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Morning Word

Morning Word, 09-05-12

The New Mexico news recap

September 5, 2012, 12:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
In two months, we will know who will be occupying the White House for the next four years. We will also know if New Mexico's Senate race is crucial to control of the U.S. Senate. At this time, the path to the presidency and control of the Senate looks like it will be contested in other states. The traditional large swing states of Florida and Ohio again look to be key for the Presidency -- while North Dakota and Florida are looking like key Senate contests.

This doesn't mean that there won't be any intrigue in New Mexico. It will just be on downballot races like the state House and state Senate. State Republicans are hoping to take the state House and cut the deficit in the state Senate -- a large task made no easier by the wind at the backs seemingly strengthening for Democrats across the state.

But if the Senate race continues to trend towards Martin Heinrich and Romney can't close the gap on Obama, look at more and more attention to be on the state races.

Onto the Word:
  • The latest in the saga of Governor Susana Martinez officials and their use of private emails to do public business -- and avoid Inspection of Public Records Act requests -- comes with an AP story on how Martinez chief of staff Keith Gardner is allegedly caught on tape saying why he used private email accounts.
    Speaking at a news conference held in his office, Bregman, a Democrat, said the secret recording is of a conversation between Gardner and a friend, Brian Powell of Roswell. Powell told Bregman he made the recording when he and Gardner were having a conversation about family issues. Powell, who works for the Roswell Fire Department, did not tell Gardner he was recording him, and it’s unclear why he was recording him.

    “That’s why I never email on my state email … anything that can come back and bite,” said a voice that Bregman claims belongs to Gardner. “ … I never use my email because it’s all done on different stuff. … I don’t want to go to court [or] jail.”
    The good news for Gardner and the Martinez administration is that they allegations of hiding public business have not caught on with the public.
  • KOB has the full audio released by prominent lawyer Sam Bregman.
    Gardner said by releasing the audio and implying that it was about state business, Sam Bregman violated the rules of professional conduct he's supposed to follow as a lawyer.
  • Milan Simonich has Gardner's full reaction.
    "Sam Bregman today crossed the line," Gardner said. "He tried to use a snippet of a private conversation about two young girls in a sexual assault case to mislead the press. He knew what he was telling the press was false and he knew that his actions would result in identifying my female relative in the case. Bregman should be embarrassed as a lawyer and utterly ashamed on a personal level."
  • The Albuquerque Journal continues its series on the stances of Senate candidates Heather Wilson and Martin Heinrich on key issues. In this edition, they look at their stances on the border and immigration. Read the story on Wilson here. And Heinrich here.
  • Simonich also stays on the New Mexico Finance Authority fake audit beat and looks at the fallout.
  • The Albuquerque Journal writes about the complicated Paseo del Norte / I-25 funding and what it would fund.
  • The New York Daily News says Martinez has a national political future.
  • With no New Mexicans speaking at the Democratic National Convention, the Albuquerque Journal decided to not send a reporter to the conference as they did the Republican National Convention, where Martinez had a high-profile speaking spot.
  • NM Politics.net looks at what drives U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan. Lujan is favored heavily to win reelection in New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.
  • Winthrop Quigley writes about the tribes in New Mexico, a powerful political entity in the state, fear the Medicaid overhaul.
  • Prosecutors in the Doug Vaughan Ponzi scheme trial are accused of reneging on key terms of their plea deal.
  • An investigation into embezzlement at the Farmington Convention and Vistors Bureau is ongoing, but not as quick as some would hope.
    Questions first centered around whether the investigation was hampered by a lack of resources but quickly shifted after city councilor Mary Fischer asked about two individuals included in the police report.

    "Two of the key players, whether they had anything to do with (the embezzlement) or not, have not yet been interviewed," she said.
  • New Mexicans are reportedly kind of generous.
  • The Mora County Sheriff was suspended after he ordered a deputy to release a DWI suspect.
  • State Rep. Mimi Stewart is at the Democratic National Convention and, as usual, minces no words.
  • A quality of life gross receipts tax went down in Ruidoso Downs.
  • There is apparently a sex offender conference in Albuquerque which is as controversial as it sounds.
  • Awesome news for skiers and snowboarders -- Taos Ski Valley got approval from the U.S. Forest Service to expand its expert terrain by 60 percent. The challenging ski area is already the biggest in the state.
  • Las Cruces finished the fiscal year $3 million in the black.

 

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