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Morning Word

Morning Word, 11-08-12

Election recaps continue

November 8, 2012, 12:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
Time for a breath or two. The staff and candidates of winning campaigns can relax for the first time in weeks or, depending on the intensity and closeness of the race, months.

The candidates and staff of the campaigns that did not win will reflect to see if there is anything they could have done -- and perhaps regroup for another run.

The final count on the race seems to show the Democrats expanding their lead in the state House to six or eight legislators -- considerably more cushion than after the 2010 elections -- and perhaps a signal that Gov. Susana Martinez will need to come to the bargaining table with Democrats.

As for at NM Telegram, Wednesday was a busy day. There was a recap of the Democrats expanding their House holdings, of Republicans making gains in the Senate and looks at how Bernalillo County continues to be fertile Democratic territory and how Michelle Lujan Grisham's victory in the 1st Congressional District was historic.

Speaking on NM Telegram news, catch me this morning from 8:00 to 9:00 on KUNM's call-in show. That is 89.9 on your radio dial or kunm.org online.

On to the Word:
  • The legislative races were not kind to Gov. Susana Martinez, according to Milan Simonich.
    Voters ousted Gov. Susana Martinez’s handpicked successor as the district attorney of Dona Ana County.

    They rejected Martinez’s appointees to the state Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, electing Democrats instead.

    And three Republican district judges that Martinez appointed in Dona Ana County — all former subordinates of hers when she was district attorney — lost their seats on the bench.
    The biggest failure, of course, was not getting rid of Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez -- and perhaps even emboldening him.
  • An email leaked to the Santa Fe Reporter shows how the big money came into the state for Gov. Susana Martinez's team.
    After obtaining this email, SFR pored through campaign finance reports, filed public records requests and made countless calls. Efforts to contact the governor’s office and officials affiliated with her campaign committee, her political action committee (Susana PAC) and Reform New Mexico Now were referred back to one man: Jay McCleskey, who is behind all three committees. It’s a stunning example of how, in just two years, New Mexico’s political landscape has transformed.
    A very interesting read.
  • The Associated Press has a look at the legislative races in New Mexico.
    Although several races remained tight and the outcome uncertain, Democrats expect a net gain of three seats for a possible 39-31 majority. House Democrats currently hold a slim 36-33 edge and there's one independent.
  • The Albuquerque Journal's take:
    And while Republicans will pick up at least three seats in the Senate from Tuesday’s election, likely trimming the Democratic advantage in the chamber to 25-17, they will go into the 2013 session outnumbered in both the House and Senate – as they have been for the past 26 years. That’s despite sustained efforts by Gov. Susana Martinez and other Republicans to take control of the House for the first time since 1954.
  • The one race still up for grabs:
  • What happens if they tie? According to New Mexico law:
    In the event of a tie vote between any candidates in the election for the same office, the determination as to which of the candidates shall be declared to have been nominated or elected shall be decided by lot. The method of determining by lot shall be agreed upon by a majority of a committee consisting of the tied candidates, the county chairmen of the political parties that participated in the election and the district judge. The county canvassing board shall issue the certificate of nomination or election to the candidate chosen by lot.
  • KOB speaks to Senate President Pro Tem after his loss. Capitol Report New Mexico spoke to Jennings as well.
    “It’s not a real big surprise,” Jennings said of his ouster. After all, the district has grown decidely more Republican and Pirtle emphasized on the stump that after 34 years, it was time for a change in District 32. “But I think Susana has created a monster,” Jennings said, “exposing hate and destruction around here just like we’re seeing in politics in other states and on the national level that I think is a disservice.”
  • KOB tries to speak to the Sandoval County Clerk after the voting fiasco in Rio Rancho that caused many voters to wait in excess of three hours to vote.
  • The Associated Press looked at the causes of the long lines.
    Delays were blamed on high turnout and a switch from precinct polling sites to centralized voting centers. [...] Critics also blamed delays on the state's move from straight party voting and a ballot with a number of questions.
    As someone who has never voted straight-ticket, it didn't take me any longer than it usually did.
  • The Rio Rancho Observer reported on the wait times but there isn't anything new in the story.
  • Gov. Martinez delivered pizza and water to those in line.
    “The governor spent several hours between two polling places distributing food and water to weary voters who had been in line for three, four or five hours,” Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said Wednesday.

    “She was there to help make them as comfortable as possible, given that they were facing voting challenges that were unprecedented and not occurring elsewhere in the state.”
    I haven't heard any allegations of electioneering by Martinez while she was delivering the pizza.
  • San Juan County, meanwhile, had no major problems with its voting convenience centers according to the Farmington Daily-Times.
    San Juan County's polling stations processed more than 46,000 ballots Tuesday with only a few minor and isolated issues. The general election was the first big test for the county clerk's Voting Convenience Center model. Voters were able to cast their ballots at any of the 23 centers, rather than being tied to a neighborhood precinct.
  • The Los Alamos Daily Post looks at the elections in Los Alamos. Included, the big victory by Stephanie Garcia Richard in House District 43.
  • The Taos News says that Taos County stayed true blue.
    Taos County voters gave Democrats a clean sweep of local, state and national races, including overwhelming support of Barack Obama in his successful re-election bid, U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep Ben Ray Luján.
    The piece notes that Heinrich won 75 percent of the vote in the county -- but Tom Udall won 87 percent of the vote in 2008. Amazing -- although Udall had the benefit of a Democratic wave election and representing the area for years before his Senate race while facing a much more conservative opponent.
  • Ray Begaye's least favorite reporter, Gadi Schwartz, reports on Begaye losing on Tuesday night:
    Over the past few months, KOB Eyewitness News investigative reporter Gadi Schwartz discovered representative Ray Begaye was ripping off taxpayers while traveling to out-of-state conferences and using his power to ask judges for favors. There is still no word on whether Begaye will face charges, but the voters have spoken and Begaye has been voted out of office.
  • Now that elections are over (mostly), legislators will again start meeting.

    The Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee meets at the Roundhouse today and tomorrow.


  • Reps. Jim Hall and Conrad James, each who lost elections on Tuesday, sit on this committee.

    The Water & Natural Resources Committee will meet at the Roundhouse today and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority tomorrow.

    Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, Reps. Ray Begaye and Andy Nuñez all sit on the committee. The three lost their bids for reelection. Senate Majority Leader Tim Jennings is on the committee in an advisory role.

    The Disabilities Concerns Subcommittee will meet tomorrow at the Roundhouse.
  • Hey, time for 2016 talk.
     
  • The chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee won't be a New Mexican for the first time since 2001. It as in 2001 that Bingaman held the post. From 2003-2007, when
  • The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended keeping post traumatic stress disorder as a qualifier for medical marijuana in New Mexico.
    Ulwelling's argument against marijuana for PTSD hinge over the lack of peer-reviewed studies out there that link marijuana as proper treatment for the condition. Still, many anecdotal studies show a positive connection, and most on both sides of the argument agree that federal restrictions on marijuana are to blame for low number of studies.Ulwelling also argues that PSTD sufferers are more vulnerable to addiction and that marijuana is linked to psychosis. Yet studies on both of those arguments are either conflicting or lacking.
    The final say on whether or not to keep it is up to interim Health Secretary Brad McGrath.
  • The New Mexico Drug Policy Alliance was heartened.
    “We applaud the Medical Advisory Board’s compassionate and evidenced-based recommendation,” said Emily Kaltenbach, the NM State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance. “We urge the Secretary of Health to promptly accept their recommendation. Patients deserve, above all, the freedom to choose the safest and most effective treatment for their debilitating conditions.”
  • Restaraunt folks are not happy about the Albuquerque minimum wage increase.
    During its campaign against the minimum wage increase, [New Mexico Restaurant Association CEO Carol] Wight’s organization said boosting the minimum wage and indexing it to the rate of inflation would cause small employers, especially restaurants, to lay off workers.
  • The man accused of threatening Gov. Martinez was released from jail. KOB has been following the story.
    Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist told KOB that James Sanchez is being released because a judge changed the conditions of his release, removing the $100,000 cash only bond and changing it to $5,000 cash surety.
  • AG Gary King wants open enrollment for Medicare to be extended for two months.
  • The Weekly Alibi looks at the Cult of Hatch. Or, rather, the Myth of Hatch.
  • Alex De Vore of the Santa Fe New Mexican looks at the musical choices of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
    In honor of this week’s presidential election, I thought I’d take a look at what playlists [still] President Obama and Mitt Romney have been using during their respective campaigns and discuss some of the implications thereof.
  • There is a lost and found box for items left at Dona Ana County polls. The photo makes me think... who brings a lock with them to the polling station? And why?
  • Hashtag: MovingOn
     
  • Obama had a great night. He even won a high school mock election in Los Alamos.

 

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