Steve Pearce’s campaign released an internal poll showing he trails Michelle Lujan Grisham by two percentage points. The campaign touted the results, saying they show the race is within the margin of error and so essentially tied. The poll, conducted by The Tarrance Group, showed Lujan Grisham with the support of 47 percent of registered voters and Pearce with the support of 45 percent. Related post: Is the governor’s race tied? Pearce does not have a primary opponent, while Lujan Grisham is facing two Democrats in June’s primary.
In what is perhaps a signal that New Mexico will get some attention from candidates for the primary on the Democratic side since 2008, Hillary Clinton announced her leadership team ahead of New Mexico’s June primaries. Veteran Democratic political operative Scott Forrester will be the campaign’s State Director. Rich Thuma will be the Organizing Director and Victor Reyes* will work as the Communications Director. The primaries take place on June 7. Forrester previously worked as the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico and also as the New Mexico House Caucus Director when Democrats were in control of the chamber.
A bill that could privatize New Mexico’s critical public services, like water, has passed through two committees and passed the House late Wednesday night (HB 299, sponsored by Rep. Larry Larrañaga). Public-private partnerships, or P3s, range from a company designing and constructing a new school, to a government contracting with a company to operate and maintain a road or a water utility. Private companies are pushing hard to expand P3s in our state. HB 299 is one of the broadest, if not the broadest, pieces of P3 legislation in the country in terms of scope of authorized projects, breadth of governmental entities involved, lack of oversight (legislative and executive), lack of public transparency and financial risks. Sadly, it’s not surprising that after the state has handed huge tax breaks to corporations over the years and can no longer afford to keep up with infrastructure needs some lawmakers mistakenly think that we should let private corporations cash in on these needs by building or operating much-needed infrastructure.