Sept. 28, 2016
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Morning Word: New Poll Shows Meteor Crash Outshines Clinton, Trump

June 30, 2016, 7:40 am
Poll: Some Americans Favor Meteor Crash over Party Candidates 
OK, this is just bizarre, but a new poll shows that 13 percent of likely voters favor an object falling from space and crashing into earth more than electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump president.

The timing of the poll is perfect, since today is Asteroid Day, according to Space.com

Mum's the Word
Gov. Susana Martinez may be the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, but Dan Boyd has learned so far she has no plans to speak at the Republican presidential nominating convention in Cleveland next month. Maybe that shouldn't be a surprise, since Martinez still hasn't endorsed her party's presumptive nominee.

No Access 
Joey Peters reports Martinez administration officials won’t release an itemized accounting of the governor’s contingency fund. They claim it's not subject to open government laws.
The fund is unusual in that, unlike most state government accounts filled with public money, the state Legislature exempts it from required annual audits. But after NM Political Report filed an Inspection of Public Records Act request with the governor’s office this spring for six years worth of expense documents associated with the contingency fund, the office only provided broad summaries of the expenses.
Tracking Campaign Finance Reports 
Speaking of government transparency, New Mexico In Depth is partnering with the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and planning two seminars on how you can follow the money in this fall’s general election campaigns.

Libertarians Concerned about Johnson's Poll Standing 
New Mexico Political Report’s Andy Lyman says members of the Libertarian Party, including Austin Petersen, who lost his own bid for the group’s presidential nomination in May, are expressing concerns that former Gov. Gary Johnson still hasn’t reached 15 percent in national polls, which he needs to qualify for the presidential debates.
“It’s definitely time to worry because the national election is in November and that’s going to sneak up on us,” Petersen said.

One of Johnson’s mistakes, Petersen said, was trying to appeal to Bernie Sanders’ supporters instead of Republicans who don’t agree with their party’s nominee.

“That in my mind was problematic because what I thought the real movement to tap into was the never-Trumpers who had no option,” Petersen said.
Group Claims BLM Biased  
Environmentalists claim the US Bureau of Land Management “favors oil and gas development over all other uses of public lands and doesn't ensure environmental protections for areas such as those near Chaco Culture National Historic Park.”
The Wilderness Society made the claim in its June 28 report, "No Exit: Fixing the BLM's Indiscriminate Energy Leasing," but oil and gas and agency officials in New Mexico argue that the BLM oversees public lands fairly with adequate consideration for all possible uses.

According to the report, "90 percent of the public lands managed by (the BLM) are open to oil and gas leasing and mineral resource extraction even in areas of little or no potential for developing these resources." That number leads to a broken multiple land use policy by the BLM and an unfair monopoly by the oil and gas industry at the expense of land use considerations such as conservation, according to the report.

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association President Steve Henke was the BLM's Farmington district manager before he joined the oil and gas advocacy group. Henke said the Wilderness Society is choosing to take "a one-sided view" of the BLM's mission without fully considering the actual land uses in place.
Millions for Indian Health Awarded
Health programs serving Native Americans in New Mexico are among dozens of nonprofits that have been awarded more $7.6 million in new federal Indian Health Service grants.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency says the grants are meant to make healthcare more accessible to Native Americans living in urban areas — and especially boost services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse treatment, immunizations, and disease prevention.

Cannabis Vote Scheduled
This November, California voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for adult social use. Time magazine reports if the referendum passes, it would mean one in every six Americans, after a decadeslong war on drugs, would have access to legal pot, including the entire West Coast.
State officials estimate the measure would raise as much as $1 billion per year in revenue and reduce public safety costs by tens of millions.
Meanwhile, patients registered to legally use medical cannabis in New Mexico claim they’re being forced to consider buying their medication on the black market because their cards are expiring faster than the health department can renew them.

Guests on today's KUNM Radio's weekly call-in show, including State Auditor Tim Keller, will discuss the delays and other cannabis-related issues for an hour, starting at 8 am.

Illegal Fireworks Easy to Find and Buy 
Kids love the fireworks that explode hundreds of feet in the air, but it’s illegal to shoot the aerials from private property. Even with the restrictions, it didn’t take a local television station long to find a business selling the illegal stuff.

Witt Picked 
Eric Witt, a staffer in former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration, will earn $105,000 managing the City and County of Santa Fe’s new joint film office.
County Manager Katherine Miller lauded the city-county collaboration as away to “maximize our limited financial and human resources, particularly in an area we both know is so valuable to our local economy.”

Mayor Javier Gonzales said Wednesday that the film industry is a “hand-in-glove fit” that he believes can bring revenues of some $100 million annually to the city and county.

 

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Morning Word: Stolen Email Lawsuit Dropped

Morning Word A federal lawsuit filed by several people who had their emails stolen by Jamie Estrada, a former Republican operative who gained control of the Gov. Susana Martinez 2010 web domain, has been dismissed. ... More

Sept. 27, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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