Complacency is our number one enemy. [President Trump] is historically unpopular. The more he keeps it up, the more people are encouraged to restrain him. – Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, in a story published in The Hill. Across the country Republicans are concerned the combination of Trump’s polarizing style and increased Democratic enthusiasm could hurt Republicans running in state legislative races across the country (clearly New Mexico is no exception).
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- As the campaign for governor heats up, the latest spat involves the respective candidates’ plans to reform the teacher evaluation system. Predictably the New Mexico Democratic Party and the teachers’ union both tried to accuse Pearce of maintaining the status quo, but the Las Cruces Sun-News does a good job revealing how misleading that claim actually is. A piece in Politico last week spotlights how education is shaping the governor’s race in New Mexico.
- This past weekend Gary Johnson received a formal invitation to run for the U.S. Senate under the Libertarian Party of New Mexico. His formal announcement is expected soon, and if he is able to fundraise quickly he will stop Heinrich from cruising to reelection. Heinrich has a relatively low approval rating and is more vulnerable than he would like to be as an incumbent.
- Construction has started on a wind farm in the eastern plains of New Mexico. The 200 MW project is part of a plan to help California reach its target of getting 50% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2020. Some of the farm’s output is anticipated to be transported by the SunZia Southwest Transmission line.
- Speaking of SunZia, the $2 billion transmission project hit another roadblock “after a hearing examiner recommended the state Public Regulation Commission reject a location permit to lay some 320 miles of transmission line in New Mexico.”
- In a letter last month Attorney General Hector Balderas wrote that “the state cannot legally stop” a proposed nuclear waste dump by the New Jersey-based company Holtec International; the facility will be located about 35 miles east of Carlsbad.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican reminds us of the story behind the man who won a legal battle 70 years ago that finally granted Native Americans the right to vote in New Mexico.
- Colonel Esther Camacho Sablan is the first female commander of the New Mexico Air National Guard’s 150th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base.
- The San Juan County Commission is considering adopting a right to work ordinance and is accepting public comments during a meeting today. A vote on the ordinance is expected after the public hearing.
- Ohio is having a special election today for a Congressional district that is seen as a bellwether. The stakes are high: Trump won the district in 2016 by 11 points and the GOP is spending heavily to avoid an election disaster.
- In another example of why protectionist trade policies are a terrible idea, two of the largest U.S. steel manufacturers with ties to the Trump administration were able to exempt themselves from tariffs while ensuring that hundreds of exemption requests by other American steel companies were denied. Ironically, 70% of the exemptions that have been granted to date have gone to a Chinese-owned company. “America First” FTW!
- The Paul Manafort trial continues and Rick Gates, the star witness and Manafort’s former right hand man, is getting another day in the spotlight.
- As Speaker Ryan’s tenure comes to an end, The New York Times has a long read covering the dichotomy between “Trump the blunt-force agitator vs. Ryan the think-tank conservative.”
[Tech & Strategy]
- Left leaning organizations are raising alarms that Facebook’s recent attempts to “secure its powerful advertising engine are hampering their ability to communicate with Hispanics and Spanish-speaking audiences ahead of the midterm elections.”
- Four states – Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Washington – are holding primary elections today. Bridget Bowman of Roll Call has four things to watch as the results come in tonight. Missouri’s election includes a right to work ballot question that could be a watershed moment for unions.
- A recent renovation and expansion at Los Poblanos was featured in Architectural Digest. The historic property recently was also recognized as one of Sunset Magazine’s most eco-friendly hotels.
- The 2018 season of the Santa Fe Opera gets reviewed by The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
- New Mexico produces over 1 million gallons of wine annually and harvest season has begun. Even the chile harvest season is getting started, which is around a month earlier than normal.