"Vote Here" signs in front of the Otero County Administration Building on New York Avenue in Alamogordo.

New Mexico officials respond to the Dominion/Fox News settlement

New Mexico’s top election official praised the settlement by Fox News in a defamation case over lies told by the network over the 2020 election. On April 18, Dominion Voting Systems accepted a nearly $800 million settlement from Fox News in the defamation case against the cable channel giant. This came on the same day the defamation case was set to go to trial. The suit came following former President Donald Trump’s re-election bid failed and he then claimed the election was not properly conducted since he lost. “The historic settlement is a victory for Dominion Voting Systems just as much as it is a victory for our democracy and for voter confidence,” New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said Wednesday.

Guv signs bill banning requirements for NDAS in settlements for sexual harassment

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill Wednesday that makes nondisclosure agreements for harassment, retaliation or discrimination no longer a bargaining tool for employers in settlements. HB 21, a nondisclosure agreement bill, levels the playing field, according to bill sponsor Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil, a Democrat from Albuquerque. When a victim of harassment, retaliation or discrimination files a lawsuit against an employer, the employer can no longer require the victim to sign a nondisclosure agreement as part of the settlement. Hochman-Vigil and other proponents of the bill said during the legislative session that more often than not the victim is no longer employed when they bring suit and are forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition for settling. That silences the victim, proponents said during the legislative session.

Bill that protects victims of sexual harassment gets bipartisan support on the House floor

A bill that protects victims of sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination passed the House floor unanimously late Thursday night. The House voted 67-0 in support of HB 21, which prevents an employer from forcing a nondisclosure agreement on an employee who is settling over sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation. Most cases never reach the courts, said Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil, D-Albuquerque, during the House floor discussion. Hochman-Vigil also said that more often than not the victim is no longer employed and cannot get a new job and needs to reach the settlement for financial survival. Proponents of the bill said during committee hearings that the bill really protects future potential victims and that enabling victims to speak about what happened to them can prevent serial abusers.

New Mexico lawyer faces death threat over work for immigrants

SANTA FE — A death threat against immigration attorney Allegra Love launched an FBI investigation and forced the Santa Fe advocate to abandon her home until the danger passed, sources have told Searchlight New Mexico. The threat came in an April 29 voicemail from a New Mexico phone number. A man, who said he was coming to Santa Fe, growled into the phone: “I’m going to murder every one of you tyranny-loving mother—ers. Be ready for me! You are all f—ing dead.”

The next day, an FBI agent met Love at her office.

Candidates question value of Mayor Berry’s ‘groundbreaking’ ABQ crime report

The “groundbreaking research” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry commissioned on crime — the city’s No. 1 issue — may sit on a shelf unused when his successor takes office Dec. 1. Why? The two candidates headed for a mayoral runoff election next month, two-term Republican city councilor Dan Lewis and Democratic state Auditor Tim Keller, said the information about crime concentration likely won’t guide their crime-fighting plans if elected.

Gary Johnson at 12%, 6% in recent polls

There is some good news and bad news for Gary Johnson in recent national polling. One shows him in double-digits again, while another shows him at just six percent—perhaps because of the appearance of another third-party candidate. The good news came from a Fox News poll that had Johnson at 12 percent to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 39 percent and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s 36 percent. Clinton held steady at 39 percent when compared to a May poll while Trump fell from 42 percent. Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, received 10 percent in the May poll.

O’Reilly: Martinez ‘only choice’ for Trump’s VP

Bill O’Reilly is the latest pundit to say Susana Martinez should be Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick. The influential talker said this the Thursday night edition of his Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor. Mediate flagged the definitive endorsement by O’Reilly. O’Reilly was speaking to Dana Perino, the former White House Press Secretary under George W. Bush. Perino said that Trump would “probably need a conservative westerner.”

“There is only one choice” if Trump wants to win.

More Martinez-for-VP speculation on Fox News

Once again, pundits are saying that Susana Martinez is a potential vice presidential pick for the eventual Republican nominee. This time, it was Lee Carter of Maslanksy and Partners. Carter appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss possible choices to fill out the Republican presidential ticket that businessman Donald Trump. Carter outlined women as possible “counterbalances” to Trump. Trump is extremely unpopular among women.

‘Bid-rigging’ PARCC lawsuit appeal to be heard this week

A New Mexico judge will hear an appeal of a lawsuit over what has been called “bid-rigging” in relation to evaluation tests that are performed throughout the state. This could cut short the contract between the state and the vendor involved in the tests. The Associated Press reported on the appeal that will take place on Tuesday. The American Institutes for Research appeal challenges the multi-year contract awarded to Pearson to conduct the tests for the state. The tests are for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.