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Morning Word: GOP gets AG candidate, new US Sen candidate

And the rest of New Mexico's news...

January 9, 2014, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • Republicans finally have a candidate for Attorney General, as Jim Baiamonte announced he is running for the state's top attorney job on Wednesday. Democrats have one candidate, State Auditor Hector Balderas.
  • Allen Weh will announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate today. Weh will join David Clements in the Republican Party primary. Incumbent Tom Udall will likely be the only Democrat in the race.

    Steve Terrell has more details on Weh's campaign.
  • KOAT reports on the governor ordering an investigation into the death of a nine-year old boy who was kicked and killed by his mom. The boy had told teachers and others about abuse from his parents before.
  • It flew under the radar, but Valencia County attempted to ban late-term abortions in the county. That failed when the county commission voted 3-2 against it. Of course, even if it had passed it wouldn't have meant much. The only facilities that do such abortions are in Albuquerque -- not in unincorporated areas of Valencia County.
  • A major water source in New Mexico is way below level. The San Juan Chama project has much less water than normal, although the situation isn't dire yet.
    Hamman says with little carryover and little runoff so far, many communities will have to tap into reserves. That’s the case for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.

    “We've been very responsible about being a good custodian of the water,” David Morris said with Water Utility Authoriy [sic]. “We've got a four-year supply up in Abiquiu Reservior.”
  • The budget put forth by the state legislature would be bad for her education reform efforts Martinez said on Wednesday.
    “I think the Legislature’s budget spends too much and prioritizes too little. It sprinkles money in lots of places but doesn’t have a great impact. The Legislature’s budget actually cuts education reform,” Martinez said in a 47-minute speech to the Economic Forum of Albuquerque at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town.
  • There is a bill to remove Navajo Nation Speaker Johnny Naize from his post.
    Shepherd, who represents Arizona's Cornfields, Ganado, Jeddito, Kin Dah Lichíí and Steamboat chapters, submitted the legislation after Naize was charged with 10 counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy by the tribe's special prosecutors in criminal complaints filed Dec. 3 in Window Rock District Court in Window Rock, Ariz.

    The complaints allege that Naize misused the discretionary fund program, which was established by the council to provide financial relief to needy constituents.
    According to the Farmington Daily-Times, Naize can be removed with 2/3 vote from Navajo Nation Council members.
  • Bernalillo County commissioners did not immediately commit to spending $1 million on Innovate ABQ.
    The commission did vote for a motion made by Commissioner Wayne Johnson for preliminary approval, or to commit the $1 million, pending further staff analysis including clawback provisions, said county spokesman Andy Lenderman. The commission will hear from both the county’s Economic Development Department and the Finance Department when it meets again on Jan. 28.
  • The Santa Fe Reporter reveals troubles in the company that runs a restaurant in Santa Fe's airport. From a federal tax lien to a possible sweetheart deal between the company and the city, it doesn't look good.
  • Sixteen candidates filed to run in municipal elections in Rio Rancho, including four for mayor.
  • Three are running for mayor in Carlsbad.
  • The Las Vegas Optic has the rundown of those running in Las Vegas, NM.
  • A report found errors in a plutonium project at Los Alamos National Labs.
  • In a column warning cannabis-tourists from bringing excess marijuana back to New Mexico from Colorado, Leslie Linthicum has this little nugget:
    “We’ll surely increase our traffic enforcement and drug interdiction,” Colfax County Sheriff Patrick Casias said.

    Based in Raton, his deputies patrol Interstate 25 on New Mexico’s border with Colorado, the logical return route for pot tourists from Las Cruces, Albuquerque or Santa Fe who have imbibed in Denver or Pueblo.

    He said he has briefed his staff on the new law, is running extra traffic patrols and asked deputies to be alert.
  • The city of Potales is going to try to recoup $150,000 in economic development funds given to Sunland, Inc. before the company declared bankruptcy. The money was given to the company while it was preparing for bankruptcy.
  • The city of Santa Fe's plastic bag ban is having troubles even before it goes into effect. The latest is that a paper bag fee designed to encourage customers to use reusable bags may be a tax rather than a fee. And so it could be dropped from the law.
  • A study suggests razing the old First District Court building in Santa Fe.
    The study, however, recommends demolishing the building and erecting a new one that includes two levels of parking. That would cost $26 million, result in 13 surplus parking spaces and possibly generate some $10,000 annually in revenues for the county’s coffers.

    The construction costs could be offset by the sale of some county properties, private parking revenues and money budgeted for the old judicial complex, bringing the cost down to $18 million, the study says.
  • The State Land Office announced record earnings in December. This is thanks, in large part, to oil and gas revenue on state land.
  • A controversial predator-hunters convention is returning to Las Cruces for a second year.

 

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