Did Susana Martinez finally go too far? Legislators to challenge gov’s vetoes in court and in extraordinary session

Governor Martinez threw a fit last week and vetoed the entire legislative branch of government, higher education for every New Mexican student and job training seeker and revenues designed to protect classroom spending, Medicaid and public safety. Now legislators have had enough so they are fighting back.Leaders of the legislature, Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) and Sen. Maj. Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), announced yesterday that the Legislative Council Service had been instructed by leaders to initiate legal action to challenge the governor’s vetoes in 3 key areas. Read more: Legislators to sue Martinez over vetoes | NM Political Report

Veto of co-equal branch of government to be challenged
Can a governor just veto all funding for the legislative branch?  Legislators say no and they’ve instructed their staff to use what little funding they have left in their current budget to hire a lawyer and sue the governor to find out.

Udall says no to Gov run; Here’s who else is expected to be in.

Almost exactly a month after he first announced that he was considering a run for governor, New Mexico’s senior senator said today that he’s sticking with the senate. That announcement (full text below), is likely good news for Albuquerque-area Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham who is widely expected to announce for governor soon. Other names rumored to be considering a run for the Democratic nomination include Attorney General Hector Balderas, Santa Fe businessman and former candidate Alan Webber and former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Congressman Steve Pearce have both been rumored to be considering a run to follow Susana Martinez who is term limited in 2018. From Sen. Udall today:

Udall: Staying in the Senate is the Best Way I can Fight for New Mexico

U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement:

“I am very grateful for the support of so many New Mexicans who have personally urged me to run for governor in 2018.

ICYMI: GOP State Rep candidate under fire for “Negligence”, “Outrageous conduct”

In new court records first reported by the New Mexico Political Report, the mother of a 13-year old boy who was sexually assaulted at a Truth or Consequences education center says the director who is also a state house candidate engaged in “negligence” and “outrageous conduct” by putting her own political ambitions ahead of justice for her child. According to court records, Rebecca Dow is the founder and director of AppleTree Educational Center who hired Alejandro Hernandez to work with young children in the center and associated Boys and Girls Club in TorC. The court filings came after the victim’s family had been unable to gain cooperation from Dow to determine if Dow had conducted a background check and proper training for Hernandez.  Dow has since claimed that a background check was conducted. On an AppleTree-sponsored overnight trip, that employee sexually assaulted two children.  He was arrested, pled guilty and is currently in prison serving his sentence.

KOB: Lt. Gov. Sanchez pocketed $43K of campaign cash; ethics questioned

First Dianna Duran, now John Sanchez? When Republicans took control of the top three statewide offices in 2011 they promised to run “the most open and ethical administration” ever.  Fast forward five years and Republican campaigns have put more money into politics than any other period in New Mexico history and it looks like they are having a hard time keeping their hands off of it. Just months after former-Secretary of State Dianna Duran completed her jail sentence for stealing hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay personal expenses and a growing casino habit, KOB-TV discovered that Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez “pocketed” $43,000 in campaign cash. An investigative report by KOB-TV’s Ryan Luby detailed tens-of-thousands of dollars – as much as an entire year’s income for New Mexican families – of rent Sanchez paid himself for rent of a “campaign office” in a building he already owned, to “run” a campaign where he ran unopposed in the primary and on the coattails of the governor in the general election.

Lt. Governor takes page out of anti-abortion extremist playbook

There is an old saying in Spanish: “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.” It translates roughly to “tell me who you are with and I will tell you who you are.” This past week Lt. Governor John Sanchez took to Facebook to make it extremely clear who he’s with. In a Facebook post (see below), Sanchez continued the dangerous and blatantly false rhetoric that anti-abortion extremists have been using to describe the Congressional witch-hunt against clinics and medical institutions across the country and in our own state.  

Contrary to Sanchez’s version of the facts, these hearings, like the previous three investigating Planned Parenthood, have found no evidence of wrongdoing. Like the investigation he references, Lt. Governor Sanchez’s claims are baseless.

UPDATE: Conservative PAC $$ Continues to Flow into NM

The new finance reports are out and conservative PAC spending continues to dominate New Mexico’s political landscape. In June, you may recall, we released a report on the expansive network of conservative PAC spending in NM that the Journal’s Thom Cole overlooked in his article about Democratic PAC spending. (Incredulously, Mr. Cole ended his report by stating that, “Republicans don’t appear to have a similar large web of interacting PACs.” As our report showed, nothing could be farther from the truth.)

For years, we at ProgressNow New Mexico have tracked the influence of right-wing money throughout New Mexico. In our report linked to above, we tracked a shady network of eight Republican-backed PACs who spent more than $216,000 for Republican candidates since January alone.

Republican Nominees – 2014

New Mexico is inching towards the 2014 Midterm Elections. The New Mexico GOP has come out with this press release on all of their upcoming races. Republican Nominees – 2014

Leadersahip we can rely on! Please use the Candidate information below to familiarize yourself with our republican races around the state. feel free to contact candidates with any inquiry.

GOP announces candidates for 2014 primaries

2014 is a big election year in New Mexico.  In addition to US Senate, Congress candidates are lining up for ballot space in every statewide office, every state house seat and a few judicial seats. The New Mexico Republican Party posted this list of candidates for offices in a recent post.  We’ll post a full list of Democratic candidates as they are posted.  

U.S. Senate
David Clements
Allen Weh

U.S. Congress – District 1
Mike Frese
Mike McEntee
Richard Priem

U.S. Congress – District 2
Steve Pearce

U.S. Congress – District 3
Jeff Byrd

Susana Martinez

Lt. Governor
John Sanchez

Secretary of State 
Dianna Duran

Attorney General
Jim Baiamonte

State Treasurer 
Rick Lopez

State Land Commissioner
Aubrey Dunn

New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge
Miles Hanisee

NMGOP Civil War Heats Up

John Fremont strikes again.  Well, the 21st Century incarnation of him.  New Mexico Republicans will meet in tomorrow, December 8, to elect a new state chairman.  The election is seen by many as a referendum on the direction of the party, controlled by the pro-Martinez branch of the party managed by (some say held hostage by) the governor’s political advisor Jay McCleskey.  We wrote earlier about the post-election battle being waged publicly against McCleskey.