Lies, damned lies and campaign finance

The Word looks to former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli for inspiration this morning. Yesterday was the first milepost for campaign finance reporting in New Mexico, and there are different ways to see the governor's race. Steve Pearce, the Republican, has $1.9 million in the bank as the campaign enters its last two months. That's $600,000 more than Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham. But she's outraised Pearce better than 2-to-1. Pearce sued to use almost $800,000 from his congressional campaign finance account. Regardless of how he got it, it's going to come in handy.

Underdogs gain

Meanwhile, a couple of candidates who weren't in the mix a few months ago are faring well against their opponents ($). In House District 46, Andrea Romero toppled incumbent Carl Trujillo in the primary, but has been plagued by headlines about her contract to lead a LANL community group. Write-in challenger Heather Nordquist has raised only $400 less than Romero since she launched her campaign. Closer to Albuquerque, Republican Monica Youngblood's campaign has taken a hit since her high-profile DWI arrest. Other than $1,000 from PNM's political wing, contributions have slowed way down for Youngblood. Her challenger, Democrat Karen Bash, raised nearly as much as Youngblood. Both Youngblood and Romero have more cash on hand.

In the MIX

Santa Fe's City Council has put the brakes on a contract transfer that may have already happened. Back in June, Andrea Romero (yes, that Andrea Romero) asked the city to reassign her $20,000 annual contract for promoting the business networking group MIX Santa Fe to the nonprofit arm of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. The city manager didn't see an issue with it, and signed off on the switch. But the new city attorney says the City Council has to approve it, and at least one councilor hasn't heard a good reason why the contract needs a new home. The matter is once again up for debate later this month.

Legalize it

Gary Johnson got a lot of mileage out of his support for legalizing marijuana (and a lot of grief). But that was two decades ago. Now, the former governor is running for the US Senate as a Libertarian and his chief opponent, US Sen. Martin Heinrich, has said for months that he thinks the time has come ($) to legalize cannabis. Andrew Oxford visits the issue in this morning's New Mexican.

Bus crash claims one more

One of the twins born prematurely to a mother after a bus crash near Gallup has died. Christy Westerdale and her boyfriend Joseph Chandler say their daughter passed away at UNM hospital. Westerdale suffered all kinds of injuries during the crash and gave birth shortly afterward.

Scary warning

State Health Department officials say people who've been going to the VIP Spa in Albuquerque should get tested for HIV and Hepatitis. The state shut down the spa over unsafe practices with needles used in certain cosmetic procedures called "vampire facials."

Principal’ed stand

Students from Rio Grande Prep near Las Cruces protested ($) the district's decision to place their principal on leave. Las Cruces Public Schools removed Kathryn Davis from campus last Friday with little explanation ($). Several other staff members have been removed from campus as well.

Check yourself

We're getting to hunting season, and the state says it plans more checkpoints this year to make sure hunters and off-roaders are abiding by the law. Nothing like stopping someone you know has a gun to ask them if they're being legal.

Thanks for reading! The Word forgot to mention yesterday that zero pumpkin items have been consumed so far this September. It may be time.

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