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.

In her own words: Wilson touts earmark for company that gave tens-of-thousands from execs

This week in Heather Wilson history
In her own words: Wilson touts earmark for company that gave tens-of-thousands from execs
Five years ago this week, then Congresswoman Heather Wilson inserted a $2,000,000 defense department earmark for a company whose executives gave her thousands in campaign contributions.  
The earmark, to the Lumidigm company, was for the “Development of a Robust, Mobile Multispectral Fingerprint Capture Device Employing Multispectral Imaging Technology,” essentially a fancy fingerprint reader, was sponsored by Wilson and introduced into the conference report after the House passed the appropriation bill on August 5, 2007.  
When introducing the earmark, Wilson failed to disclose that she had taken at least $17,000 in campaign contributions from executives and lobbyists from Lumidigm and two other associated companies before the vote.  Wilson received another $1,000 in 2008 from Lumidigm’s president after the bill and appropriation passed.  
Wilson appeared at the Lumidigm company in 2007 just 11 days after the House appropriation bill passed to speak about the earmark to company executives.   Lumidigm president Robert Harbour introduced Wilson and spoke favorably about the earmark but failed to mention the campaign contributions.  
Watch Wilson in her own words on YouTube (

From the Lumidigm YouTube channel: Lumidigm hosted Congresswoman Heather Wilson on August 17, 2007 as she announced that her $2M request for a Lumidigm project is part of the 2008 Defense Appropriations Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on August 6.




ProgressNow New Mexico has uncovered documents showing that former-congresswoman and current US Senate candidate Heather Wilson has been named in a “pay-to-play” investigation being conducted by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.  

You might remember way back in 2008 when news reports questioned the use of federal grants earmarked by Wilson to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department that ended up at a company owned by Wilson campaign donors.  

Now, ProgressNow New Mexico has learned that New Mexico’s Attorney General has been conducting an investigation and both Heather Wilson and then-sheriff Darren White were called in for questioning.  

The Albuquerque Journal and others reported on the story in 2011 but never fully explored the extent of the scandal. We did.