At the same time that the president-elect is holed up in his New York tower, he claims his transition to the White House is going ‘so smoothly,’ but journalists at Time and others report the process appears to be pretty chaotic.
Five-Year Lobbying Ban Proposed
Sounding a bit like a promotion for his old Apprentice reality show, Trump tweeted that he’s the only one who knows who the finalists are for cabinet-level appointments. Once he makes the final choices they’ll be barred from lobbying for five years. Gov. Susana Martinez has also barred her political appointees from lobbying after they return to the private sector.
High school and college students walked out of classes on Wednesday in Albuquerque to protest Trump’s election and his plans to deport millions of immigrants. Meanwhile, Santa Fe Public School officials are working to reassure immigrant students worried about their families' statuses.
During a news conference Wednesday, Superintendent Veronica García announced the start of a Student Support Helpline that students and parents can call to report bullying, harassment or similar problems related to the election’s outcome.
Administrators, teachers and staff also will undergo training on how to watch for such activity, García said, and officials are creating a “safe space” group in which immigrant children and families can meet once a week to collect information and share news.Protest Video Released by Santa Fe Cops
An attorney for three men who were arrested following a protest last Saturday say lapel camera videos released by the Santa Fe Police Department on Wednesday support their clients' claim that that they never physically pushed or battered officers.
Trump’s Department of Justice Could Wreck Police Reforms
People involved with monitoring police reform efforts in Albuquerque are, according to Dennis Domrzalski, worried that the Trump administration might not be as aggressive in enforcing the requirements of the city’s settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice.
Coupled with what some say is APD’s unwillingness to reform itself, a less aggressive enforcement effort could wreck the reform process and put APD back where it was two years ago.Udall and Heinrich Get New Leadership Roles
Peter Simonson, the executive director of ACLU of New Mexico, said a worst case scenario would be “that they change out the existing lawyers who are staffing the settlement agreement and that they just lose interest in the agreement and don’t receive the necessary resources to push for a successful conclusion.”
Before the election, Democrats were hopeful they’d regain control of the US Senate. That didn’t happen, so the state’s two senators won’t be getting any committee chairmanships in the new Congress, but Michael Coleman reports Sens. Udall and Heinrich scored some pretty good assignments on the Senate Indian Affairs committee. Heinrich will also serve as a leader on the Joint Economic committee, “a panel that reviews economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy.”
Budget Officials Plan to Restore Cash Reserves
New Mexico budget officials announced they want to set aside 5 percent of the state's annual general fund appropriations after the reserve fund was drained to offset a huge deficit. Morgan Lee over at the Associated Press reports that Finance and Administration Secretary Duffy Rodriguez told lawmakers funding the reserves could involve more spending cuts and sweeping money together from idle accounts.
Ivey-Soto Plans to Propose Alternative Ethics Panel
For years, good government advocates have urged state lawmakers to create an independent Ethics Commission, but the idea has never passed the Senate. Now, Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is proposing an alternative idea. He wants to create a New Mexico Public Accountability Board. Ivey-Soto, who gave SFR a first look at his draft legislation, is scheduled to discuss his option during a Courts, Corrections and Justice interim committee at the Roundhouse this afternoon.