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Morning Word

Morning Word, 07-18-12

The New Mexico news recap

July 18, 2012, 12:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
I wrote in yesterday's Word how the U.S. Senate race is heating up. And the rest of the just proved how right I was. A new poll came out, a hard-hitting ad that a news station said accused a candidate of poisoning children (somewhat dubiously) and announcements of another major group ready to dip its toes in the race. Not to mention the release of a new positive ad by one of the candidates.

But the big news is probably more leaked emails from top Republicans in a big piece by the Santa Fe Reporter (NM Telegram's partner in running the Morning Word and where you are reading this right now).

On to the Word:
  • We have to lead off with the revealing story from the Reporter on those emails. The story is chock full of emails from Rogers to Martinez administration officials on issues such as staffing.
    SFR obtained these emails from Michael Corwin, formerly a researcher for Gov. Bill Richardson. Corwin runs Independent Source PAC, a union-backed political action committee opposed to Martinez. Previous emails leaked by Corwin to media outlets created an uproar about administration officials’ use of private email accounts to conduct state business, which may enable them to circumvent state records laws that allow the public to inspect emails on official government accounts. Unlike the previous leaks, this one is much more extensive and almost exclusively comprises emails sent by Rogers to administration officials.

    Scott Darnell, the governor’s spokesman, referred SFR to the “multi-paragraph” statement Martinez issued on June 18 directing all state employees to use public email addresses when conducting state business. “This directive goes beyond what has been required or practiced in the past in New Mexico,” the statement reads.
    Rogers declined to comment for the story beyond impugning the journalistic ethics of the reporters and even suggesting they were breaking federal and state law.
  • The aforementioned Senate poll shows Heinrich leading Wilson by 5 percent, much like the previous public polling on the race. More on this later this morning from the Word.
  • Thomas Cole looks at the interesting dynamic of Attorney General Gary King running against Susana Martinez even as he investigates her administration.
  • KOB says that an ad from the Sierra Club accuses Wilson of voting to poison children. Another reading of the ad might say it accuses Wilson of allowing a chemical with potentially adverse affects on children (MTBE) to be put in gasoline and that she later voted to bar lawsuits against the companies.
  • An ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which Politico first reported would enter the state) is airing in New Mexico now. It is a positive ad which highlights Wilson's commitment to the energy industry, saying she helps create jobs. It is pretty much the direct opposite of the environmental ads that have blanketed the state in recent weeks and can be seen as the first step in countering the environmental groups' ads.

    More on both of these ads later today at NM Telegram...
  • Heath Haussamen says the Las Cruces Tea Party's flying of the Confederate flag at a 4th of July parade is indefensible. Aside from the moral failings of airing the flag from a part of the country that rebelled against he United States in an attempt to keep a race of human beings as slaves, Haussamen says it is a failure of history (the LCTP's defense):
    The technical problems with their attempt have already been discussed widely, so I’ll mention them only quickly here: The Confederate flag probably never flew over New Mexico; if any flag of the Confederacy ever did, as local historian (and occasional NMPolitics.net contributor) Christopher Schurtz pointed out, it was probably the Stars and Bars.

    Second, the Tea Party failed to include Spanish or Mexican flags on its float. Both have had a much greater and more lasting impact in New Mexico than the Stars and Bars. Any attempt to recognize this state’s history that fails to include those aspects falls far short.
  • New Mexico's two U.S. Senators are looking at a potential global small arms treaty that the National Rifle Association vehemently opposes. With the NRA against the treaty, and Republicans fearful to cross the powerful lobbying organization, the odds of the treaty getting the votes necessary to pass the Senate are around the same as me winning the Powerball.
  • From the New Mexican:
    Members of the Santa Fe County Commission and the Santa Fe City Council plan a joint meeting Thursday to review annexation strategy.

    The local governments have fallen behind on a 2008 plan for the city to annex about 10,000 acres in three phases over a five-year period, after which no other changes to the city limits would occur for 20 years.
  • Another vote for the school grading system as being confusing, from the Rio Rancho Observer:
    Miller, the executive director of research, assessment, data and accountability for Rio Rancho Public Schools, told school board members at their meeting Monday evening that she had a “brief” report on the new school grades, released last week by the state Public Education Department.

    That “brief” report lasted 54 minutes and, when she was finished, she still had board members confused. That’s only fair because it seems educators, administrators and parents are scratching their heads, wondering what it all means, namely due to the complex scoring system.
    I'd hate to see what a detailed presentation would have looked like.
  • ProgressNow New Mexico blames the loss of a Silver City call center on Bain Capital, the asset management firm once run by Mitt Romney that has come under fire for outsourcing jobs.

 

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