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Morning Word: Campaign War Chests Well-Funded

September 13, 2016, 7:30 am
Big Money Funds Super PACS
It’s looking like a lot of money is going to be spent trying to win more legislative seats this fall. New campaign reports show political action committees are filling their war chests for the campaign battle. In the past two months, a group controlled by Gov. Susana Martinez’ political advisor Jay McCleskey raised almost $850,000 and has over $1.1 million in its account.

Key Legislatures Help Party Candidates
Meanwhile, Sandra Fish reports, “State legislators in mostly safe seats and their political action committees have funneled more than $1.3 million to candidates in competitive races."
That’s one-fifth of the $6.4 million raised by legislative candidates from 2015 through July 2 as Democrats and Republicans battle over control of the state House and Senate.
Such giving, which might resemble money laundering to some, is legal under New Mexico’s campaign finance laws. It’s typical in other states around the nation, too.
Ballot Block
Albuquerque voters won’t get to decide whether private businesses have to offer their employees in Albuquerque sick leave after a judge determined the full text of the measure, not just a summary, must appear on a future ballot.

Super Majorities Questioned
Deborah Bakers reports, “The state Supreme Court is taking another look at whether constitutional changes that got the OK from a majority of voters in previous years – but failed to reach the required 75 percent threshold – may actually be in effect.”
At issue are identical constitutional amendments from 2008 and 2014 that allowed school elections to be held in conjunction with other nonpartisan elections, and a 2010 amendment that removed the language prohibiting “idiots” and “insane persons” from voting.
The changes affect sections of the state Constitution that deal with voting and education and that require the approval of not just a majority, but three-fourths of those voting, to alter them.
The League argues that a separate provision of the Constitution makes it clear that the 75 percent rule was intended to protect rights. Because the constitutional changes not only protect rights, but enlarge them, only a majority vote is needed to change them, the League says.
Santa Fe Considers How to Keep Cops
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales and city councilors are trying to figure out how to retain more of the city’s police officers on a tight city budget.

State’s Credit Rating Could Drop
Speaking of budget woes, Bruce Krasnow reports, “The political deadlock in New Mexico over taxes and spending might cost taxpayers real money if a weaker credit rating boosts borrowing costs, Moody’s Investors Services warned Monday.” 

Indians Seek Recognition
Another tribe wants the City of Las Cruces to recognize them, according to the Las Cruces Sun News.
Representatives of Piro Pueblo de Las Cruces, descendants of the Pueblo Indians of Guadalupe Mission of El Paso del Norte — the present day Cuidad Juárez — appeared at Monday's city council work session in City Hall. The Piros told the elected body they hope to try to resolve longstanding differences that have prevented Piro, Manso and Tiwa indians in Las Cruces from obtaining formal federal recognition other native American tribes and pueblos have achieved. 
Lightning Strike Victim Recovering
A southern New Mexico woman is lucky to be alive after she and her dog, were struck by lightning August 28. Her dog is also doing well.  

Winner, Winner… Green Chile Cheeseurger Dinner
It’s one of the most popular events at the New Mexico State Fair, and yesterday the Laguna Burger won the top prize in the Green Chile Cheeseburger contest.


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