December 22, 2015

2015 Recap: Martinez phone call makes national headlines

December isn’t over yet, but we’re going to have our recap today anyway. So this is a clear jinx for massive news happening before the calendar turns to January.

Gov. Susana Martinez

Gov. Susana Martinez

The month seemed headed towards the sleepy (for news, not shopping) Christmas week and post-Christmas week when out of nowhere there was a thunderbolt in the form of phone calls from Governor Susana Martinez to Santa Fe police. The governor called the police to demand why hotel security had called police to escort her and others off the property after a loud hotel room party. She responded and apologized for some of the actions later that day. Still, the news went viral nationally.

That same weekend, a report came out that a federal grand jury subpoenaed information from the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s office during the time when she was in charge.

Note: Each weekday from here through December 22, we will be looking back at the top stories from each month here at NM Political Report. These could be the most-read stories, some interesting stories that didn’t get much attention or just plain important stories.

Previous recaps: January. February. March. April. May. June. July. August. September. October. November.

The news knocked Duran out of the headlines (and overwhelmed our server space at NM Political Report), though it happened on the same day that Duran reported to jail. Duran’s attorney and other friends of Duran had asked that she serve no jail time. Judge Glenn Ellington imposed a 30-day sentence and other punishments in a complicated sentence that Duran chose not to challenge despite being given the option.

Martinez then named Brad Winter as the new Secretary of State. A source told NM Political Report that Maggie Toulouse Oliver would run in 2016; Winter said he would not run for election in 2016. After criticism of his plan to keep both the job of Secretary of State and Albuquerque City Councilor through the end of 2016, he said if he can’t handle both, he will resign from his city council position.

A judge ordered the release of cell phone videos that showed some of the Los Altos Skate Park shooting that left 17-year old Jaquise Lewis dead. We obtained the video the next day. The attorney for Lewis’ family said the video showed that claims of self-defense by Lewis’ killer were “not legitimate.”

A certified public accountant said what he thought Demesia Padilla should have done in the scandal involving potential abuse of power in trying to influence a former client’s audit.

Nate Gentry wants police officers to be added to the list of protected classes in the state’s hate crimes law.

An audit found that Albuquerque Public Schools has more than 2,000 APS employees working without a background check. Earlier, APS stopped the punishments of teachers that came out of low tests scores thanks to a ruling that was part of a bad month for standardized testing advocates.

APD, meanwhile, received a warning from a federal monitor that it’s reform progress wasn’t where it should be. City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County officials were able to outline their concerns over the Supreme Court-mandated deadlines that they say makes the area less safe.

We also found out that there are over 5,000 untested rape kits in the state.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce received a challenger in the form of Democrat Merrie Lee Soules. Soules will have a tough time dislodging the incumbent Republican in New Mexico’s most conservative congressional district.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry bucked many of his fellow Republican politicians and said that Albuquerque would “welcome” voter registration.

Protest ABQ, the anti-abortion group that involved itself in a city council race, is challenging a campaign finance fine over mailers sent with graphic imagery and mentioning Pat Davis*.

*Pat Davis is the executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, the organization that helps with funding for NM Political Report. No one at ProgressNow New Mexico, including Davis, have any editorial input on this or any other story.