NM Telegram will have more on this internal poll, including releasing the short polling memo, later today.
As usual, the caveat that campaigns will not release polls that are not good news for their campaigns.
On to the Word:
- Prominent political predictor says Heinrich is likely to win.
- Interesting polling numbers on the trust in media among New Mexicans from The Garrity Group, which commissioned a poll from Research & Polling, Inc. looking at the question. Democrats are more trusting of the media on all mass media coverage (newspapers, local and national TV and radio) while Republicans were only more trusting on conversations with friends.
- The price of expanding Medicaid would be initially offset by additional tax revenues, the Legislative Finance Committee said in a report.
The Human Services Department estimates it will cost the state about $413 million from 2014 through 2020 to expand Medicaid as called for under federal law. An additional $6 billion in federal money should flow into the state to cover those medical services during the same time.
The LFC analysis assumes the state will collect additional money from income and sales taxes as well as taxes on insurance premiums if Medicaid is expanded. The health care industry — from doctors and hospitals to businesses providing medical supplies — is a major part of the state's economy.
- New Mexico's Lottery Scholarship fund, which pays in-state tuition for New Mexico high school graduates, will run out of money in the next fiscal year if nothing is changed. One potential fix is making the scholarship worth less than the full tuition cost.
- NRDC Action Fund released poll results in swing states that shows undecided voters "decisively favor candidates for president and Congress who support clean air and clean energy policies over candidates who don’t, according to eight new state-specific surveys."
New Mexico was considered one of those swing states.
- The question of NMSU campus President Barbara Couture's leave is shrouded in secrecy.
Thursday's memo was sent to counter reports that Couture, "has been placed on leave, which is incorrect," according to the message, which was sent from the email account of NMSU Vice President Ben Woods, who oversees external relations.Who knows what is going on down in Las Cruces?
Campus officials have refused to answer questions as to the type of leave of absence that Couture was on. News broke Tuesday that Couture was on unspecified leave, but no one would say why.
The memo, in addition, stated that "there have been erroneous reports that Executive Vice President/Provost Wendy Wilkins has taken the role of "acting president.'"
- Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura says former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson should be allowed in the debates with President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. No word if Ventura blames the Illuminati for Johnson's exclusion.
- Local alternative energy company Sacred Power Corp. received a $4 million contract with the U.S. Navy for solar panels.
- Chuck Todd of NBC News had good things to say about female Republican candidates, including Heather Wilson:
And the three best campaigns on the Republican side being run, I would argue, are Heather Wilson in New Mexico, Linda Lingle in Hawaii and Linda McMahon. They're in blue states and they had to run good races. The Republicans get them.One thing all three have in common -- they are trailing their Democratic opponents.
- The Santa Fe Reporter dug deeper into the role of the state fair commission. The Santa Fe alt-weekly has been digging deep into the questions of the Downs at Albuquerque.
"They are not elected officials," Michael Henningsen, Expo's spokesman, wrote in an email to SFR in August (emphasis his). "They are supposed to move the Governor's agenda forward, and if they disagree with the Governor's agenda, then, quite frankly, they should do the right, respectable thing and resign their appointed post(s)."
- A report looked at the pay disparities between public and private sector employees.
- Sen. Tom Udall named Taos native Michael Collins as his chief of staff.
- Industry groups don't like a proposed rule on fracking that would put more regulations into the controversial practice.
- Capitol Report New Mexico looks at the least competitive legislative races.
- Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar named Valle de Oro and Rio Mora as Wildlife Refuges on Thursday. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall and the Democrat running to replace Bingaman, Heinrich, were on hand for the announcement.
“I’d like to thank Secretary Salazar, county officials and city leaders for making the establishment of a wildlife refuge in Albuquerque a priority. Bringing this land into public ownership will give residents and visitors alike access to a beautiful natural space right here in our state’s largest city,” Bingaman said. "The creation of the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is also great news for New Mexico. This new refuge gives New Mexicans and tourists another great reason to visit the northern part of our state, helping to support those local economies.”
“The Valle De Oro is an urban refuge where citizens and students will have easy access to learn and enjoy all this beautiful space has to offer," said Udall. "I'd like to thank President Obama and Secretary Salazar for all of their hard work to bring the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest to New Mexico, and for making the old Price's Dairy part of America's Great Outdoors initiative.”
“Too many kids get more television time than outdoor time, but this new wildlife refuge is our opportunity to change that,” said. Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-1). “This wildlife refuge will help New Mexico kids discover the incredible natural heritage of our state, and it represents an important investment in their health and well-being.”