March 29, 2016

Odds and Ends: Judge keeps GOP candidate on ballot

—Judge keeps candidate on ballot.

A judge ruled that Jeremy Tremko will remain on the ballot for the Republican primary in House District 50. Matthew McQueen, the Democratic incumbent from Galisteo, challenged a number of his signatures, including from an individual who signed multiple times; McQueen said none of these should count, while Tremko argued at least one should count.

McQueen can still appeal to the Supreme Court.

Tremko was represented by a Republican state Representative, Zach Cook of Ruidoso.

The race will be a tough one for Republicans; it has been solidly Democratic and McQueen beat Republican Rep. Vickie Perea after Gov. Susana Martinez appointed her to the position after the death of Democratic state Rep. Stephen Easley.

—Teachers unions celebrate SCOTUS decision.

Two major teachers unions in New Mexico, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers both celebrated a split SCOTUS decision that upheld some collective bargaining rights.

“New Mexico’s students benefit when their teachers and other education employees are a respected voice in what programs and curricula are best for our students,” Betty Patterson, President of NEA-New Mexico, said.” This decision to keep intact Union organizing rights is important for all New Mexicans.”

“The court’s ruling today means that for those states with fair share laws there are no changes, including to current opt-out procedures for fee payers,” AFT national president Randi Weingarten said in a statement. “While the Friedrichs case is now concluded and our rights to collect fair share remain intact, so much of our other work continues: our member engagement and community work; our electoral work; our social, educational and economic justice work; our work against austerity and for students, patients and all those we represent and serve; and our advocacy around the Supreme Court replacement for Justice Scalia.“

The big ruling came down 4-4, so it upheld the lower court decision. Antonin Scalia, the justice who passed away earlier this year, almost certainly would have sided with those against the unions.

—Our stories from today.

Since we did not have an Odds and Ends yesterday, here’s stories from yesterday and the Easter weekend:

—Jon Jones booked into jail.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones was booked into jail on Tuesday for violating his probation. He received five traffic citations related to alleged drag racing on Central Avenue in Albuquerque last week.

Viral video showed Jones calling the police officer a “pig” and a “liar.”

Jones trains out of Albuquerque and is scheduled to face Daniel Cormier in a UFC Light Heavyweight championship fight next month in Las Vegas. Jones was stripped of his title and suspended by UFC after a hit-and-run. It’s that hit-and-run from last April that led to Jones’ current probation.