“The Martinez administration has been openly hostile to unions from her first day in office, so it doesn’t surprise us.”– Carter Bundy, AFSCME director, in an Albuquerque Journal story reporting that New Mexico state government has stopped payroll deductions from nonunion workers after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that ended “fair share” fees.
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- UNM is looking at cutting four sports programs, including the men’s soccer team, in an effort to rein in an athletic budget deficit of nearly $5 million. Predictably, state and federal officials of the Albuquerque area are not happy with the decision.
- During an interim legislative committee meeting at the Roundhouse lawmakers requested more oversight of the state’s private detention centers.
- The Legislative Council, a group of bipartisan lawmakers, filed a lawsuit against members of Governor Martinez’s administration, “arguing they overstepped their authority by moving to convert a state park outside Las Cruces into a regional Game and Fish Department headquarters.”
- Democratic congressional candidate Deb Haaland gets profiled in a piece in Fast Company.
- Meat producer Stampede Meat announced a $36 million investment to reopen a production facility in Sunland Park and is expected to create up to 1,295 jobs over the next five years. The state provided $3 million in funding to seal the deal.
- Governor Martinez signed an executive order as a first step in reforming the state’s onerous occupational licensing requirements.
- After more than a decade after it was first promised, the road to Spaceport America is now fully paved.
- Searchlight New Mexico does a deep dive into the state’s contract spending.
- The number of New Mexicans enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program grew by 18% from last year.
- The oil boom in the Permian Basin is fueling a battle for groundwater from the area’s shared aquifer.
- President Trump indicated via Twitter that he could have a follow up meeting with Putin amid the fallout from his Monday meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki, Finland.
- The Trump administration now expects yearly budget deficits to grow about $100 billion more than previously forecast “in each of the next three years, pushing the federal deficit above $1 trillion starting next year.” Administration officials have maintained that stronger economic growth would offset the cuts in government revenue stemming from the recent tax cuts.
- A recent Gallup poll reveals that 72% of Americans believe that Mexico is a “friend” or “ally” to the U.S., the lowest number recorded in the poll’s 20-year history.
- Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are using the last of the current House legislative session to vote on so-called messaging bills to highlight or expose political divisions between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are defending 68 of the 77 seats in play this cycle.
[Tech & Strategy]
- The Democratic tech organization, Tech for Campaigns, gets profiled in The New York Times. The piece mentions how the volunteer group helped redesign the website for Elizabeth Thomson, a Democrat running in New Mexico’s 24th House district (which was previously held by Republican Conrad James).
- The historical advantage of the minority party in a midterm election cycle seems to be holding true for Democratic congressional candidates. In New Mexico CD-2, Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small more than doubled her pre-primary cash on hand. She has just shy of half a million in the bank compared with her opponent, Yvette Herrell, who has just over $100k (to be fair Herrell had a very competitive primary election, Small did not).
- The traditional GOP base across the U.S. is shrinking: according to a recent analysis, “40 percent of all voters in party registration states are Democrats, while only 29 percent are Republicans.” While the traditional GOP base is more solid than before, there are fewer of them. Though by far the fastest growing voting bloc are independent voters (there more Americans registered as independents than either party).