More than 30 years ago, Congress identified what it said was a grave threat to the American promise of equal justice for all: Federal judges were giving wildly different punishments to defendants who had committed the same crimes. The worries were many. Some lawmakers feared lenient judges were giving criminals too little time in prison. Others suspected African-American defendants were being unfairly sentenced to steeper prison terms than white defendants. In 1984, Congress created the U.S. Sentencing Commission with remarkable bipartisan support.
U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to speak at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The Democratic National Convention Committee released a partial list of scheduled speakers and that list included Lujan Grisham, who represents the Albuquerque area in New Mexico. She is the only New Mexican included on the list. NM Political Report reached out to Lujan Grisham’s office and will add a response when we receive one. Every Democratic member of the congressional delegation endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
While former state Rep. Sandra Jeff avoided ballot disqualification after a recent scuffle with the Secretary of State, several questions remain about possible discrepancies in previous campaign reports. The biggest question is the sudden disappearance of more than $27,000 in debt from her failed 2014 campaign for reelection to the state House of Representatives. In July 2014, Jeff reported a loan contribution of $26,720.82 from Gallagher & Kennedy, a law firm with offices in Santa Fe and Phoenix. A note next to the contribution reads, “Campaign Debt for legal fees incurred.”
Jeff continued to report this debt, plus an extra $1,200 that she loaned to herself, for the next six campaign reporting periods, marking a period of nearly two years. But on March 15 of this year, Jeff amended seven old campaign reports from the 2014 election cycle.
Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are among the high profile Democrats scheduled to appear in Santa Fe this weekend for a Democratic conference. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Issues Conference will take place this weekend with a number of high profile Democrats. Related: Michelle Obama to give commencement address at Santa Fe Indian School
The Santa Fe location is likely thanks to Ben Ray Luján. The congressman who represents the state capital is the chair of the DCCC. Luján is the first Hispanic chair of the Democratic group dedicated to elected Democrats to Congress. “I look forward to welcoming Leader Pelosi, Vice President Biden, and my colleagues to New Mexico for this opportunity to show off the state and all the great things New Mexico has to offer,” Luján said in a statement.
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appeared on a conservative cable TV show and said that the leading Republican presidential candidate’s remarks about immigrants and Mexicans won’t help in the general election. “He is addicted to attention,” Richardson said of businessman Donald Trump. Richardson said Trump was getting this attention from “outrageous positions like repealing the 14th amendment.” Richardson made the comments while appearing on the Steve Malberg Show on Newsmax TV, a politically conservative cable TV network. In particular, Richardson objected to Trump’s use of the term “anchor babies.”