Show us the moolah
Today is the Federal Election Commission deadline for congressional candidates to file their third quarter reports. In New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District, Democratic primary candidate Valerie Plame announced yesterday she had raised $446,749— for a total of $683,000 since she announced she was running last May. Teresa Leger Fernandez's campaign said earlier this month that it raised $205,000 in the third quarter. Reports for the seven other candidates seeking to fill outgoing US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan's seat are not yet available.
Teach by example
Faculty at the University of New Mexico are scheduled to vote this week on whether to have union representation, with mounting tension from opposing sides. A letter from UNM Provost James Holloway indicates some faculty have removed campaign signs, an action, Holloway writes, that "does not reflect our values of open debate, but rather … seeks only to prevent the speech of others." Both pro and anti-union faculty also have been purchasing various domain sites. One faculty member hypothesizes that humanities faculty are lined up in favor of unionizing, while science and engineering faculty oppose the move.
Let’s make a deal
The Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative denies trying to bribe ousted board member Bruce Duran by offering him $50,000 to drop his lawsuit against the board. Rather, the board says the money was a "good faith effort" at a settlement negotiation. Duran is suing the board for failing to certify his unopposed re-election last June. The board says it didn't certify Duran because he was ineligible to run.
You be the judge of that
The Santa Fe District Attorney's Office wants state District Court Judge Jason Lidyard to recuse himself from the embezzlement case against former Northern New Mexico College Financial Director Henrietta Trujillo. Lidyard rejected a plea deal for Trujillo last month, calling it too lenient, and telling the Santa Fe New Mexican that "he saw an inequity in the type of resolution that was being requested." The DA's office has requested Lidyard recuse himself, citing state law regarding judicial impartiality.
A puuurfect ending
The African serval—spotted wandering the Hyde Park hills just outside of Santa Fe last month—has found his forever home at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. New Mexico Game and Fish officers had lured the cat into captivity using an Albertsons rotisserie chicken and transferred it to the ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque. Officials there identified the cat as Hunter after discovering it had been microchipped following a 2016 encounter with Game and Fish. It's illegal to own servals in New Mexico. Lisa Brinker, spokeswoman for the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, said her organization reached out to the BioPark to offer a Hunter a home after being contacted by New Mexicans concerned about the cat's fate.
Debate No. 4 hangout
Tonight's big Democratic presidential debate will feature 12 qualifying candidates and, we imagine, some moments of humor, despair and wonkiness (at least we hope so). If watching by yourself in a dimly lit room with a giant (domestic) cat on your lap sounds a teensy bit abject, you're in luck. The Democratic Party of Santa Fe County and Earth Care/Youth United for Climate Change Action have organized a debate watch party and potluck, starting at 5:30 pm at the Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Road.
Pecan production in New Mexico has hit a record high: 97 million pounds. Guess how many pecan pies that will make? (Actually, we have no idea). According to the United States Department of Agriculture, New Mexico's pecan production represents a 6% increase over last year. The US overall is expecting 281 million pounds of pecans, a 21% increase over 2018. Georgia has the second most pecans: 76 million pounds, followed followed by Texas at 47 million pounds.
Nothing but blue skies
South central New Mexico might have a few storms today and the eastern plains is expected to experience cooling temperatures. But here in the northern part of the state, we're looking at warm and sunny. Forecasts call for a high of 70 in Santa Fe today, an overnight low of 36 with 5 to 10 mph winds this afternoon.
Thanks for reading! The Word saw a bunch of cows on the road up to the ski basin recently and was worried about people driving too fast and hitting one. US Sen. Tom Udall's Wildlife Corridors Conservation Bill sounds like a good idea.