Senate Resolution Would Seek Subpoena on Fair Manager
Sen. Linda Lopez threatens to compel Dan Mourning to appear before the Senate Rules Committee.
February 12, 2014, 4:00 pm
By Justin Horwath
In a rare move, the chairwoman of the state Senate's Rules Committee says she might ask the Senate to issue a subpoena compelling the general manager of the State Fair to appear before the committee.
Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, has drafted a resolution calling for a subpoena. The resolution would have to clear the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee before being considered in the full Senate, where it must pass by a majority vote. The Senate is also controlled by Democrats.
Last week, Lopez requested that Mourning, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and her political advisor Jay McCleskey appear before the committee for a hearing last Monday to answer questions about the Martinez administration's awarding of a lucrative racino lease to a company partly controlled by two Martinez campaign donors.
They didn't show up, and instead the Rules Committee heard testimony from three Republicans who have publicly split with the governor over the awarding of the lease.
"It's very disrespectful," Lopez says of Mourning's refusal to appear before the Rules Committee. "I mean they are here to be running our state government."
“Dan Mourning has repeatedly testified before the Legislative Finance Committee, the House Appropriations Committee and every appropriate committee to which he has been invited,” Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell told New Mexico Watchdog. “Monday’s hearing was a political circus that was so over-the-top many committee members failed to show, as did the State Auditor.”
Lopez is hoping Democrats will nominate her as their gubernatorial candidate to take on Martinez in the November general elections. The Senator denies she's playing politics with her committee by arguing that she's asked tough questions of Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.
"I'm not just picking on this administration," she says. "I've been here a while."
Today SFR published an investigation of Martinez' relationship with the two developers who are part owners of the Downs at Albuquerque Racetrack and Racino.
A federal lawsuit filed by several people who had their emails stolen by Jamie Estrada, a former Republican operative who gained control of the Gov. Susana Martinez 2010 web domain, has been dismissed. ... More