There will be money put into the reserves based off of the pork that the legislature is not spending, so it’s about $71 million that goes into the reserves to shore up the reserves and our ratings so that they’re in good condition. – Governor Martinez, responding to questions Friday after acting on bills sent to her from the special session. Critics contend the $71 million in borrowed money kicks the can down the road till next year (while allowing the governor to maintain her no new taxes pledge).
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- The Legislature will reconvene later today but since the state has a budget and higher education’s funding has been secured, nothing notable is expected to come out of the special session’s anticipated last few hours.
- Last Wednesday the FBI raided the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department “as part of an ongoing federal grand jury investigation.” Few details are known, including whether the raid is part of an investigation into former Tax and Rev Secretary Demesia Padilla, who resigned last December.
- Santa Fe County is considering imposing campaign finance rules that are more rigorous than current state law.
- In what appears to be sweetheart deal, Bernalillo County approved an estimated $1.7 million tax break to a west side shopping center. Aside from the corporate welfare aspect, what good does giving a tax break to an existing retail complex do (as opposed to attracting new business and development)?
- The effects of increased snowpack from the upper Rio Grande are starting to be seen: as of Thursday the water level at Elephant Butte Lake is 17 feet higher than last year.
- On Saturday Garrett VeneKlasen joined former officeholder Ray Powell in the Democratic primary for State Land Commissioner. Incumbent Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, who beat Powell in 2014 by just 704 votes, is weighing a reelection bid or a run for governor.
- On Thursday the Archdiocese of Santa Fe issued a memo “advising its employees to ask for a search warrant if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers enter church property.” The memo also specifies “language employees can use to demand that an officer leave the premises.”
- White House communications director Mike Dubke confirmed Tuesday that he has resigned amid a White House that has struggled to control the Russia narrative. Rumors of a larger staff shakeup continue to gain traction.
- Early this morning President Trump went after Germany in trade and defense, “ratcheting up a dispute with Chancellor Angela Merkel that risks getting personal and undermining a trans-Atlantic bond that is the bedrock of U.S.-European relations.”
- The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case “challenging Ohio’s policy of removing inactive voters from the registration rolls.”
[Tech & Strategy]
- In what appears to be an endless stream of Silicon Valley startups created to help liberal candidates, a new group called Tech for Campaigns is attempting to pair “tech-savvy volunteers with Democratic candidates across the country.”
- Significant outside spending by the GOP (including $2.7 million by the super PAC endorsed by House GOP leaders) was a major factor in Thursday’s GOP win in Montana’s Congressional special election by Greg Gianforte. But given Gianforte’s questionable behavior (and Montana’s apolitical identity), it is easy to understand why DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján would say that they “will be competing hard for this seat in 2018”.
- This year the world-renowned National Institute of Flamenco is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its annual event in Albuquerque. The event will be held June 10th – 17th. For tickets and more information go to http://www.ffi30.org/.