Heinrich, Udall join Dem filibuster on gun legislation

Update 5:30 pm: Heinrich spoke for roughly 20 minutes, mainly focusing on how as a gun owner himself, he can’t understand why the proposed reforms are controversial. “The fact that we’re arguing about this is unfathomable,” Heinrich said. “I can’t tell you how many times I have been through the background check process.” He also said he was proud of the many candlelight vigils that happened in New Mexico in response to the Orlando shootings. Heinrich asked Murphy whether his proposals include due process measures for people who feel wrongly listed on the federal Terrorist Watch List to contest their status.

Bill Clinton: ‘Do we want bridges or walls?’

Capping off a week of high profile presidential campaign visits in New Mexico, former President Bill Clinton rallied supporters of his wife in Southwest Albuquerque Wednesday afternoon. Speaking for just over 40 minutes, Clinton portrayed Hillary Clinton as an antidote to divisiveness in American and world politics. Related: Clinton makes surprise stop in Santa Fe restaurant

“We are living in a fascinating time that is full of both promise and peril,” Bill Clinton said. “Both progress and pain. And what you see all over the world today, all these arguments we’re having.

Bitcoins and Kanye West for VP?

See Part One for Gary Johnson and two other prominent candidates. Darryl Perry of New Hampshire has a history in libertarian politics, at least on a local level, and has a hand in a handful of podcasts and online publications related to free market and limited government. What may separate Perry from other libertarian candidates is his non-traditional method of raising campaign funds. His campaign is only accepting donations in the form of “crypto-currencies” and precious metals. Perry’s campaign website lists all of the donations made, almost exclusively through Bitcoin, which totals an estimated $600 depending on the market price of silver and Bitcoin.

Martinez gives low-key sendoff to low-key session

Following the 2016 legislative session, Gov. Susana Martinez touted passage of some tougher-on-crime laws, a new state budget and a bill to bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID Act. In a short post-session press conference, she touted her five-year legislative battle of changing the state law that gives driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants as complete. But she also acknowledged the caveat. Related Story: Sanchez happy with what Senate accomplished

“While this bill allows limited permits for those who are here illegally, they must prove residency and identity and subject themselves to fingerprinting and background checks,” she said. Until this year, Martinez said she wouldn’t accept a two-tier system if it still allowed undocumented immigrants to still drive legally.

Three things to look for on December 17

This feature was scheduled to not publish starting next Monday, but will be starting an its early Christmas break tomorrow; so this is the last Three things to look for of the year. NM Political Report, however, will continue to be publishing new stories throughout the holidays. Our month-by-month recap of stories will finish up early next week. Then we will start counting down the top ten stories of the year. If you want to add anything to future editions, shoot an email to editor@nmpoliticalreport.com.

Three things to look for on December 11

Just two weeks until Christmas and three weeks until 2016. This year sure did fly by; stories recapping the year are already showing up here at NM Political Report and will continue to until the end of the year. You can see them all here. Anyway, here are three things to look for on Friday, December 11. If you want to add anything on future dates, feel free to email editor@nmpoliticalreport.com.

Attorneys make final arguments in APD public records trial

The City of Albuquerque is using the state Inspection of Public Records Act to only its own end, according to closing arguments in the trial of a lawsuit alleging the city violated the law. Ahmad Assed, the attorney for Munah Green, contends in written arguments submitted this week that under the city’s interpretation, “IPRA becomes meaningless and subject to the pleasure and whim of governmental power.”

“Instead of IPRA being a public check and balance, or a statutory tool by which the public can extract the greatest possible information about governmental actions, IPRA can be thwarted, eviscerated and otherwise rendered meaningless by two words: ‘on-going investigation,’” Assed writes. Green is the mother of Jaquise Lewis, the 17-year-old who died from gunshots in the March shooting at Los Altos Skate Park. The shooting left six others wounded, including one who was paralyzed. Albuquerque police have said that Lewis had a gun, fired at people that night and was killed in self defense.

CPA: Padilla should have referred former client to other accountants

Was it appropriate for the Secretary of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department to get involved with the audit of a former client for whom she once did accounting work? Last week, NM Political Report wrote about how Demesia Padilla, the TRD secretary, wrote a letter asking her own department for lower tax penalties for Harold’s Trucking, a Bernalillo-based business. Before becoming a cabinet secretary in 2011, Padilla handled the business’s financials as a certified public accountant. Padilla’s agency was handling an audit of Harold’s Trucking and Padilla herself stepped in to help out the business. Padilla’s old CPA business had lost tax documents belonging to Harold’s Trucking, she wrote in the letter, and therefore the business shouldn’t be penalized for her mistake.

State senator to HSD: Rethink proposed food stamp changes

A Democratic state senator is urging the state Human Services Department to change its proposed work rules for federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. In a letter to HSD Secretary Brent Earnest, state Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, urges the state to change course on toughening requirements to qualify for SNAP, better known as food stamps. Earlier this month, HSD proposed to add a requirement of 80 hours of community service for SNAP recipients without jobs and aged 16-60 with children older than 6 years old. HSD has said that the proposed changes would put SNAP work requirements in New Mexico back to what they were before the recession. But the proposals have sparked plenty of backlash from community groups, including the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Gannett acquires several NM papers

A handful newspapers in New Mexico and Texas, including the Las Cruces Sun-News and the Farmington Daily Times, will now be run by Gannett. The Sun-News reported on the sale, which includes seven newspapers in New Mexico, one in Texas and four in Pennsylvania. The newspapers were previously operated by Digital First Media, with Gannett holding a minority stake. “We are very pleased to welcome these well-respected media organizations to U.S. Community Publishing as we further our efforts to expand our reach as the best local media company in America for consumers and businesses,” Robert Dickey, president of U.S. Community Publishing and CEO-designate of Gannett “SpinCo,” said in a statement. Gannett runs dozens of newspapers throughout the country, including the USA Today. USA Today is the third-largest newspaper by circulation.