Following an allegation of sexual assault, the confirmation of U.S. Circuit Judge and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh became more controversial. Now some Democrats, including New Mexico’s two senators, want an investigation into what happened between Kavanaugh and college professor Christine Blasey Ford at a party in high school, where Ford alleged Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.. New Mexico U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, issued a statement this week calling for an FBI investigation. “The sexual assault allegation made against Judge Kavanaugh deserves a thorough, professional investigation by the FBI before proceeding with any vote on his nomination to the highest court in the land,” Heinrich said. Heinrich is facing reelection this year and his two challengers both previously said they would vote to confirm Kavanaugh if given the chance.
Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mick Rich is down one major campaign staffer since Tuesday. Rich’s former campaign manager Evan Machan confirmed with NM Political Report that he left the campaign to “pursue other opportunities.”
Nathan James, the campaign’s spokesman, said the campaign would go back to its original staffing structure. “We’re returning to the non-traditional campaign strategies and team that we used to win the Republican nomination,” James said. Rich ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Machan came from Ohio to join Rich’s campaign last December after previously working on the presidential campaigns for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2016 and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in 2012.
Just after 10 on a bright, but chilly Wednesday morning, Mick Rich strolled into a retro-looking coffee shop on historic Route 66 in Tucumcari. Making his way to the back of the restaurant, where the walls and windows were covered in “Mick Rich for Senate” campaign signs, he introduced himself to diners. “I’m Mick Rich and I’m running for Senate,” he said to a few people eating bacon, eggs and stacks of pancakes. Pushing 6 feet tall and bald, Rich made a point to stop at every table, both on the way in and out. After less than an hour talking to about 15 people in Tucumcari, and with a cinnamon roll to go, Rich climbed into the back seat of “The Beast,” a four-ton rig, wrapped with the words “Mick Rich for Senate” and an attached living space, for the two-hour trip to Las Vegas, NM.
U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had 120 days to review 27 national monuments and recommend to the White House whether they should be left alone, eliminated or reduced in size. Thursday, Zinke submitted his review to the White House. But the Interior Department has yet to make his specific recommendations public. During the four month review, Zinke visited eight national monuments in six states, including New Mexico. His office said the review included more than 60 meetings, “tours of monuments conducted over air, foot, car and horseback” and a “thorough review” of more than 2.4 million public comments that had been submitted to the department.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall criticized President Donald Trump Tuesday after the Washington Post revealed that the president disclosed classified information to Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office last week. On the Senate floor, Udall said the latest news calls for a “swift” and independent investigation. “The White House and President Trump face another crisis,” Udall said. Udall went on to criticize Trump’s firing of former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and FBI Director James Comey. “The only rational explanation is that he has something to hide,” Udall said.
Tonight marks the final State of the Union from President Barack Obama. In attendance will be members of Congress and their respective guests. Most of the members of New Mexico’s delegation have announced who they invited. The guests range from from former and current staffers to a member of the Navajo Nation. U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s guest will be Alejandra Montoya-Boyer, a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Secondary Education Graduate Fellow.
Most of the New Mexico Congressional delegation issued statements on Tuesday afternoon regarding executive actions regarding guns announced by the White House this week. After President Obama announced his executive orders to increase gun control on Monday, and held an emotional press conference on Tuesday, the Democrats in New Mexico Congressional delegation issued statements proclaiming their support. Still, some are calling on more action from Congress to increase regulations on guns. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said in a statement that he supports the President’s actions, but that it’s not enough. “I have voted for commonsense legislation to prevent gun trafficking, expand background checks and improve access to quality mental health care,” Udall said.
Martin Heinrich is a U.S. Senator representing New Mexico and a former congressman representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. Recently, the final piece of the Miranda Canyon property was set aside for protection as part of the Carson National Forest. This addition of historic and scenic land will bring new economic activity and recreation opportunities to the Taos area. It will also conserve a vital local water supply. The Land and Water Conservation Fund helped pay for this newly protected outdoor space for us all to enjoy.