. This study tracks results to the 2015 and 2016 studies, where applicable.

251 business leaders from across the state were surveyed between December and January and identified the following areas of concerns:

  • Consistent with the 2016 study, nearly nine-in-ten (86%) business leaders in New Mexico say that big campaign donors have either a great deal of impact (39%) or some impact (47%) on state government corruption.
  • The vast majority (88%) of business leaders continue to say the ethical behavior of state elected officials over the past twenty years has been either a somewhat (40%) or very serious (48%) issue.
  • Consistent with the previous study, approximately two-thirds (64%) of New Mexico business leaders feel that greater transparency is needed in regards to the disclosure of political contributions.

New Mexico’s business leaders were also asked to rate their level of support for proposals that the state Legislature may consider adopting. Consistent with the previous studies, the vast majority of leaders support each proposal tested. In fact, support for each proposal has risen since the previous studies.

  • Over nine-in-ten (92%) leaders somewhat (17%) or strongly support (75%) the proposal requiring all political contributions and expenditures from individuals, corporations, political action committees (PACs), non-profits, or unions be made public.
  • Over eight-in-ten (83%) leaders say they somewhat or strongly support the creation of an independent Ethics Commission to establish and enforce rules regarding the ethical behavior and actions of state officials. Of note, 82% were supportive in the 2016 study and 76% were supportive in the 2015 study.
  • The vast majority (89%) of business leaders either strongly (66%) or somewhat support (23%) continuing to place limits on how much individuals and PACs can give to candidates. The percentage of leaders who are strongly supportive has increased since the previous study (66% currently compared to 59% in the 2016 study).
  • An increase since the 2016 study, nearly nine-in-ten (88%) leaders currently say they somewhat or strongly support reforming New Mexico’s gross receipts tax laws and exemptions (79% were supportive in the 2016 study).
  • Eight-in-ten (79%) leaders say they somewhat or strongly support restricting the number of no-bid contracts that are given to private businesses by state government (77% were supportive in the 2016 study).