This Is How Far Politicians Will Go for Campaign Cash

Approximately 10,500 feet—vertically—in the case of New Mexico’s GOP Gov. Susana Martinez.

Andres Leighton/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Politicians go to great lengths to please their donors, but New Mexico’s GOP governor Susan Martinez is taking things to a new level. This weekend, she plans to skydive into a fundraiser attended by corporate donors.

Martinez, who has been likened to Sarah Palin (both for her personality and her vice presidential potential) is making the jump to raise money for the Republican speaker of New Mexico’s House of Representatives, Don Tripp. The fundraiser will be attended primarily by corporate lobbyists, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican:

“Nearly 50 corporations, lobbyists and individuals are listed as sponsors of the fundraiser, which will help in the Republican effort during the 2016 elections to maintain control of the state House. The GOP last year won a majority in the House for the first time since 1954. Republicans have a 37-33 advantage over Democrats.”

Among the listed sponsors are natural gas giant Devon Energy, United Healthcare, railroad company BNSF, and “virtual school” company K-12 Inc.

The minimum donation for watching Martinez defy death is a fairly reasonable $75. Organizers expect about 100 people to attend.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest