‘Get some dirt on this whore’
That's what UNM football coach Bob Davie told his team after a player was accused of rape, according to a report from a Chicago law firm hired by the school to investigate his conduct. The university released the report, which was completed in the middle of last month, yesterday. It was the day after national signing day for football recruits. Investigators found Davie ran a loose ship with lack of accountability among his staff, and used racial terms like "blood diamond" to refer to black players. They did not interview the coach. The university suspended him for 30 days without pay. That will cost him almost $70,000. The rape case, by the way, wasn't prosecuted. The report says players and their girlfriends hounded the accuser until she dropped out of UNM and left the state.
Community, congressional delegation speak out against Journal cartoon
Criticism over an editorial cartoon printed in the Albuquerque Journal reached a fever pitch yesterday, as all five members of the state's congressional delegation, including Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, condemned the paper's choice to print a syndicated cartoon that equates MS-13 gang members with Dreamers and calls them future Democrats. The paper has been aggressively covering the decision (the news and editorial pages are kept separate at most large newspapers). Editorial page editor D'Val Westphal claimed she felt the cartoon criticized fear of immigrants and the perils of painting them with a broad brush. The cartoonist says protesters who gathered outside the Journal last night were closer to interpreting it the way he intended. Editor in Chief Karen Moses issued two statements that apologized if the decision inflamed emotions. Thursday evening, she said the paper was wrong to have published it.
One big election
The myriad nonpartisan elections for cities and counties, soil conservation districts and school boards in New Mexico are tiny affairs with turnout percentages most often in the single digits. A massive bill that passed a House committee yesterday would allow them to be consolidated. Home rule cities, like Santa Fe and Albuquerque, would still hold their own municipal elections, unless they opted in. Lawmakers passed a similar bill last year, but the governor didn't sign it.
Streamlining permits or mainlining pollution?
The state is set to hold a hearing on Monday for new rules for oil and gas facility construction. The state argues the rules will streamline construction permitting, but others say they critically weaken regulation and enforcement in a state that already has well-documented pollution problems from oil and gas producers. Industry advocates say current regulations are outdated and prevent producers from using the latest technology. Meanwhile, at the federal level, the Bureau of Land Management has cut the amount of time people have to comment on proposed permits.
Texas Gov. Greg Abott stumped for Rep. Steve Pearce, who's seeking the Republican nomination for governor, last night. The candidate, though, couldn't be there as Congress took all night to once more extend the nation's debt ceiling and increase spending by a few hundred billion dollars.
Webber wins Gonzales endorsement
It may not have been the most shocking development of the campaign for Santa Fe mayor, but last night, outgoing mayor Javier Gonzales lent his support to Alan Webber. The endorsement comes after a State of the City address in which Gonzales implicitly blasted Councilor Ron Trujillo for dividing the city. Gonzales painted Webber ($) as a unifying candidate.
So far, so good for a fast-moving winter storm that could dump desperately needed snow on the northern mountains. A cold front and Pacific moisture seem set to collide over the northern half of the state on Saturday afternoon. The balmy temperatures we've been enjoying will turn sharply colder through Sunday. Most of the state seems set to return to unseasonable warmth next week.
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