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New Mexico Telegram » Morning Word » Morning Word, 5-24-12

Morning Word, 5-24-12

Today is the day that all candidates for federal office are required to file their last campaign finance report before the June 5 primary (although candidates will be required to file 48-hour notices, but that’s a whole other story).

Heather Wilson has already released her numbers.

The numbers will show who has the money for a significant TV push in the final days and who will have money to help the all-important Get Out to Vote operations (GOTV) that could put a candidate over-the-top. The only real competitive race is the Democratic race with two or three candidates neck-and-neck for the party’s nomination (depending on which poll you believe) — and a good ground game in early voting and election day could put one candidate over the top.

On to the Word (which you can get in your email for free!):

  • The state assigned Michael P. Steininger to temporarily oversee finances in Sunland Park.
    New Mexico Secretary of Finance and Administration Tom Clifford announced the appointment Wednesday.

    Steininger begins immediately and will continue his work until Clifford is confident that Sunland Park administrators are capable and prepared to resume control of city finances and perform their duties in accordance with law.

    With political and governmental dysfunction paralyzing the southern New Mexico city, that could be a long, long time.

  • Jacob Candelaria’s nominating petitions had forged signatures, but he will stay on the ballot. Candelaria is not a suspect, instead two canvassers for Southwest Political Services were implicated in the forgery of a number of signatures. The Albuquerque Journal piece does not say if Candelaria had enough signatures even without the forgeries.

    Update (7:35 am):

    The Journal piece says Candelaria qualifies for the ballot anyway and both state district court and the Supreme Court have ruled Candelaria can stay on the ballot.

  • Remember the tussle at an ALEC dinner during the legislative session? Two people were charged, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Both people charged with misdemeanor assault were hotel employees for assaulting a photographer involved in the Occupy movement. For all the talk by conservatives and ALEC members about the viciousness of the Occupy protesters, the alleged victim of an assault by Occupy (in the form of a thrown cardboard menu) failed to meet with police or provide medical records.

    Lisa Law, the photographer who was allegedly assaulted, also believes state Rep. Dennis Kintigh should have been charged, but the Santa Fe police said the investigation showed that Kintigh was not involved.

  • The Santa Fe Reporter’s Joey Peters on an ongoing effort to highlight perceived problems in the state Department of Health and provides a timeline of the problems at the Department of Health dating back to 2009.
  • Peters also spoke to outgoing Public Regulations Commissioner Doug Howe about his time in the PRC and why he is not seeking election (he was appointed by Susana Martinez to replace infamous PRC commissioner Jerome Block, Jr.).
    I suppose it was the Block affair that really focused me very intently on what’s wrong with this body. To have that many problems in that short of time [almost half of the PRC commissioners have had ethics or legal problems in its two-decade history], the PRC is actually talked about by other utility commissions as being an example of how you don’t want to get into the news. In talking with friends, they made me realize that as a citizen of the state, I could either complain about it—which is what I was doing—or I could actually try to do something about it. And since I have the background necessary to be able to do this job, I was convinced by them that I should at least put my name into contention for the governor to consider.

  • Some news in the candidacy of Matthew Tso for state Senate from Milan Simonich. First, Simonich reports that Tso is still refusing to release his college records. At issue is whether or not Tso graduated from Dartmouth; a college manager says he has a degree from the Ivy League college, but the Tso still has his records sealed.

    And then Simonich wrote that Tso reported raising and spending no money in his quest to unseat Sen. John Pinto. Pinto has served in the state legislature longer than Tso has been alive.

  • Simonich also writes that Sen. Phil Griego is missing. Or at least refusing to speak to the press or anyone else as he faces allegations of breaking state ethics laws.
  • Former Albuquerque mayor Martin Chavez’s past is a double-edged sword, Sarah Gustavus reports for He has the experience that comes with being mayor for three terms — but baggage that comes along with being in the public eye for so many years.
  • The Navajo Nation is fighting the approval or a proposed uranium mine, reports the Weekly Alibi.
  • The liberal website Alternet asks if the movement to repeal corporate personhood is doomed in Washington D.C. The idea is popular among many progressives, but is vehemently opposed by, no surprise, corporations and people involved in corporations.
  • Santa Fe County is starting its first cockfighting trial, the New Mexican reports. Cockfighting only became illegal in New Mexico in 2007.
  • Here is a pretty amazing view from a satellite capturing the smoke from the Whitewater-Baldy Complex wildfire in southwestern New Mexico.
  • Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg explained the police-involved shooting grand juries to the city council, the Weekly Alibi reports.
    An investigative grand jury has no power to file criminal charges and can only determine if the shooting was justified or not. She went on to say she has full faith in the process but understands the media and the public’s concerns. She promised take a look at other options. Brandenburg talked at a pretty fast clip about how the process is fair and leaves the door open to criminal charges. Councilor Dan Lewis countered that she shouldn’t be surprised by the questions since all shootings have been ruled justified.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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One Response to "Morning Word, 5-24-12"

  1. Brandenburg has to talk at a fast clip to make sure no one catches the details of what she is saying. Her statements are rife with contradictions and misstatements of the law. She can’t offer real solutions because, as her own statements reveal, she doesn’t even understand the problems. I have invited Ms. Brandenburg to debate because I firmly believe her statements on this issue are nothing more than soundbites meant to appease the public, but they are flawed at best and false at worst. Thus far, she has refused. If she is so secure in her positions, she should have no problem engaging in a debate. I would also be happy to further discuss these issues with you.