Scrabblegate!: On Feb. 2, Jeff Martin, organizer of National Scrabble Association Club No. 542, emailed his members with sad news: “We are once again temporarily homeless,” Martin wrote. “[We] have been evicted by the mayor’s campaign staff as they are worried that we might be harboring spies.” A copy of the email was forwarded to SFR.
The club had been meeting in a room at the south-side strip mall that’s home to Pier 1 Imports, Blue Corn Café and, more recently, the campaign headquarters of Mayor David Coss.
Two days after Martin’s email, Adam Kokesh, the Republican challenger to US Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, posted to Twitter about the Coss campaign’s fear of “Scrabble-playing spies.” In an earlier tweet, Kokesh shared his excitement about an upcoming Scrabble session. (“Yay!!!” he wrote.)
Evidently the Coss campaign feared Kokesh or his followers might use their access to the campaign office space to do some political recon for Coss opponent Asenath Kepler. Kokesh has expressed support for Kepler and, although the city race is nonpartisan, Kepler and Kokesh share some supporters and a party affiliation.
In a letter published in the Feb. 8 Santa Fe New Mexican, Scrabble clubber Randy Forrester called Coss’ actions “mean-spirited and paranoid” and “one more reason not to vote for him.”
Coss campaign manager Sandra Wechsler defends the move. “No reasonable person would give keys to their office to their opponent,” Wechsler tells SFR.
Kokesh did not immediately return an email.
Records Sealed for Local Exec: SFR has learned that 1st Judicial District Judge Sarah Singleton has granted Thornburg Investment Management Managing Director Joshua Gonze’s request to seal his latest divorce records. In his request to do so, Gonze cites SFR’s report on the long record of domestic abuse allegations against him.
Further publicity based upon the court file, Gonze’s lawyer David Standridge writes in a motion, might cause Gonze to lose his job—and thus, his “ability to pay child support and alimony.”
Preserving Gonze and his family’s privacy—as well as Gonze’s ability to make media appearances as an “expert in his field”—“outweighs the need for the general public’s access,” Standridge writes.
In 2006, a different attorney for Gonze persuaded retired District Judge James Hall to seal police and court records about an incident in which Gonze left his son unattended in a car. The Santa Fe Police Department treated that case as a child abuse incident, but former District Attorney Henry Valdez’ office declined to pursue charges.