A national outlet says New Mexico has a very good chance of flipping from a Republican governor to a Democratic one. In fact, National Journal predicted this week that New Mexico is the second-most likely state to elect a governor from a different party than the incumbent in the coming year. Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, cannot run for a third consecutive term because of term limits. From National Journal (story is behind a paywall): Martinez’s favorability has faded as the economy stagnates in the Democratic-trending state. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a former state Cabinet official backed by EMILY’s List, is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and general election next year.
An apartment in downtown Chicago overlooking the historic Navy Pier is probably the last place University of New Mexico officials would expect some of the most ardent criticism of their athletics program. But that’s exactly where the shots toward the UNM athletic department are being fired from. Since last November, journalist Daniel Libit has been writing investigative stories about the UNM athletic department on his self-published website NMFishbowl.com. He received probably the most attention yet when he filed an open records lawsuit last week against UNM Foundation arguing that the non-profit organization should be held to the same transparency standards as the university itself. The lawsuit stems from records Libit requested from UNM Foundation as well as the school itself regarding information on the naming rights of WisePies Arena (aka The Pit).
Another day, another revelation about federal investigators looking into the goings-on of the Susana Martinez administration. After NM Political Report reported that the FBI was looking into the Martinez administration itself, The Santa Fe New Mexican added more details to the story, reporting that the FBI was looking into the embattled State Taxation and Revenue Department, citing “a person familiar with the investigation.” The newspaper says that federal investigators subpoenaed documents from the department while looking into whether or not audits were performed in retaliation of former members of Martinez’s administration. The newspaper says that three former members of the administration and a former fundraiser for Martinez, who all fell out of favor, confirmed they had been audited. One was Brent Eastwood, a former division director of international trade for the New Mexico Economic Development Department.
Indiana has been at the center of a firestorm after Gov. Mike Pence signed a “religious freedom” bill into law that critics say would legalize discrimination against LGBT customers. Pence, and other supporters, have been on the defensive about the law and one talking point they have used is that many other states have such “religious freedom” laws, as does the federal government. Using this talking point, the Washington Post wrote that 19 other states already have similar laws on the books and so does the federal government. Included on that map? New Mexico.