--2 Morning Word: AP sues Martinez administration over records
Sept. 23, 2017

Morning Word: AP sues Martinez administration over records

Local reaction to death of Nelson Mandela and more...

December 6, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach

  • The Susana Martinez administration is facing another lawsuit over public records. This time, it is the Associated Press.
    The AP sought records on Martinez's travel, schedule and expenses as she took a higher profile on the national political stage in the last two years, including several out-of-state trips and a speaking spot at the Republican National Convention.

    Martinez's office issued a statement in which the administration stood by its record on open government and its decision to withhold the information in question.
    This is not the first lawsuit the administration is facing; it is also facing lawsuits from the Santa Fe Reporter, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and a joint lawsuit from the Las Cruces Sun-News and New Mexico In Depth.
  • Former Gov. Bill Richardson on Nelson Mandela:
    “Nelson Mandela’s death leaves a huge void in the world. The world’s greatest statesman is gone. I will never forget his grace, his kindness, his friendship and his diplomatic skills as he helped me navigate the Congolese civil war in the late 90s. Rest in peace, Mandela.”
  • The Las Cruces Sun-News spoke to a former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa and other South Africans who live in South Africa about the passing of Nelson Mandela.
    "He was one of the most impressive people I've ever met," Lewis said. "A giant of a man. When you were in his presence you felt the fact of his courage and his stature. You felt it in his presence."

    New Mexico State University basketball player Tshilidzi Nephawe, who is South African, said Mandela's positive mindset made a big impact on his home country.
  • Protesters in Las Cruces want a $10 per hour minimum wage.
    The rally kicks off nonprofit Comunidades en Acción y de Fé's Raise Up Las Cruces campaign.

    The non-denominational, faith-based organization -- which primarily receives funding from religious foundations, churches and individual donors -- has also been active in immigration reform and other social issues.
  • Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller may introduce "opt out" legislation for standardized tests.
  • The Española School Board doesn't know what graduation requirements will be.
  • The problem for Española Valley High School Principal Hoyt Mutz has not been the state’s Public Education Department’s list of graduation requirements. It has been the unreliability of whether those requirements will actually be implemented.

    “We don’t know what they (graduation requirements) are yet,” Mutz said in a Nov. 22 interview.
  • A student at Atrisco Heritage Academy was suspended for planning a walkout protesting standardized tests.
  • If you thought Susana Martinez was going to stop in her quest to repeal drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants...why? Anyway, we will see another debate on the issue in 2014.
  • Rio Arriba County is facing sexual harassment claims.
    An investigation into the alleged sexual harassment of female Rio Arriba County employees by a nine-year County employee turned up one formal complaint and six informal complaints from unnamed co-workers.

    County Recreation Department employee, Joe Ortega, made a series of sexually inappropriate comments, questions and proposals to a 19-year-old summer employee in early June 2012, according to an investigation and interviews of the victim and assailant, completed by Richard Guillen.
  • This week on Insight New Mexico Dr. Veronica Garcia, the Executive Director of NM Voices for Children and former Education Secretary under Bill Richardson, speaks to V.B. Price.
  • The labor force in New Mexico is shrinking.
    In addition, the state’s civilian labor force — those people working or looking for jobs — shrank by 18,594 during the 12 months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. People who drop out of the labor force because they stopped looking for work or moved out of the state aren’t calculated into the state’s unemployment rate, which grew slightly in October to 6.3 percent from 6.2 percent in September.

    The civilian labor force fell in all of New Mexico’s major metro areas. In Albuquerque it declined by 9,800; in Farmington, 1,400; in Las Cruces, 2,100; and in Santa Fe, 2,500.
  • The Center for Public Integrity received a failing grade when it comes to disclosures from the Center for Public Integrity.
  • Former state Sen. Manny Aragon is out of prison and likely on his way to a halfway house.
    It's not clear exactly where he is going in the immediate future, but a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons told The New Mexican that it's normal for inmates to be released to a halfway house "for a period of transition and readjusting to society."
  • Richardson says that Gov. Susana Martinez is beatable. Which Martinez used as a way to send a fundraising email to supporters.
  • New GED tests are hurting the less fortunate according to KRQE.
    New exams are set to roll out in January. They will be longer and some say more difficult. People also won't be able to take the high school equivalency test with paper and pencil; the test will only be offered on computers. Testing centers that are already trying out the computers are hearing the concerns.
  • Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston is facing allegations that he ran his campaign out of his office. The twist? The allegation comes from an elder at Legacy Church which helped launch Houston's political life but from which he recently left.
  • Former Santa Fe mayor Sam Pick is against a proposal to create a strong mayor system in Santa Fe and somewhat hilariously so.
    "As far as being a full-time mayor, I don’t know what the hell he would do!” Pick explained to a jovial audience in a panel at the Neighborhood Law and Policy Conference. “What the hell are you going to do if you have a city manager making a couple hundred grand a year taking care of business, if you believe in that system."
  • From the Las Vegas Optic: A Las Vegas union head recently charged with battery "was accused in April of bullying another man and even threatening to have him thrown out of his public housing unit."
  • The New Mexico Lottery Board hired an interim CEO. David Barden will be paid $2,500 per week.
  • Media News:

    Congratulations to Leslie Linthicum.
  • Cuts in government funding are affecting White Sands Missile Range according to Major General Gwen Bingham, the commander at WSMR.
    Bingham admitted that 2013 saw a lot of hurdles for those in government employ and those who work with the government, what with sequestration and furloughs and the government shutdown, which alone impacted about 3,000 White Sands workers, the general said.

    "We never want to see that happen again," Bingham said. "It was heart-wrenching. Those that are on my team have been scarred.
  • I have a fascination for the Navajo Codetalkers so this story from the Navajo Times really interested me.
    The middle-aged empty-nester who recently went back to her graduate history studies after a 17-year hiatus had solved a mystery that has eluded professional historians for seven decades.

    The 30th man recruited as a Navajo Code Talker, the one who never showed up for the bus ride to Camp Pendleton, now has a name if not yet a face: George Clinton.
  • The U.S. Senate may vote on a proposal to extend the mission of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
    The U.S. Senate will resume consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 on Monday, according to the Office of the Secretary of the Senate.

    Pearce's amendment would change the definition of the type of waste WIPP could receive to "any non-defense Federal Government-owned transuranic waste that can be shown to meet the applicable criteria described in the document entitled 'Transuranic Waste Acceptance Criteria For The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant."
  • Sunland, Inc. who pleaded guilty to communicating classified nuclear weapons data wants to change his lawyer and plea.
    Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni and his wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, were accused of offering to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela through dealings with an undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of the Venezuelan government.

    The couple pleaded guilty in June in federal court in Albuquerque, but a Nov. 27 court filing by a federal public defender says Pedro Mascheroni may seek to withdraw his plea. The filing was made in connection with Mascheroni’s pending request to obtain new court-appointed lawyers.
  • The battle between the Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative and San Ildefonso Pueblo is taking another turn. The Co-op may shut off the power to the pueblo. The pueblo wants $5.9 million for an easement.
  • Officials from the city of Bloomfield informed San Juan County Commissioners that they are moving forward with an plan to annex some land.
    Several companies have operations in the proposed annexation area, including ConocoPhillips, Kinder Morgan, Williams and XTO Energy, County Executive Officer Kim Carpenter said.
    It will cost the county $150,000 in tax revenue.
  • An animal clinic in Albuquerque will accept Bitcoin. This is the first in the nation.

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