The single biggest problem is that people think they’re going to find a quick solution. But successes won’t play out in the two to four years of an election cycle. In fact, the economy might get worse before it gets better. – Jeff Mitchell, director of UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, in a story from Searchlight New Mexico on the state’s relentless “brain drain”.
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- Members of the Republican Party’s State Central Committee met this weekend and nominated Gavin Clarkson to be the Republican candidate for secretary of state.
- The parent company of PNM (full disclosure: I work for PNM) was the largest PAC spender in the most recent primary election. However, spending by environmentalist groups was not too far behind.
- New Mexico gubernatorial candidates continue to build their war chests: Steve Pearce has a cash balance of almost $2 million and Michelle Lujan Grisham has around $873,000, as of the end of June. Expect this cash imbalance to not last very long.
- Crime continues to plague the state’s largest city. According to recent report “more cars are stolen at UNM than at any other campus in the country.”
- The New Mexico Racing Commission announced in May that it was accepting applications for New Mexico’s sixth racing license. So far at least three groups are in a fierce “racino” competition to secure the state’s last horse-racing license.
- Amtrak is exploring ending the renowned Southwest Chief passenger train service from southwest Kansas to central New Mexico and replacing it with a bus connection.
- The speculation around President Trump’s pending Supreme Court nomination, expected Monday night, continues to dominate the airwaves.
- The current head of the EPA, Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, is anticipated to face a fierce path to confirmation if he is tapped to lead the agency. Senator Udall was quoted as saying “Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA.”
- The federal agency that manages Obamacare is freezing payments to insurers that cover sicker patients, saying that a February action by a trial court in New Mexico “prevents [the agency] from making further collections or payments under the risk adjustment program, including amounts for the 2017 benefit year, until the litigation is resolved.”
- Recent jobs data show that for the first time in almost twenty years, the national unemployment rate dipped under 4 percent.
- Tentative plans to reorganize the U.S. Department of the Interior and shift employees out of Washington could include expansion of the federal department’s already sizable footprint in New Mexico.
[Tech & Strategy]
- The Democratic data infrastructure is still reorganizing after feeling stung in 2016. Last month a prominent Democratic data firm TargetSmart, sued a rival, Catalist, for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
- A Pew Research Center survey last month found that a sizable majority of Republicans believe “technology firms support the views of liberals over conservatives and that social media platforms censor political viewpoints.” Some Republicans believe this could be part of a messaging campaign for this November’s elections.
- Democratic congressional candidate Deb Haaland is mentioned in a piece about women candidates this cycle credited with “sparking a revolution in the design of campaign yard signs and logos, introducing a new palette of colors and dramatic departures from tradition.”.
- Senator Martin Heinrich continues on his push to make White Sands National Monument a national park.
- Jockey Mike Smith, who last month became the 12th jockey in history and the only one from New Mexico to win the Triple Crown, is being celebrated one more time as Governor Martinez proclaimed today as “Mike E. Smith Day.”