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Morning Word: Dark Money and Sugary Drinks. Ahhh...

April 5, 2017, 7:30 am

Dark Money in Soda Tax Game
Smart Progress New Mexico is a new independent expenditure group that's running anti-tax radio ads in Santa Fe. But it hasn't filed any campaign finance documents with the city. The city argues it must, but the group's organizer says to have a Coke and a smile and, ahem, sit down.

More Dark Money
Meanwhile at City Hall, the Ethics and Campaign Review Board dismissed two campaign finance complaints filed by a former city councilor. Both political committees for and against the tax failed to check a box on their latest report that would let the public know there was dark money (which means it comes from a group that doesn't have to disclose its donors) at play in the election. The board will issue an advisory opinion, though, for future elections.

Gov Mulls Budget Options
Still no word about the budget from on high-ish at the Roundhouse's fourth floor, where the governor has until noon on Friday to sign a budget and other bills. As the Word pointed out yesterday, she could try to close the more than $100 million gap between spending and revenue by line-item vetoing various measures. So far, though, her favored option has seemed to be calling the Legislature back for a special session.

The Gov's in Tennessee
While she mulls the final bill-signing decisions she has to make, Gov. Susana Martinez made a quick trip to Tennessee to speak at a law enforcement conference. The former district attorney was set to encourage women to take on leadership positions in law enforcement.

Outcry Overblown?
When New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera told Santa Fe Public Schools her department was investigating the "Snow Day for Action" rally, Skandera said people were concerned about their tax dollars being used for political purposes. The Albuquerque Journal asked to see complaints to the department. Its request yielded one. Two if you're generous.

The Glowing Rod of Economic Prosperity
Sounds like something from the lost and horribly boring public policy-based fourth book in the Lord of the Rings series, doesn't it? There's a plan to store spent nuclear fuel rods in New Mexico, and supporters are lobbying for a license out in DC. That kind of storage is considered high-level waste, as opposed to the low-level trash at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. The state Board of Finance approved a deal for the land last fall. It's between Carlsbad and Hobbs.

Raising New Mexico
Seeking to "minimize the risk" of making another coaching pick who doesn't deliver wins to the UNM mens basketball program, Lobo Athletic Director Paul Krebs is trying to keep quiet about the names being considered for the top job. The Word thinks the choice may have already been divined, and Krebs may have had a night or two spent like HI McDunnough of Raising Arizona; the Lone Coach of the Apocalypse hurtling inexorably toward The Pit. But probably that's wrong.

SF to Consider New Banks
After some soul-searching regarding Wells Fargo's role as both banker to the city of Santa Fe and player in the Dakota Access Pipeline, the city has asked if other banks are interested in handling Santa Fe's money for the next four years. The contract ends at the end of this year.

Thanks for reading! The Word thinks it's okay if you make impromptu plans to watch all of Raising Arizona tonight.

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