“There’s hope. I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s maybe not as bright as we’d like it to be.” – State Representative Larry Larrañaga, on the state’s budget woes. The Albuquerque Journal took a look at the state’s volatile operating budget over the last nine years.
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- New Mexico gubernatorial candidates are building up their respective war chests for an election that is anticipated to be costly, with Lujan Grisham and Pearce both raising over $1 million in the six month reporting period. Notable donors to Lujan Grisham include billionaire investor George Soros and his son; former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his wife donated to Pearce. While Pearce’s legal fight with Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver over whether he can transfer roughly $1 million from his congressional war chest continues, I predict ultimately only a portion of that money will be allowed to be transferred (nothing close to 100%).
- After the narrow defeat of the proposed Healthy Workforce Ordinance in Albuquerque opponents of the measure are anticipating that proponents could try the same thing in Las Cruces.
- Pension funds that support the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) in New Mexico continue to be underfunded. The pension’s estimated unfunded liability “increased over the past four years to $4.8 billion from $4.6 billion.”
- With upcoming balloon payments of roughly a quarter of a billion dollars and declining ridership some wonder whether the Rail Runner commuter rail system is worth the cost.
- Pushback to the state’s proposed science standards continues with the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education likely joining other public school boards in opposing the new standards.
- On Sunday President Trump released a list of immigration policies that he wants as part of a deal to provide a pathway to legal status to young undocumented immigrants referred to as “Dreamers”. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi yesterday called his proposal “a complete non-starter”.
- The New York Times on Monday published a profile of Stephen Miller, the man credited as the “driving force” behind Trump’s recent list of hardline immigration policies.
- Today the Trump administration “will formally propose repealing Barack Obama’s landmark climate change rule for power plants” called the Clean Power Plan. New Mexico’s largest utility and environmentalists both maintain that repeal of the rule “is unlikely to change the fact that market forces already are pushing the state away from dependence on coal.”
[Tech & Strategy]
- Last Tuesday’s mayoral election in Albuquerque in which Democratic State Auditor Tim Keller won 39 percent of the vote was celebrated by the group Our Revolution, which supported his campaign. The progressive organization was built by Senator Bernie Sanders after the 2016 Presidential election and is known for its ground game prowess.
- Twitter banned an ad by Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn for violating the company’s ad policies. The company specifically said that her mention of the phrase “stopped the sale of baby body parts” was the reason her ad was suspended.
- Google, Facebook, and Twitter are in the crosshairs of government regulators more than ever before.
- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday launched a six-figure bilingual national TV and radio campaign that goes after Speaker Paul Ryan and “establishment Republicans” on healthcare, and notably President Trump is not mentioned. New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Luján is the current chair of the DCCC.