As we have done with big election nights in recent years, we will be providing live updates on the Albuquerque municipal elections all night. The big race, of course, is to see who will be the next mayor. It’s not considered likely that any candidate will get the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff in November. The liveblog below will update automatically, no need to refresh.
We’re happy to announce our former senior reporter Joey Peters won first place in Continuing Coverage or Unfolding News category in the National Federation of Press Women 2017 Communications Contest. The award recognizes his coverage of the ongoing SNAP scandal at the state Human Services Department. Peters wrote more than two dozen stories about the New Mexico Human Services Department’s trouble following federal law on emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program applications. He broke news of state workers testifying in federal court they were told to change applications by adding fake funds, which gave the state more time to process the applications. This meant that those who sought emergency funding to feed their families had to wait to learn whether they’d receive funding food.
Just in case you missed any of the news from NM Political Report, here are our most important stories from the week. If you don’t want to miss stories during the week, make sure you’re subscribing to our newsletter. Or, find us at Twitter and Facebook. Ethics hearing highlights ambiguity in public finance rules, by Andy Lyman — The former Republican National Committeeman is accusing the campaign for a progressive candidate for Albuquerque city council of purposefully forging signatures and falsifying contributions. State board rejects petition to regulate greenhouse gases, by Laura Paskus — In its opposition to the petition, the New Mexico Environment Department said the agency, and others in the state, are already taking action on the issue.
Last night we held our fourth News and Brews event, and spoke with Sen. Mimi Stewart, Dr. Veronica Garcia and Sen. Bill Soules about education reform in New Mexico. It was a great conversation—and we hope you don’t miss our next event in September. To find out about these panels ahead of time, make sure you’re subscribing to our newsletter. Or, find us at Twitter and Facebook. If you’re interested in environment news (including upcoming public meetings), subscribe to our weekly email.
We know how tough it is to keep up with all the news every week, especially in recent months. Here’s a list of the stories that appeared on NM Political Report this week that you can catch up on this weekend—before the news cycle starts all over again next week. This week, we highlighted education stories:
Education plan could result in closure, takeover of some schools by Andy Lyman: A dive into an education plan the federal government approved and how it could lead to school closures or the conversion of public schools to charter schools. Judge rules ten Martinez vetoes invalid, says they will become law by Matthew Reichbach: Gov. Susana Martinez saw another court setback with the judge’s ruling that she failed to validly veto ten bills, paving the way for them to become law. Confusion over DOI Secretary’s decision on land transfer by Laura Paskus: After an announcement by the U.S. Interior Department, some reported a land transfer to open up a wilderness area was going forward.
Our next News and Brews fundraising event is coming up soon—and we’ll be talking about education just as students are heading to school. Specifically, we’ll be talking about K-12 education. The talk will take place on Thursday, August 24 at Rob’s Place at O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. Tickets for the event are free, though we suggest a $20 donation. RSVP for free here As of now, State Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, and Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica Garcia are scheduled to attend.
We know how tough it is to keep up with all the news every week, especially in current times. Here’s a list of the stories that appeared on NM Political Report this week that you can catch up on this weekend—before the news cycle starts again next week. Rural residents continue decade-long battle against San Augustin Ranch water project by Laura Paskus: A plan to pump water in southwestern New Mexico and ship it to urban areas is not popular with residents of the area. Zinke ‘horses around’ on trip, New Mexicans wait for decisions by Laura Paskus: A recap of Ryan Zinke’s trip to New Mexico, where he avoided public interactions. What does Utah have to do with NM’s national monuments?
After more than two years of award-winning and investigative work and writing over 450 stories, Joey Peters will be leaving NM Political Report later this month. Peters will be moving back to his home state of Minnesota with his wife. Peters has worked at NM Political Report since April 2015, just a few months after it’s inception, and in that time he broke big stories and won multiple awards. In 2015, one of his award-winning stories put NM Political Report on the map for many readers. Peters broke the news that a recently-resigned deputy superintendent at Albuquerque Public Schools was facing trial for sexual assault on a child.
We’re proud to announce our next News and Brews fundraising event will be a big one—and will be at a new venue and a new time! We will be hosting a discussion on University of New Mexico Athletics and open records at the UNM Foundation. Journalist Daniel Libit of NMFishbowl.com (who we profiled earlier this year) will be in town for the discussion. New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Board President Greg Williams will also be on hand to discuss the situation. Tickets for the fundraising event are free, though we do suggest a $20 donation.
This week, NM Political Report editor Matthew Reichbach was on Here & There with Dave Marash, discussing the recent special legislative session. The show appears on KSFR in Santa Fe and is available online for free. Legislators met during the brief special session to address the state’s budget, making sure it would be balanced, as required by the state constitution. One piece of legislation, championed by Gov. Susana Martinez and agreed to by reluctant legislators, used severance tax bond money to help cover a budget hole. Reichbach and Marash also discussed a tax overhaul proposal that did not clear a House committee.