Tonight’s results send a clear message: even in arguably the most liberal city in the state, New Mexicans don’t have the appetite to pay higher taxes. This was the same out-of-touch agenda that Santa Fe lawmakers tried to jam through when they passed a $350 million tax increase – including raising the price of gas. Hopefully, legislators heard this message. – Governor Martinez in a statement released after the defeat of the soda tax special election held in Santa Fe yesterday.
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- Santa Fe voters overwhelmingly voted against a soda tax yesterday with about 58% of 19,915 ballots voting against the measure (a record 37.7% of voters participated in the special election). The astronomical turnout was likely due in large part to very heavy spending: campaign expenditure reports show total political activity spending of at least $163 per vote.
- Progressives had much better luck in the Doña Ana election for the Soil and Water Conservation District Board; both of their selected candidates won fairly comfortably with “historic” turnout (for a conservation district election) of about 5%.
- Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry can (kind of) breathe a sigh of relief given that Congress’ latest spending package includes $50 million in continued funding for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, however that is still $19 million less than the city was originally expecting.
- Former television executive Jeff Apodaca – and son of New Mexico Governor Jerry Apodaca – formally announced his candidacy for governor. He joins Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham in the Democratic primary (Senator Joseph Cervantes is also expected to run); no Republican has yet to formally enter the race.
- Governor Martinez announced yesterday the creation of a “state-backed investment program” called the Catalyst Fund that will invest a total of $20 million over the next several years into New Mexican startup companies.
- A proposal by the New Mexico Public Education Department “to eliminate two of the five bilingual education teaching models in the state” has drawn heavy criticism from across the state.
- According to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts New Mexico “is among 23 states that don’t do a good job of evaluating business tax incentives to see if they’re worth the money”.
- The GOP’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill is gaining momentum after a couple key Republican Congressman flipped their support after President Trump agreed “to a policy change that could provide $8 billion in funding to some states to help lower costs for sick people and those with pre-existing conditions”.
- FBI director James Comey defended himself in testimony today before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Slate has a notable (if not amusing) piece that attempts to explain “How to tell who’s leaking what in the Trump administration.”
- A piece in The New York Times has an in-depth analysis on Ivanka Trump’s background and influence in the Trump Administration.
- The Washington Post comes with an insightful book review of “A massive new biography [that] sheds light on the relationships, sacrifices and calculations that enabled the Obama presidency.”
[Tech & Strategy]
- Is data fraud “the next transparency challenge” for digital strategists and advertisers?
- A group of top Dem strategists analyzed new data to reveal Clinton lost to Trump not because of turnout, but more because of voters switching allegiance from Obama in ’12 to Trump in ’16.
- This Saturday’s Kentucky Derby has some participants that have connections to New Mexico.