[BREAKING] NM’s Attorney General challenges Trump methane rollbacks in court

New Mexico’s Attorney General Hector Balderas joined California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra in taking the Trump administration to court to challenge rollbacks in methane emissions standards. The legal action charges that the move from Trump’s Department of the Interior violates a host of existing regulations and protocols designed to update industry standards that otherwise have operated under decade-old rules. Oil and gas companies vent or flare a significant amount of methane gas during their operations that, besides having negative effects on the environment and New Mexican’s health, wastes a significant amount of a product that otherwise could be utilized to fuel New Mexico homes and other services. The move comes as new polling data in New Mexico shows overwhelming support from a broad swath of the general public for common sense measures designed to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. A new poll conducted by The Majority Institute released this week shows that New Mexicans across the state support strengthening the state’s rules on limiting methane pollution that is leaked, vented or flared from oil and gas facilities.

Congressional Planned Parenthood “witch hunt” turns focus to New Mexico

One of Tennessee’s most conservative Republican Congresswomen is spending a lot of time focussed on women living 1,200 miles from her Volunteer State district. After the series of doctored anti-Planned Parenthood videos were launched last year, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) launched an investigation into women’s healthcare providers through an obscure Congressional panel created by House Republican leadership. Her first target: New Mexico women. Her latest attack came in a request for New Mexico’s attorney general’s office to investigate abortions in New Mexico. That isn’t likely to go far, experts say.

Sneaky Friday announcement: Gov. to takeover UNM’s hospitals/health sciences to stop healthcare expansion plan

Susana Martinez is trying to take over the UNM Health Sciences Center. You probably won’t believe it – who are we kidding, it’s Susana Martinez – but Gov. Martinez is attempting a shady movida on a Friday afternoon to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the hands of doctors and qualified hospital administrators and hand it over to her hand-picked political appointees. A story from the NM Political Report (full story here) was just published that shows the UNM Board of Regents have an item on their Monday meeting agenda to dissolve the board governing the UNM Health Sciences Center and replace its oversight with the UNM Board of Regents, all of whom are Susana Martinez appointees. The UNM Health Sciences Board was created under Gov. Richardson under the belief that political appointees at UNM didn’t have the proper experience to guide the hospital and so needed a team of doctors and hospital administrators…you know, the people who actually do this stuff everyday and aren’t influenced by fickle political winds. The Board of Regents has always been an important body, but it has become politicized in recent years under Martinez.

Impeach Dianna Duran?

Wow. 

We’re sure you’ve seen this news by now.  Late Friday, Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a 64-count criminal information charging the state’s top election officer with breaking election laws, and a whole lot more. To catch you up, here are the five things you need to know as this story develops:

Sec of State charged with 64 counts involving using campaign cash for personal use

House Dems: If Duran doesn’t resign, we’ll look to impeach

Read the 44 page, 64 count criminal filing

Duran’s defense attorney focuses on fighting AG’s investigation, but doesn’t publicly dispute the underlying allegations

Governor Martinez says “no one is above the law,” signaling her intent to put distance between herself and Duran

This news is no cause for celebration.  It’s another black eye on New Mexico and the Sec. of State’s office that has seen its last three office holders – both Democrat and Republican – charged with crimes.  We’ll need new leadership to return integrity to the office. 

This week, House Minority Leader Brian Egolf announced that the Democratic caucus invited Republican leaders to join them in initiating impeachment proceedings against Duran. As legislators begin this process, some are asking New Mexicans to weigh in.  Do you support impeachment of Dianna Duran by the House of Representatives?

New Mexico Republican proves voter fraud happens by committing it; Plea in NM Court avoids prosecution by Atty General

Even though Fox News would have you believe that every other Democrat voted under their dead grandpa’s name in Barack Obama’s last election, a recent study found that UFO sightings are more common than actual instances of voter fraud. Given that fact, perhaps it is appropriate that the state which boasts the country’s most infamous UFO crash landing is also home to a real actual case of voter fraud.  Oh, and it was committed by a Republican. Again. 68-year old Eugene Victor of Corrales pled no contest to voter fraud this week to avoid prosecution by Attorney General Hector Balderas.

5 things to know about New Mexico’s elections

5 things to know about New Mexico’s elections
By The Associated Press

POSTED: 08/30/2014 12:25:22 PM MDT

ALBUQUERQUE >> New Mexico voters will be choosing a lot more than a governor this November. They will also be electing a new attorney general and deciding whether Democrats will retain control of the state U.S. Senate seats and the statehouse. Here are five things to know about the midterm elections:

U.S. SENATE

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is seeking his second term, and with a sizeable campaign fund, he’s favored for an easy re-election. But Republican Allen Weh is putting up some of his personal fortune to launch an aggressive challenge. Udall is a popular former attorney general and congressman.

AG clears second provider of fraud in behavioral health audit

Attorney General Gary King has cleared another non-profit behavioral health provider of fraud allegations leveled by the governor’s administration:

NMAGO NEWS RELEASE
Attorney General Gary K. King
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
 
AG’s Probe Finds No Fraud in Health Provider’s Audit
Easter Seals-El Mirador Cleared of Fraud but Overbilling Found
 
(ALBUQUERQUE)—New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says his investigation found insufficient evidence of fraud by Easter Seals El Mirador , one of the health organizations accused by the state Human Services Department of “credible allegations of fraud” last June.  
“Although our investigation found no actionable evidence of fraud, we did discover that Easter Seals El Mirador overbilled Medicaid in the amount of $34,126.19,” according to the Attorney General.  
AG King says it is now up to HSD to take whatever action deemed appropriate to deal with the improper billing.  A full report by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud & Elder Abuse Division will be provided to HSD.  
More than a dozen other health and human services providers were accused of fraud and had their funding revoked as a result of allegations contained in audits and reports received by HSD.

By the numbers: House Dems out-raise GOP in 1st Primary; We break down each race

Republicans and Democrats are raising record dollars in races both see as key to the control of the House of Representatives in 2015.  For the first primary reporting period, Democrats raised $491,265 over the Republicans’ $428,359. Statewide, only about 10 house seats are competitive enough to influence party control of the state’s lower chamber. That leaves most legislators busy connecting with voters about local issues or defending their seat from primary challenges. Democrat State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard outperformed two Republicans bringing in an impressive $33,000 this period.

AFT NEW MEXICO ANNOUNCES 2014 STATEWIDE ENDORSEMENTS

AFT NEW MEXICO ANNOUNCES 2014 STATEWIDE ENDORSEMENT

2/27/2014

AFT New Mexico, which represents over 23,000 educators and is one of the largest unions in the state, has announced statewide endorsements, including its endorsement of Howie Morales for Governor. “Howie Morales is an educator and a strong advocate for our students. He understands New Mexico’s unique history, challenges and potential and has expertise in education policy. Under the current administration, we have seen an all-out assault on our students, schools and educators. It is time for a governor who will put our students and our state first,” says AFT New Mexico President Stephanie Ly.