Open Books: Fun facts: During the 2009 fiscal year, the New Mexico State Investment Council contracted New York-based law firm Pomerantz, Haudek, Grossman & Gross for more than $1.5 million in attorney services. The state also ordered $24,609 in kitchen supplies from Sysco.

There's a hat tip in order for Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, the driving force behind a new database that tracks all contractors earning upward of $20,000 from the state. The database went live Jan. 1, as "the first step in moving the state of New Mexico to a full sunshine portal where the entire state's checkbook is on[line]," James Hallinan, Denish's latest acting spokesman, tells SFR. Hallinan says Denish plans to introduce legislation for such a portal during the 2010 session, "but I can't promise you that." State Sen. Sander Rue, R-Bernalillo, may have beat Denish to the punch. Rue's pre-filed SB 42, "Transparency in Government Act," proposes just that: an online website that shows the state's budget, expenditures and other financials.

And In Another Campaign: Much speculation has circulated about the career plans of Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano, who announced on Jan. 2 his withdrawal from the 2010 lieutenant governor race via his blog, citing donors' hesitation as "the beginning of a death blow to my campaign." As of October, Solano had raised less than $20,000.

"It was disappointing to not do better, but I still have a lot of hope for the future," Solano tells SFR. Solano has another year as sheriff, but he also has his fingers in another pie: the District of New Mexico US Marshal position, for which he's a finalist.

"My name is one of three that are on President Obama's desk, so I'm waiting for a decision from them," Solano says. Solano applied for the marshal position in December 2008 and was interviewed last March. "The President has been very much tied up in the economy and the war, so there's probably a good reason they've held off," Solano says. "It's not like he's appointing other states and ignoring New Mexico."

And if the marshal position goes to another candidate?

"I haven't thought beyond that yet," Solano says.

Gone EVO Gone: EVO Gallery, since 2006 a cornerstone of the Santa Fe Railyard District's contemporary art scene, "has left the Railyard," EVO founder Amanda Innes confirmed to SFR on Jan. 2. Innes promises to deliver more specific information within a week.

"It's easy to speculate in this economy, when changes are afoot, that they're always bad," Innes says. "But that's not [necessarily] the case."