Sandoval County to consider right-to-work proposal

A big, vocal crowd is expected at a Sandoval County Commission meeting Thursday night to discuss an issue usually raised at a state level: Right-to-work. Republicans raised right to work proposals at the New Mexico State Legislature in 2015 and 2016, but were unable to pass any laws stopping unions from imposing mandatory fees on workers. Now, advocates are pushing for it at the county level. And Sandoval County is poised to be the first salvo in a bruising battle that will likely end up in the courts. Advocates like Americans for Prosperity raised the issue in Sandoval County and commissioners are expected to start the process toward passing the ordinance on Tuesday.

Incumbents win city council races, one headed to runoff

Tuesday night’s drama centered around  the mayoral election (the race for second, anyway) and the healthy workforce ordinance. But a majority of seats on the City Council were up for grabs as well. Four incumbents ran and each won outright. Candidates had to reach 50 percent to avoid a runoff on Nov. 14, just as in the mayoral election.

Poll: Keller still leads heading into election day for ABQ mayor; Lewis in 2nd

In the race for Albuquerque mayor, Tim Keller is in the lead, while Dan Lewis is now in second, according to a new poll for Albuquerque Journal by Research and Polling, Inc.

The poll shows 29 percent of likely voters support Keller, currently the State Auditor, while Lewis, an Albuquerque city councilor, is in second with 18 percent. Former Democratic Party of New Mexico chairman Brian Colón is in third place with 14 percent while Bernalillo County Commission Wayne Johnson has the support of ten percent of those polled. No other candidate has more than five percent support. If no candidate receives the support of 50 percent of voters after votes are tallied Tuesday, the top two vote-getters will head to a runoff election in November. Eighteen percent described themselves as undecided, a sizable number for days ahead of the election.

Ten bills Martinez invalidly vetoed become law

Ten bills invalidly vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez are now law. A judge declined Martinez’s effort to keep the bills from becoming law while they appealed a previous decision against Martinez. And shortly thereafter Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced she chaptered those ten bills into law (all ten are listed below). “As ordered by the Court, my office has swiftly chaptered all ten of the bills that the Court determined were improperly vetoed during the 2017 legislative session,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement. This is a breaking news story and reactions will be added as we receive them.

Gov. Susana Martinez

Report: Governor left without paying at Santa Fe restaurant

A report says that Gov. Susana Martinez left without paying the bill at a local Santa Fe restaurant Wednesday. That came from the Santa Fe Reporter, which spoke to the general manager of Five Star Burgers in Santa Fe. Martinez ordered a to-go order of a bison burger and fried green beans. When given the bill, the general manager—Robert Gonzales—said she crumpled up the ticket and threw it in the trash. “I thought to myself ‘She is not going to pay for this.

Report: More improper spending at UNM Athletics

A former athletics director at the University of New Mexico spent public money on friends and family for a trip to the finals of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. That’s the latest from a KRQE-TV investigative report this week . The report looked into the credit card spending of former Athletic Director Paul Krebs for  trips to the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in multiple years. Krebs resigned in June amid investigations into his spending, including a golf trip to Scotland where public funds paid for donors’ expenses. Related: UNM announces new fiscal oversight on athletics

This time the TV station found that Krebs charged over $30,000 for trips to men’s basketball Final Four games, from 2014 to 2017.

Ranking: New Mexico one of the worst states for teachers

New Mexico is one of the worst states for teachers. That comes from WalletHub, which ranked each state as well as the District of Columbia. New Mexico ranked 44th. New Mexico ranked 50th, out of 51, when it came to drop out rate and lowest reading test scores and 49th in lowest math scores. The study also revealed that 84 percent of the state’s teachers have inadequate pensions.

Weeks after DACA decision, NM groups working hard to blunt impact

Since taking office in January, President Donald Trump has targeted immigrants to the United States. He attempted to ban on refugees from certain countries, continues to lobby Congress to fund a border wall and most recently, flip flopped on whether or not to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Known by its acronym, DACA, the program protects those who were brought to the United States without document while they were children from deportation. Trump’s administration announced earlier in September that he would end the Obama-era program, and now the people who had signed up under DACA are facing uncertain futures. And now advocates nationwide are working to blunt the impacts of the delayed end to the program.

Feds: Election systems in 21 states (but not NM) targeted by Russian hackers

New Mexico was told there are no signs that Russians targeted the state’s elections systems ahead of the 2016 elections. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver made the announcement Friday afternoon, after news broke that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security contacted the elections officials in each state and informed 21 there were attempts to breach their systems. The Associated Press reported DHS said there was no evidence any votes were affected. It’s not clear how many states saw their elections systems breached. “Fortunately, it appears that New Mexico was not one of the states targeted by Russian hackers last year,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement. “However, cybersecurity threats are still a major concern and should be handled with the utmost seriousness and attention to detail.

Report looking at possible ‘pay-to-play’ on investments stirs up a hornet’s nest

A report examining possible “pay-to-play” over state pension investments is drawing sharp reactions and a call for an investigation into whether donations by investment firms broke state laws. The International Business Times and the money-in-politics watchdog nonprofit Maplight released an investigative report earlier this week on donations given directly to Susana Martinez’s campaign and to organizations that backed Martinez and later received state investment money from a public pension fund. A spokesman for Martinez essentially called the report clickbait and said “these accusations are shameless and dishonest” in a statement to NM Political Report. The spokesman, Joseph Cueto, continued, “It’s a shame that the dark-money liberal political group behind this is getting their way with clicks and smear headlines without a shred of evidence. The Governor remains open to further strengthening of our disclosure laws – despite Democrats’ previously killing her proposals to do just that.”

IBT is a for-profit online news organization based in New York City.