Morning Word: AFP is leaving the state
...Journal looks at Downs deal and more news from around the state
January 13, 2014, 8:00 am
- The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is shutting down its operations in New Mexico according to the liberal group ProgressNow New Mexico.
Pam Wolfe, AFP’s Field Representative in New Mexico, confirmed late last week that AFP was in fact “reallocating their resources elsewhere” and will no longer have any “boots on the ground” in New Mexico.As one could imagine, there was some spiking of the football from ProgressNow New Mexico, which is ideologically opposed to AFP.
- City Councilor Ken Sanchez is open to limiting the automatic raises to the minimum wage in Albuquerque. Sanchez says he is worried about double-digit inflation like what happened in the 1980s.
- The Albuquerque Journal writes about texts related to the controversial Downs at Albuquerque deal.
“Buster screwed us,” read the first message to Andrea Goff, a Hobbs-area fundraiser who at the time was working for Martinez and McCleskey, raising money for SusanaPac. She is also the daughter-in-law of then-State Fair Commissioner Buster Goff, who had cast the key vote that day to delay approval of a new 25-year racino lease with the Downs at Albuquerque.
“He has just really hurt the governor,” McCleskey wrote. In a later text he said, “The gov is furious … It is VERY bad.”
- But is it new news?
Two and a half months later, the @abqjournal regurgitated my reporting on Jay McCleskey's Downs texts http://t.co/z9MKISwi6R— Daniel Libit (@DanielLibit) January 12, 2014
- Leslie Linthicum writes in the Albuquerque Journal that many adults failed the nine-year old boy who was killed by his mother.
- A Republican announced he would run for state House in District 32. Tom Bill Black will run for the seat currently held by Rep. Dona Irwin, D-Deming. Black says he is running to be an ally of Gov. Susana Martinez.
- U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich got a big profile from the McClatchy Washington Bureau about how he has become one of the more prominent critics of the NSA's surveillance tactics.
But behind the low-flying demeanor, the panel newcomer has emerged as a leading voice in calls for reining in the NSA programs. It’s a role that has him breaking ranks with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who heads the committee, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who first suggested Heinrich should become an Intelligence Committee member.
- Meanwhile, the Santa Fe New Mexican looked at how New Mexico's other U.S. Senator -- Tom Udall -- got a national profile for his role in spearheading filibuster reform.
“I think Tom Udall’s more forceful stances have increased his national standing and national prominence,” said Brian Sanderoff of Albuquerque-based Research & Polling Inc.
“Clearly, his stature has benefited,” agreed Jeff Bingaman, a fellow Democrat who served 26 years as a senator from New Mexico before stepping down a year ago.
- Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins donated the remaining money he had raised for a court battle over same-sex marriage to a pro-same-sex marriage organization.
After paying his legal bill, Ellins estimated a few thousand dollars are leftover. And he said he's giving that money to a campaign called New Mexico Unites for Marriage Equality.
- The Albuquerque Journal looks at problems with health care in rural areas and efforts to fill the gaps.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican looks at part of the teacher evaluation program, the in-class observation.
- Things are all quiet on the Mary Han investigation.
In the clerk’s minutes of a hearing held Jan. 2 on the civil lawsuit brought by Han’s family against the city and Albuquerque Police Department personnel, attorneys for both sides agreed to a settlement conference Jan. 24 in Las Cruces before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory Wormuth.
A settlement would effectively close down the best chance the public has to learn further details into how Han died, how her case was handled and who should be held accountable.
- Albuquerque Police Department is holding back public records related to officer-involved shootings, the Albuquerque Journal reported on Friday.
- Media News:
The Alamogordo Daily News has a new managing editor, Duane Barbati.
Barbati, a native of the Detroit area who has been with the newspaper since October 2008 as the organization's crime and political reporter, will replace Michael Johnson, who is leaving to become editor of three daily newspapers in Ohio and West Virginia with Civitas Media, a new company based in Davidson, N.C.
- In Clovis elections something that will be a campaign issue is city council candidates' ties to current mayor David Lansford or former mayor Gayla Brumfield.
- State Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, was among the state Senators to speak about legislative priorities to Los Alamos residents. Cisneros said this will be a relatively smooth session.
“As we emerge from this recession, we are finally beginning to see a little bit of light at the end of this tunnel,” Cisneros said. “It’s taken us four years to get through this recession and start to see some positive revenues coming into the state coffers.”
- Cattle ranchers and sheriffs lined up to oppose the designation of the Organ Mountains as a national monument.
- Cibola County celebrated its first same-sex marriage last week.
- A group wants to protect funding for nuclear weapons complexes in New Mexico. The group is led by Albuquerque businessman Sherman McCorkle, who has given money almost exclusively to Republican candidates over the years.
- Albuquerque's water usage was way down in 2013 -- the lowest in 30 years.
- The Shiprock chapter president on the Navajo Nation wants the Navajo Nation Attorney General to weigh in on whether or not the Speaker of the House should continue to remain in office while facing charges of bribery and conspiracy.
- The Taos Town Council is questioning the town manager's leadership.
- The city of Clovis will use voter convenience centers.
- New Mexico ranks near the bottom of the list of states in fees for road users.
In 2011, New Mexico collected $15.5 million in tolls and user fees, $239.5 million in fuel taxes and $137.8 million in license fees, the study said. That amounted to $189 per person. However, the state spent $570 per person in road spending that year. Some of that difference was made up through federal gas tax and other revenue.
- A Ruidoso Village Councilor said she would not run for reelection so she could take care of her parents.
- There is going to be a new variety of green chile for farmers to grow in southern New Mexico.