“She has what I call the appearance of a conflict of interest, and appearances matter. She should probably recuse herself from anything involving Lockheed. That’s tricky — in particular for the F-35, because it’s a big part of the job.” – Gordon Adams, a professor emeritus at American University and former associate director for national security at OMB, on Heather Wilson’s “strategic advising” work after leaving Congress in 2009
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- A report on preschool and childcare in New Mexico “shows a five-year high in the amount of state and federal funding invested in early childhood programs and steady improvement in the quality of care children are receiving.”
- A bipartisan group of senators voted to block a bill that would have eliminated the secretary of public education and replaced the position with a statewide board to oversee New Mexico public schools.
- School board elections took place across the state yesterday, with generally favorable results for union-friendly candidates. Turnout was significantly up in Albuquerque and flat in Las Cruces.
- The New Mexico Board of Finance meets today to figure out how to pay for jury trials after the end of the month.
- The New Mexico Senate approved a bill yesterday that would authorize the state Department of Agriculture to oversee the growing of hemp for research purposes only.
- A report by a Washington D.C. solar industry group showed that New Mexico added 3,000 jobs in solar industry last year.
- President Trump this morning said that a federal court ruling against his immigration executive order would cost the nation “the security and safety to which we are entitled.” Yesterday the Justice Department struggled to convince a federal court to allow the feds to resume enforcement of Trump’s executive order prohibiting refugees from coming to the U.S. and suspending travel from seven Middle East countries.
- Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the Senate as education secretary yesterday with the help of a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Pence. New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera might be headed to D.C. to join her.
- The Senate voted late Tuesday to prohibit Senator Elizabeth Warren from speaking against the nomination of Jeff Sessions by using “arcane” U.S. Senate rules that prohibit impugning another senator. The incident caused the hashtag #LetLizSpeak to begin trending on Twitter. This morning Senator Udall finished reading the letter that got Warren in trouble last night.
- The Army Corps of Engineers gave notice to Congress on Tuesday that it would grant an easement allowing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward.
[Tech and Strategy]
- Advertising Age has a postmortem report on the Clinton campaign decision to use an in-house system to optimize TV ad buys.
- The National Republican Congressional Committee released a target list for 2018, including the New Mexico congressional districts represented by Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham.
- A Texas nonprofit sued by the Texas Democratic Party has filed a counterclaim challenging numerous provisions of Texas campaign finance law. They are represented by Indiana attorney James Bopp (the mastermind behind the landmark Citizens United case).
- The National Archives published 12 million pages of once classified documents that show New Mexico’s role in national security and the Cold War nuclear espionage between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The release also includes a “1958 document on reporting UFOs”.
- Stargazers are in for a rare treat this Friday when a lunar eclipse, a full Snow Moon, and a passing comet will all be visible from Earth. More info on what those are and when to spot them here.