Welcome to the last day with three repeating numbers that we'll see in our lifetimes, unless we get those cryogenic devices working soon.
The Republican Party of New Mexico clearly thinks they have a winning issue when it comes to the long lines in Rio Rancho. They are now calling on Attorney General Gary King to appoint a special prosecutor look into the long lines.
"Efforts to fix the problems have been labeled as ‘grandstanding’ by some Democrats, but at issue is the integrity of the vote and the voting process," state party Executive Director Mark Knoop said in a statement. "The citizens of Sandoval County are entitled to know what went wrong and whether this was an error or it was intentional. New Mexicans must have the right to fair, open and honest elections."
The "grandstand" comment by Daymon Ely, the lawyer for two Democrats, was prompted by a motion by Republicans to overturn election results because of long lines
-- apparently what Republicans call efforts to fix long lines.
Ironically, nationwide Obama voters were more likely to stand in longer lines
than Romney voters.
And a Mitt Romney campaign consultant may have accidentally mentioned this as a benefit for Republicans nationwide
"A lot of us are campaign officials -- or campaign professionals -- and we want to do everything we can to help our side. Sometimes we think that's voter ID, sometimes we think that's longer lines -- whatever it may be," Tranter said with a laugh.
On to the Word:
- Milan Simonich says Democrats in the Senate may hold strong and elect Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, as President Pro Tem. In the past two votes, conservative Democrats have voted with Republicans to elect a more conservative Democrat for the position.
- Steve Terrell says that Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, may still seek the position.
- Ron Griggs gets a head start on the rest of the Class of 2012. Griggs was appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez to state Senate to replace Vernon Asbill, who resigned. Griggs, a former mayor of Alamogordo, was elected for a full term by voters in November.
- Thom Cole writes a column about King's office recovering more funds from Medicaid fraud in the state but that NM still ranks low in the metric.
- Politico profiles outgoing U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman.
Bingaman, 69, who will retire this month after 30 years in the Senate, seems content not to be one of the giants of the upper chamber who are memorialized in busts all over Capitol Hill. His legacy, those close to him say, will be of a quiet leader who immersed himself in complicated policy issues, neatly avoiding the partisan squabbling that has come to define the Senate in recent years.
The story also outlines Bingaman's efforts on carbon legislation.
“There’s this old description in the Senate of some being show horses and some being workhorses, and it’s pretty easy to tell the difference. Jeff Bingaman is clearly a workhorse,” said former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.). “He was always more interested in the substance of a hearing than the prospect of a press conference.”
- The Santa Fe Reporter looks at the tension between Super PACs and parties in the new era of campaigning.
- The Public Regulation Commission approved PNM's plan on renewable energy according to the Associated Press.
PNM, the largest electric utility in New Mexico, says it plans to double its amount of solar power with new and expanded arrays capable of producing 20 megawatts of electricity.
It also plans to enter into a 20-year contract to purchase 10 megawatts of geothermal power from a plant southwest of Lordsburg.
- Santa Fe County has kicked in $275,000 more for tables and other furnishings at the new courthouse -- but it won't be enough for judges to start using the new multi-million courthouse that is at the center of a funding dispute between north-central New Mexico and Gov. Martinez.
Earlier this year, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed $1.37 million in a spending bill passed by the Legislature for courthouse furniture and equipment, arguing that it was the county’s responsibility to furnish the building. Later, the attorney general said the governor was wrong and that the state should pay for those items from construction proceeds.
Last week, the state Board of Finance approved $250,000 in funding for furniture and additional equipment. The court will now have to go back to the Legislature, which convenes again Jan. 15, for the rest.
- Who will get the budget surplus? The Santa Fe Reporter looks into the question -- and finds that even Republicans want more transparency in campaign finance.
- Even though the two may be facing off in November 2014 at the ballot box, Gov. Martinez and Attorney General Gary King are on the same side in updating New Mexico's sex offender registration law, the AP reports.
- Capitol Report New Mexico says that Lisa Curtis has no regrets in spending over $300,000 of her own money on a race to retain her state Senate sesat. Curtis ended up losing handily in the general election.
- Taos officials don't think that Colorado's recent vote to legalize small amounts of marijuana will affect the amount of marijuana that is smoked in the area, which is near the Colorado border.
“It’s already so abundant here. There are so many grows in this area,” Martínez said. “We used to get truckloads of plants and we still do, but a lot of marijuana is grown on National Forest or BLM land.”
That means, Martínez said, that unless someone growing marijuana is caught at the scene or linked with hard evidence, authorities cannot charge anyone and are limited to pulling the plants.
- >Methadone treatments for addicts will continue at Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center into 2013.
- A cool story on a tool that could help farmers access water using solar power.
- KRQE reports on the potential changes the Albuquerque City Council could make to the minimum wage increase that voters passed in November.
- Navajo Nation President Ben Shelley is visiting Israel. The Farmington Daily-Times says that Shelley finds the culture remarkably similar to the Navajo culture.