New Mexico State Police are investigating a case where the former District Attorney in Dona Ana County told him to record a conversation with the new District Attorney.
The conversation that he was told to record by Amy Orlando, who now serves in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration, was about the corruption investigation in Sunland Park.
The Albuquerque Journal
Officer Raul Robles said in a memo to supervisors that Orlando and her former deputy district attorney, Steven Blankinship – both of whom now work for the administration of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez – asked him to record a meeting with Democratic District Attorney Mark D’Antonio related to last year’s corruption investigation of Sunland Park officials.
The Journals says State Police Chief Robert Shilling told them in an email that an internal investigation refutes Robles' claims.
A memo about the allegations from the New Mexico State Police was first revealed by ProgressNow New Mexico
, a progressive group that is critical of Martinez and other conservatives.
On to the Word:
- U.S. Sen. Tom Udall was encouraged by the U.S. Senate vote to move forward on debate on an immigration bill.
- Udall also questioned the NSA Director on the secretive snooping programs recently revealed by media. Note: That's a YouTube link.
- The KUNM Call-In Show looks at the state's Fair Pay Act and what it will do for wages for women in the state. The show starts at 8:00 am -- so if you have the free version of the Word, it is likely already on! See here for info on how to get the Morning Word early each morning.
- Sen. Martin Heinrich will make his first floor speech as a U.S. Senator today around 8:15 am Mountain time. It will air on C-SPAN 2 and stream online.
- Gov. Gary Johnson said he would be open to running for office as a Republican again, but he counted out running for Senate or U.S. House.
- Bernalillo County may impose a fee on utility companies.
- The Associated Press looks at a broadband project by Sacred Power on the Laguna Pueblo.
- Laura Paskus interviews Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the the southwest regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for Environmental Flows Bulletin. New Mexico Mercury reprints it with permission.
- Daily Drought and Fire Digest:
The acreage and containment of fires won't be added here, because they are nearly 12 hours old by the time this is posted. Instead, check out NMFireInfo.com.
The Jaroso Fire is growing rapidly because it is so hard to fight. KOB:
“Those canyons are too steep and too narrow and they need to maneuver to come out of there safely,” said fire manager Duane Archuleta of the Santa Fe National Forest. “ At this point in time it’s not safe to use the heavy air tankers because of the canyons.”
KUNM reports on Gov. Susana Martinez promising more resources for wildfires.
Mesilla banned fireworks, but gave an exception to Black Cats
They are using helicopters to bomb the Jaroso Fire, but at best that just slow it down a little. The good news is that no communities are threatened.
Firefighters are confident they will be able to save the historic mining town of Kingston, which is threatened by the Silver fire.
The Santa Fe State Pen will hook up to the county water system and use its wells as backup.
- Hector Balderas' campaign says the New Mexico Building & Construction Trades has endorsed his campaign for Attorney General. It is a very early endorsement from a big labor group. Balderas and Jason Marks are the two announced Democratic candidates for the position.
- After doing some vetting, Gov. Susana Martinez's office removed a registered sex offender from a fundraiser taking place tomorrow in Alamogordo.
- A speaker at the Economic Forum says Congress is broken:
The Republican and Democratic parties are controlled by extremists on the right and the left of the political spectrum, said Charles Stenholm, who addressed Economic Forum on behalf of BIPAC, a business-backed political action committee. The result, he said, is that “we are incapable of dealing with our deficit.”
- The Albuquerque Journal reports on laws that go into effect on Friday including alcohol laws and a social media law. The social media law bans potential employers and colleges from asking for social media passwords.
- Details on Farmington's proposed campaign finance ordinance:
Councilors gave consensus to add a section to the proposed ordinance that would cap donations at $100 per donor.
Imposing a spending cap may not be an option.
Jay Burnham, the city attorney, said that campaign spending limits cannot be imposed, citing the U.S. Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo.
- Milan Simonich with a follow up column on Gary King's Animal Cruelty Task Force. Simonich says that King's explanation that he knew nothing about the Task Force's actions doesn't line up with reality.
- Media News:
The Albuquerque Journal profiles Larry Ahrens, the radio host who now has his own cable morning show.
And from the same story:
In other media news, two former Albuquerque radio veterans, Milt McConnell and Jim Villanucci, have wound up in the Portland, Ore., radio market.
- The city of Alamogordo took a step towards getting over $1 million in federal funds for a water desalination plant.
- One in 12 Rio Rancho high school students have attempted suicide, and nearly one in five have considered it, the Rio Rancho Observer reports.
The report was gleaned from a 135-question survey on risky behaviors and resiliency factors that was conducted in 2011 with 313 students at the three high schools and 270 students in two of the district’s middle schools. It showed attempted suicide rates for students in grades 6-8 was 5 percent for males and 7.3 percent for females.
- A study by AAA found that hands-free devices don't eliminate risks while driving.
- The Taos Municipal School Board voted to move forward with some construction projects.
“I’ve woken up at 2 a.m. with seven cows in my front grass,” he said. “Once they get in the neighborhood, they just go wherever they want to. It’s a crazy sight to see.”
No, not in rural New Mexico -- rather in a subdivision in Rio Rancho.
It’s the same group of roving cattle that come in to the neighborhood, Lizzi said, and the estimated property damage to the neighborhood is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
- Shocker. A man arrested for branding a mentally disabled Native American man with a swastika is back in prison.