DA: Allegations of police tampering with video warrant federal investigation

Kari Brandenburg, the outgoing Bernalillo County district attorney, said Monday a federal “criminal investigation is absolutely warranted” into allegations that Albuquerque Police Department employees have tampered with videos that show police shootings. Brandenburg said Monday in a telephone interview she is sending documentation detailing the allegations to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque. This story originally appeared at New Mexico In Depth and is reprinted with permission. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office would not say Monday whether the agency planned to open an inquiry based on the district attorney’s referral. But spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez wrote in an email “the Justice Department takes seriously all referrals from state and local prosecutorial authorities.”

The allegations

Reynaldo Chavez, the police department’s former records supervisor, swore out an affidavit as part of an ongoing civil right rights lawsuit against APD in which he alleged that department employees had altered or deleted videos showing the events surrounding two controversial shootings by officers in 2014.

Sanchez says focus on him led to other Dem victories

One bright spot New Mexico Republicans point to in state elections is the defeat of Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez. The Belen Democrat lost after Advance New Mexico Now, a Super PAC with close ties to Gov. Susana Martinez, and other organizations targeted him for what they saw as obstruction of important issues. In recent days, Sanchez has told media outlets this nearly single-minded focus on his state Senate district may have tipped the balance and allowed Democrats to take back the state House of Representatives while expanding their state Senate majority. “I’m really grateful for her aiming at me,” Sanchez told the Albuquerque Journal. “They focused their attention on me, and they didn’t pay attention to what they needed to pay attention to.”

He said something similar to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

El Albuquerque Journal reduce personal hasta en la sala de redacción

Hay recortes en el periódico más grande de Nuevo México. Según Brian Fantl, vicepresidente sénior y jefe de operaciones del periódico, el Alburquerque Journal eliminó seis cargos recientemente, incluyendo uno en la sala de redacción. Además, cinco reporteros más abandonaron la sala de redacción en las últimas fechas, y no está claro si los puestos quedarán vacantes. Unos de los puestos, el que ocupó el redactor Ollie Reed, se va a eliminar, confirmó Fantl. Reed fue despedido el jueves.

Poll: Clinton up by 5 in NM as Election Day nears

A poll by Research and Polling, Inc. for the Albuquerque Journal released Sunday shows Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump by 5 percent in New Mexico, days before Election Day. Research and Polling, which conducts polls for the Journal, is the only pollster that uses live interviews to poll in New Mexico this year. The poll, conducted from Nov. 1 to 3, shows 45 percent of likely voters say they will vote for Clinton, while 40 percent say they will vote for Trump. Former Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee, saw his support fall to 11 percent.

Albuquerque Journal cuts staff, including in newsroom

New Mexico’s biggest daily newspaper is scaling back. The Albuquerque Journal recently eliminated six positions, including one in the newsroom, according to Brian Fantl, the newspaper’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. On top of this, five more reporters recently left the newsroom, and it’s unclear whether their positions will be refilled. One of those positions, which belonged to staff writer Ollie Reed, is getting eliminated, Fantl confirmed. Reed was laid off Thursday.

Pence says ‘this movement is coming together’ in Las Cruces

Mike Pence showed up in Las Cruces Wednesday for a campaign rally in an airport hangar and sounded confident that New Mexicans would vote for Donald Trump. “This movement is coming together,” Pence said according to the Albuquerque Journal. “New Mexico is coming together, and we’re going to make Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America.”

It was the third trip by Pence to New Mexico and the first to Las Cruces, as the Trump campaign seeks to put New Mexico in play after two large victories by Barack Obama in the state in 2008 and 2012. Both the Trump campaign and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign are airing ads in New Mexico. Polling has shown Clinton leading in New Mexico.

Trump to hold campaign rally in New Mexico this weekend

Donald Trump is coming back to New Mexico for a campaign rally, a week before Election Day. Trump will be in New Mexico Sunday to headline a campaign rally. The rally will be held at Atlantic Aviation, near the Albuquerque International Sunport according to Trump’s website. The doors will open at 4:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. start time. Trump has a rally scheduled for Greeley, Colorado at 4:00 p.m. that same day.

Secretary of State hopefuls face off in debate

In a debate characterized by a negative tone not unlike the recent showdowns between presidential candidates, both candidates for New Mexico Secretary of State laid out their visions for the office. Democratic candidate and current Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver started by invoking the only reason the office is up for grabs this year in the first place. “We had a secretary of state who violated the very laws and ethics that she was charged with upholding,” Toulouse Oliver said. “I’m running to restore integrity, transparency and trust in the Secretary of State’s office.”

Former Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a Republican who beat Toulouse Oliver in the election for the office two years ago, last year pleaded guilty to using her campaign funds to fuel a gambling habit. Duran, a Republican, resigned from office, spent 30 days in jail and is currently on five years of probation.

Poll: Double-digit lead for Clinton in NM

A new poll for KOB-TV by SurveyUSA shows a double-digit lead for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in New Mexico. The poll also showed a new low for Gov. Susana Martinez when it comes to approval ratings and a wide lead by the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State. The poll shows the Democratic presidential nominee leads the Republican nominee 46 percent to 33 percent. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, has the support of 14 percent while Green Party nominee Jill Stein has the support of 2 percent. In a Research and Polling, Inc. poll commissioned by the Albuquerque Journal that was released earlier this week, Clinton led 35 percent to 31 percent.

FiveThirtyEight: What happens if Johnson wins NM?

Will New Mexico be in play this presidential election? That’s the question following the release of an Albuquerque Journal poll by Research and Polling, Inc. Sunday (which NM Political Report wrote about). And it’s a question polling guru Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight looked into Monday. The bottom line is that the FiveThirtyEight model still has Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as a heavy favorite to win the state. While the poll was close between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, FiveThirtyEight still has Clinton an 82 percent favorite to win the state, down from 85 percent before the poll.