This just happened
This just happened
“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.
It’s been a whiz-bang few months for Susana Martinez and her cohorts running the “bold change” administration she promised would turn New Mexico around. In case you’ve been in a cave, today’s Santa Fe New Mexican gives us the rundown:
The past two months have ranged from wrenching to heady for Martinez. She acknowledged that her political adviser, Jay McCleskey, the man she credits for her election as governor, is being investigated by the FBI for payments from Martinez’s campaign and inaugural committee to companies that he controlled. Then Martinez and the rest of New Mexico watched as one of her political allies, former Secretary of State Dianna Duran, pleaded guilty to stealing campaign donations to feed a gambling addiction. Duran entered the Santa Fe County jail on Friday to begin a 30-day sentence.
The Democratic Governor’s Association was first to flag this interview with Gov. Martinez over her FBI investigation.
It’s odd that Fox News would trip up a national Republican leader with a simple question, but that’s exactly what happened today. Maybe that’s because she hadn’t gotten much practice answering these questions from her hometown news sources who should be doing a much better job of digging into an FBI investigation into a sitting governor.
From the DGA:
Fox News is supposed to be a comfortable place for Republicans launching into the national spotlight.
But not for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.
In less than 10 days, Gov. Martinez is scheduled to attend the Republican Governor’s Association meeting in Las Vegas. She is the odds-on favorite to be selected as chair to follow scandal-plagued Chris Christie’s term. But the allegations being investigated by the FBI involve not only Jay McCleskey, the governor’s campaign operative and strategist, but also the governor’s 2011 inauguration which included McCleskey’s wife as executive director and Danny Diaz, now Jeb Bush’s campaign manager, in a key communications and strategy role. In addition to concerns that she herself might end up before a federal grand jury, word of an active federal investigation into their activities may well cause some national GOP and RGA donors to reconsider their support for Martinez.
Here are 8 headlines from the week’s news that Susana Martinez is really going to need to go away ASAP. Gov confirms FBI spoke to her, staff about investigations
Anytime you have to admit that the FBI interviewed you, a sitting governor, your public job performance numbers are about to go south
Report: Guv’s fundraising under FBI scrutiny
Like it or not, being a successful politician depends a lot on how much money you can raise to get out your message.
update: On the fourth day of the story, the Albuquerque Journal finally acknowledged the investigation. The Journal’s investigative reporter covering the story also gave a big chunk of his column pointing fingers at the former Democratic Party chair and his staffer being sued by the governor’s top aides for an unrelated email hacking scandal. Since New Mexico news outlets started reporting on the ongoing US Dept. of Justice investigation into Governor Martinez’s campaign and administration, most daily New Mexico news outlets have been tripping over themselves to add another angle, report on another witness interviewed or explain the people and money apparently at the center of what now appear to be multiple lines of investigation. But not every daily news outlet has been so quick to report on the unfolding scandal the Democratic Party says shows an “administration in crisis.”
Marijuana policies in the country are changing faster than Superman in a phone booth. After cities like Oakland and San Francisco essentially decriminalized use in the last decade, states like Colorado and Washington raced to be the first to tax and regulate marijuana outright. After some initial skepticism, the federal government essentially gave the go ahead for those states to move forward uninhibited. Then the US DOJ suggested that banks who provide loans and services to marijuana shops would face no federal problems.
Now the director of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, the FBI, tells the conservative Wall Street Journal that they are taking a second look at their policy of turning away applicants who admit previous marijuana use. From Huffington Post, which borrows much from the Wall Street Journal:
James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said Monday the agency is “grappling with the question” of how to amend its hiring policies that exclude anyone who has smoked pot in the previous three years from being considered for a job. According to the Wall Street Journal, Comey made the comments while discussing the agencies’ growing battle against cyber criminals.