Duran resigns in the middle of the night. Now who should be our next Sec of State? [Online Poll]

In the middle of the night, and just hours before her next criminal hearing, Dianna Duran’s office announced that it was canceling the public hearing where we were set to deliver more than 1,200 petition signatures calling for her to stop her attempts to change election rules she is accused of breaking.  

The reason?  Dianna Duran has apparently resigned. Click to read the story and share on Facebook

Since Attorney General Balderas charged Duran in August, it’s been clear that New Mexico needs a new Secretary of State to restore integrity to our election system.  But, Duran wouldn’t go.

Did Martinez campaign lie to hide the money?

Major Republican candidates across the country have been scrambling to distance themselves from billionaire Republican backer Marcus Hiles after it was revealed that he “slapped, choked and dragged [a woman, who was not his wife] by the hair after a night of drinking that included a stop at Sapphire’s Nightclub, a strip club”

Texas’ new governor, Greg Abbott, released this statement, “At no point in time was Governor Abbott or any member of his staff aware of this deeply disturbing incident. Governor Abbott believes that any violence against women is deplorable, unacceptable and shameful,” then joined other Texas donors in donating more than $700,000 they had taken from Hiles away to domestic violence shelters in Texas. One notable exception to the list of Republican candidates distancing themselves from Hiles and his money is New Mexico’s Susana Martinez. —
State senators, White House advisors and statewide domestic violence victim advocates all called on Martinez to follow suit and donate the relatively small amount of $10,400 her personal campaign received from Hiles to the state’s domestic violence prevention programs.

But Martinez said she couldn’t donate that money because she had already spent it. From the Santa Fe Reporter:
Enrique Knell, then a spokesman for the governor, told the Albuquerque Journal in a March article that shedding thousands in contributions donated by the developer, Marcus Hiles, would not be feasible. On June 3, 2014, Hiles contributed the $10,400 limit to Martinez’ campaign, reports show.

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.

White House official: Martinez should donate money taken from domestic violence offender

The drum beat for Gov. Martinez to distance herself from a disgraced major Republican donor got significantly louder today when a former White House domestic violence advisor weighed in supporting State Senators and victims of domestic violence who have called for Martinez to donate more than $120,000 in campaign donations she solicited from a convicted domestic violence offender. Texas’ governor and lieutenant governor last month donated more than $700,000 they had received from the same donor to Texas domestic violence shelters. Martinez raised more than $8,000,000 for her 2014 bid for reelection.  She reported almost $250,000 cash remaining in her gubernatorial account in December.  Martinez is term-limited and cannot seek a third term.

Senators join Domestic Violence advocates in demand for Gov to return big bucks taken from domestic abuser

The New Mexico In Depth made news last week that Republican donors around the country were returning or donating hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in campaign donations received from a domestic abuser.  Not surprisingly, domestic violence victims and advocates demanded Governor Martinez and Republican Super PACs do the same. Today, state senators joined the call for Governor Martinez to follow suit:

Leaders of New Mexico’s Domestic Violence Community Continue Drumbeat:
Governor Susana Martinez Must Give Abuser’s $120,000 Contribution to DV Shelters

Santa Fe, NM – Leaders of New Mexico’s domestic violence community continued to call today for Governor Susana Martinez to donate the $120,000 of campaign contributions she accepted from convicted batterer Marcus Hiles to abuse victims programs and shelters. Senator Linda M. Lopez (D-11-Bernalillo), the author of many of the state’s laws to protect victims and survivors of domestic abuse, spoke out in the State Capitol about the Gov.’s refusal to hear advocates’ plea.  Lopez questioned whether it is ethical to not donate Hiles’ campaign contributions to programs and groups that help women and their children who are victims of violence. “It is ethically wrong and also hypocritical of Governor Martinez to keep this vicious abuser’s money.  Frankly, she ought to be too ashamed to keep it,” said Sen. Lopez.

Gov’s nominee likely to face new questions about Super PAC donor; Republicans give away donations from convicted major donor

Susana Martinez endured a small setback Wednesday when the Senate abruptly halted debate on the confirmation of Martinez’s appointee, former fellow-District Attorney turned pro-Martinez political operative Matt Chandler, to the UNM Board of Regents. Republican leadership sponsoring his nomination realized he did not have sufficient votes for confirmation and asked to revisit it later this week. But Chandler may face new questions in that second debate, thanks to a story which just appeared in New Mexico In Depth:
The largest individual  donor to a New Mexico Republican super PAC pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Las Vegas in 2013. Marcus Hiles, a developer from Grand Prairie, Texas, donated $100,000 to Advance New Mexico Now. That political action committee raised more than $1 million last year to support GOP candidates, mostly in their successful effort to take over the state House, state records show.

Dirty politics pays big: Jay McCleskey’s companies made $101,000 per day running Martinez and other GOP campaigns

Who says dirty politics doesn’t pay? The Santa Fe Reporter comes with a new analysis of federal and state finance reports show that Jay McCleskey, the governor’s top political advisor and campaign manager, and three firms connected to him were paid $1,700,000 in just 19-days of the past campaign. While Martinez says she has no national ambition, McCleskey apparently isn’t turning down work for national Republican groups:
In the three-month period ending on Sept. 30, the [Republican Governors Association] paid Martinez’ top political adviser Jay McCleskey’s firm, McCleskey Media Strategies, $30,000 for “consulting” in Arizona and Nevada, according to tax filings. A New Jersey news organization, NJ.com, reports McCleskey has received $90,000 in consulting for the two states in this election cycle.

Now what? – Republican wave sweeps New Mexico

When ProgressNowNM opened our doors three years ago, our goal was clear: empower progressive voices to make New Mexico a better place. Susana Martinez promised bold change and, for her, that meant letting big business and special interests run the show unchallenged. Today, we know that we’ve created a conversation and filled a gap that had been open. Last night, voters rejected partisan gridlock and political sniping.  But they voted for candidates with a vision and issues they believe in.

Go to the polls!

This is it!  
Election Day is finally here.  
Need a reason to vote?  Here’s a few:
Less than 200 votes separate Democrats from Republicans in early vote turnout in at least 2 key house districts.  6 others are within just 300 votes going in to Election Day. Republicans began the year boasting that they would pick up three seats to take over control of the State House. Go vote.  
The race for Secretary of State is tied.  Dianna Duran’s quixotic quest to find massive voter fraud and purge legal voters has cost taxpayers big bucks and good voters massive headaches.   Maggie Toulouse Oliver is fighting back in a race that pundits say is so close it could lead to a statewide recount.  Go vote.  Take a friend.

Southern New Mexico Ballot Question Asks if Sierra, Dona Ana County is Ready for Transit

From Alliance for a Better New Mexico, a community campaign in Southern New Mexico:

Dear Doña Ana and Sierra County Voter,

We need to vote FOR the small GRT tax increase for regional transit. A well-integrated transit system will unite our region, get people to work and school, and be a platform for residents to be more independent and autonomous. Hundreds of people will travel the system every day to work, school, medical appointments, and grocery stores and pharmacies. We will be a modern community with real support for the people who live here. Last year the Las Cruces bus system had a ridership of almost 800,000.