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Morning Word: Denied

June 27, 2017, 7:30 am

US Supreme Court denies NM Gold King claim
On the final day of its term, the Supreme Court said New Mexico doesn't have the right to sue the state of Colorado for damage caused by the Gold King Mine spill in 2015. The decision was another blow to the state, which heard from the Environmental Protection Agency last year that it wouldn't pay damages from the spill it caused. New Mexico still has suits pending against the feds and the mine's owners.

House ethics panel looks into Rep. Ben Ray Lujan
The House Ethics Committee is examining whether the Northern New Mexico congressman violated ethics rules by using in fundraising material a picture of himself on the House floor during a sit-in in June 2016. Rep. Lujan and others were protesting a Republican move to not allow votes on gun control measures. A right-leaning group filed the complaint against Lujan. The committee has 45 days to decide whether it's worthy of a full investigation.

If you show me yours
Roll Call, the ubiquitous Capitol Hill publication, focuses on Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in a story about members of Congress who want Donald Trump to release his tax returns, but don't want to release their own. A spokesman says it's not common for representatives to release their tax returns and points out Lujan's financial disclosure shows less than $150,000 in assets. He says if Lujan decides to run for president, he'll release his returns.

Rank and file
Nine years ago, 65 percent of voters in a citywide election committed Santa Fe to ranked-choice voting. The system is designed to ensure that the winner of an election in which there are more than two candidates gets over 50 percent of the vote. But the ballot question back in 2008 said the city had to make the switch to the system when it became available and reasonably priced. That time may be drawing near

A plague upon us
State health officials have confirmed two more cases of plague in Santa Fe County. That makes three this year; none of them has been fatal. That's similar to last year, when four cases were reported with no deaths. Plague is transmitted by fleas, which can come in contact with people directly or through contact with infected animals.

Bank on it
There's another bank merger in the works. Peoples Bank, which has branches up in Red River and Taos, is being bought by National Bank Holdings. Meanwhile, Santa Fe continues to reexamine its use of local banks and consider the idea of chartering a public, city-owned bank. 

Lobos land mens basketball transfer
Not all news from Loboland is dismal. New coach Paul Weir landed transfer Vance Jackson from the University of Connecticut. Jackson signed with the much-higher-profile UConn program out of high school. He'll have to sit out a year before playing, but the announcement puts New Mexico's mens basketball program in the news for a good reason—something the school has to love.

Yuch of the draw
All right, funny people, it's time to put your creativity where your mouth is. If you or someone you know can draw—even a little—and is constantly splitting sides with incisive quips, enter SFR's political cartoon contest. You only have five days left. As with our poetry contest, you'll get published if you make the cut and our grand prize winner gets $100 to lavish upon yourself or your friends at Second Street Brewery. Sharpen those pencils! 

Thanks for reading! The Word can't draw. Even a little.

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