Gov. Martinez goes on trial in Santa Fe

The trial of Santa Fe Reporter vs. Governor Susana Martinez (D-101-CV-201302328) is finally underway in Santa Fe District Court. At the core of the issue: did Governor Martinez and her staff retaliate against news outlets not favorable to her by delaying or ignoring their public records requests and requests for comments? The suit alleges that the governor’s office stopped responding to Santa Fe Reporter questions and requests after the paper published excerpts from the governor’s private emails with cabinet officials and campaign members discussing public business. Joey Peters, then a reporter for the SFR, apparently recorded a phone call with Gov. Martinez in which he asked her about the SFR’s problems getting a response.

Ben Ray Lujan: Republicans helping Democrats pick up seats in 2018

Steve Pearce isn’t the only New Mexican in Congress in good spirits this week.  Ben Ray Lujan, Congressman representing New Mexico’s northern district, is the chair of the committee responsible for recruiting candidates for Congress and his predictions for Democratic wins in 2018 got a lot rosier this week. 

From The New Mexico Political Report:
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of Nambe is going to be a key figure for Democrats in the next election cycle. That’s because he’s the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. As such, he’s tasked with aiding Democrats in their pursuit of retaking the U.S. House of Representatives—and while he won’t say if he’s confident Democrats will do so in the 2018 midterms, he says they will pick up seats… “It’s too early to know what’s going to happen in November of 2018, but I can tell you Democrats in the House are on offensive, and there’s no question that we will pick up seats in 2018,” he said according to the paper.

Report: TrumpCare raises NM premiums $2,521 (unless you are rich), Pearce’s constituents most likely to lose health care

New Mexico health insurance premiums are expected to rise an average of $2,521 – unless you make twice the state’s per-capita income, in which case you get a refund. Although Republicans in Congress rush to repeal Obamacare and replace it with TrumpCare before the analysis is complete, some data is already available.  Two new reports released this week show the impact on the average American (and New Mexican). If you’re a millionaire, the AHCA gives you $50K. If you’re poor, it costs you $1,420
“The typical family making less than $10,000 will lose $1,420 if the Republican health care plan passes, a cut that amounts to almost one-third of their income.

Ex-staffer: Gov. “not telling the truth” about her funds investigated by FBI

“She is not telling the truth on this,” [former Susana Martinez campaign staffer Andrea] Goff said of the governor. Under penalty of perjury, Governor Martinez penned a multi-page sworn declaration defending her campaign manager and taking personal responsibility for every expenditure by her inaugural committee once under investigation by the US Department of Justice, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported this past weekend. That statement likely influenced FBI and US Dept. of Justice investigators reviewing the expenditures of her inaugural funds in 2015, law enforcement sources say. Now former staffers who raised funds and assisted in the transition and inauguration say Governor Martinez was not telling the truth in that statement.

Progressive agenda vs. Gov’s vetoes: how did New Mexico do in #nmleg 2017?

That’s a wrap! New Mexico’s 2017 legislative session is done, at it may go down in the history books as one of the strangest – and our busiest! I’m still crunching the numbers, but early indications show that New Mexicans like you used our advocacy tools to contact legislators more than 50,000 times and read our legislature reports more than 100,000 times a month during the session!  If you missed any of our 40+ legislative reports, catch up here. read more: Full coverage of #nmleg from ProgressNowNM
For 2017, voters gave Democrats control of the House and Senate and sent the largest progressive caucus to Santa Fe to get New Mexico working again.

[Take Action] The GOP repeal of Obamacare really hurts New Mexico. Here’s how.

Republicans’ new health-care bill is a mass transfer of income that cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans while cutting federal benefits for the middle and working class. Just two provisions in the Republican plan would allow the richest households to pay an average of nearly $200,000 less under the GOP plan, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. The Washington Post, March 7, 2017
The Republican plan for health insurance works exactly the opposite from the way insurance is supposed to work. Under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), consumers pay less because premiums are set each year and your costs are capped if you get sick. And in New Mexico, making health care accessible has had a huge impact: the number of uninsured in New Mexico dropped by 41% under Obamacare and 33,000 New Mexicans get help paying for new coverage.

Senate: Gov didn’t disclose donor behind her request for $20+ million special state contract; “We’re being lied to” senator says

As the governor faces down a veto override led by members of her own party, a Republican State Senator unexpectedly began the process to recall a bill exempting a real estate contract from state purchasing laws. Senators said the governor’s administration did not disclose that the beneficiary was a major donor to Governor Martinez’s campaign and PAC nor that the space was deemed incompatible with the state’s needs by one of Martinez’s own cabinet secretaries. “I found out the information I was given early on was not accurate – that there were campaign contributions I wasn’t aware of,” Republican Senator Neville said in an interview with the Albuquerque Journal. “We’re being lied to,” Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, said on the floor. “This is despicable.”

Andrew Oxford reported in the NM Political Report and Santa Fe New Mexican:
In an extraordinary maneuver, state senators killed a bill Saturday that they had approved four days earlier after one of them said he had misled his colleagues about connections between Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and real estate developers who stood to benefit from the legislation.