The former head of the New Mexico Environment Department is now the executive director of an organization that advocates for one of the industries he previously regulated. Ryan Flynn will be the executive director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. The announcement came just weeks after he left the New Mexico Environment Department. New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which is separate from the Environment Department, does much of the regulation for the oil and gas industry in New Mexico. Gov. Susana Martinez banned former officials from lobbying executive agencies or the Legislature for two years after they leave.
Lobbyists and their employers spent some $818,000 on meals, receptions and gifts for lawmakers and other New Mexico officials in 2015. Individual lobbyists – 148 of them – spent more $474,000, while 23 businesses spent more than $344,000, reports show. The overall total includes a rarity in New Mexico campaign finance reporting — the money a big New Mexico corporation spent on lobbying services last year. In a report filed Friday, Yates Petroleum Corp. reported paying former state Sen. Kent Cravens nearly $90,000 for lobbying services.
By Sandra Fish | New Mexico In Depth
Lobbyists and organizations feted New Mexico legislators and other officials with more than $519,000 worth of food, drink and gifts from Jan. 15 through the end of April. Of the 600 lobbyists registered with the Secretary of State’s office to represent more than 750 clients, only 116 spent money during the session. Those individual lobbyists spent $334,419 on events such as the 100th Bill Party, electric toothbrushes, teddy bears, gift certificates and, in one instance, ammunition for concealed carry training. And 14 companies spent $184,685.
Since Phil Griego, D-San Jose, stepped down from his position as a member of the state Senate, it will be up to county commissioners throughout his sprawling former district to send recommendations for his replacement to Gov. Susana Martinez. District 39, which Griego represented until Saturday morning, contains parts of Bernalillo, Lincoln, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Torrance and Valencia counties. Each of the county commissions will choose a candidate, at which point Martinez will decide which candidate will replace Griego for the remainder of the term. The governor will likely prefer to see someone from her own party take Griego’s seat. Currently, 17 Republicans serve in the Senate.