Today, Albuquerque taxpayers are demanding that the City Council of Albuquerque’s donation to Planned Parenthood be canceled or returned because it violates the New Mexico Constitution. They believe that the city violated the Anti-Donation Clause of the New Mexico Constitution when, on May 16, 2022, it appropriated $250,000 of public money to a sponsorship of Planned Parenthood of New Mexico. The taxpayers are threatening to file a lawsuit in state court if action is not taken to rescind the illegal donation at an Aug. 15, 2022, council meeting.
Albuquerque taxpayers are represented by attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center, a national, nonprofit, Supreme Court-winning law firm. Managing Attorney Daniel Suhr sent a demand letter to the City Council on Friday, Aug. 12, outlining how the council’s actions are illegal and clearly violate New Mexico’s protections against political abuse of taxpayer funds through donations.
Daniel Suhr, managing attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, said, “This donation undermines longstanding protections in the state constitution preventing the abuse of public funds for political purposes. Government entities are barred from making no-strings-attached donations to benefit private organizations and individuals. If the donation is not returned to the city, our attorneys are prepared to file suit to enforce the New Mexico Constitution on behalf of our clients and every taxpayer in Albuquerque who does not want their tax dollars to be used to advance the political pet projects of a few city councilors.”
From the demand letter:
“The City Council’s appropriation of $250,000 to Planned Parenthood in the wake of the leak of the Dobbs decision is a political stunt, a gift, and an appropriation of something of value, not a bona fide contract for services. The City Council clearly has not required any consideration in exchange for its sponsorship of Planned Parenthood. It is a gift to Planned Parenthood, no strings attached. New Mexico court precedents and opinions of the attorney general’s office show that the sponsorship of Planned Parenthood is a donation.”