The latest New York Times/Siena College poll shows just how close the 2nd Congressional District race remains. The poll found that Republican state Rep. Yvette Herrell leads her Democratic opponent, water attorney Xochitl Torres Small, 45 percent to 44 percent, with still 11 percent undecided. Nate Cohn of the New York Times, who is part of the congressional polling project for the newspaper, says it was their closest result yet. The poll notes that the margin of error of +/- 4.6 percent means each candidate’s true numbers could be that much in either direction. Spending in the district, which is in the millions by outside groups, shows they also believe the race is one of dozens in the nation that will determine who controls the U.S. House of Representatives.
From Albuquerque to New York City, pollsters are watching New Mexico. And, as part of the battle for the U.S. House of Representatives, both national parties are pouring money into television ads for their candidates. An Albuquerque Journal poll shows Democrat Deb Haaland leads in the race to replace Michelle Lujan Grisham in the 1st Congressional District, while Republican Yvette Herrell is leading the race in southern New Mexico to replace Steve Pearce in the 2nd Congressional District. The 2nd Congressional District is a Republican stronghold that Democrats are targeting this year in an attempt to retake the U.S. House of Representatives. The Journal poll showed Herrell, a state representative, leading 48 percent to 41 percent over Democrat Xochitl Torres Small, a water lawyer.
Not all drug prices are going up. Amid the public fury over the escalating costs of brand-name medications, the prices of generic drugs have been falling, raising fears about the profitability of major generic manufacturers. Last week, Teva Pharmaceuticals reported that it had missed analysts’ earnings estimates in the second quarter and planned to lay off 7,000 workers. Its share price plummeted 24 percent in one day as investors worried there was no end in sight. Share prices of other generic drugmakers also declined, as did those of wholesalers, which profit from the sales of generic drugs and have said they expect prices to continue declining.
Byby Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, and Danielle Ivory, The New York Times |
President Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations. But the effort — a signature theme in Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts. Most government agencies have declined to disclose information about their deregulation teams. But ProPublica and The New York Times identified 71 appointees, including 28 with potential conflicts, through interviews, public records and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Some appointees are reviewing rules their previous employers sought to weaken or kill, and at least two may be positioned to profit if certain regulations are undone. The appointees include lawyers who have represented businesses in cases against government regulators, staff members of political dark money groups, employees of industry-funded organizations opposed to environmental rules and at least three people who were registered to lobby the agencies they now work for.
New Mexico journalists shouldn’t feel too upset that Gov. Susana Martinez’s office doesn’t return phone calls or emails—the governor reportedly did the same to Donald Trump’s campaign manager. That’s part of a story in The New York Times about how Trump came to choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. A list of 16 names, put together by then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, did not include Martinez. It did include five women. Update: Martinez’s camp said they never were called by Lewandowski.
This week’s Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was an unexpectedly sweeping victory for reproductive rights advocates 2014 a “game changer,” said Nancy Northrop of the Center for Reproductive Rights that “leaves the right to an abortion on much stronger footing than it stood on before this decision was handed down,” long-time court-watcher Ian Millhiser wrote. Abortion foes had hoped the court would use the Texas abortion case as an opportunity to gut not just Roe v. Wade, but also 1992’s seminal Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which held that abortion laws creating an “undue burden” on women were unconstitutional. Instead, the court clarified and strengthened Casey while striking down two of Texas law H.B. 2’s key provisions 2014 strict building rules for abortion clinics and a requirement that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals. This could invalidate anti-abortion laws in another 25 states. The ruling is expected to have a monumental ripple effect, invalidating strict clinic laws in about half the states.
The last few months have been filled with scandals in New Mexico, and this hasn’t escaped the notice of the nation’s most prominent newspaper. This week, The New York Times examined the unfolding scandals, which have been covered extensively by New Mexico Political Report, and their impact on the larger political narrative in the state. Albuquerque Public Schools
One of the most talked about scandals came in Albuquerque Public Schools after new Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino accidentally sent a text message outlining that he wished to “go after” his chief financial officer to the CFO instead of its intended recipient, Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera. That incident brought renewed scrutiny on Valentino’s leadership, including his hiring of Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez. It turns out that Martinez did not complete a background check required of all school personnel.
Same-sex marriage is becoming legalized in states throughout the country and a potential nationwide legalization looms on the horizon. But even if the Supreme Court of the United States rules in favor of same-sex marriage, these areas will not have legalized same-sex marriage. Some tribes around the country, which are sovereign nations, still do not allow same-sex couples to marry, including the Navajo Nation according to the Associated Press. The Navajo Nation—which spans through portions of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah—is one of the two largest sovereign Native American tribes in the country. From the AP:
Alray Nelson, a gay rights activist who lives with his partner Brennen Yonnie on the Navajo reservation, said the tribe’s law denies same-sex couples the right to be included in decisions on a partner’s health care, or to share in a home site lease.
The New York Times looked at the newly-close ties between U.S. Senator Tom Udall and the chemical industry. Udall is the Democratic point man in discussions over an overhaul of safety regulations in relation to chemicals, the New York Times reports, taking over for the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. In 2013, Udall’s office promoted his work on the agreement. “We urgently need to improve the law so that it can effectively do what Congress intended – protect Americans from dangerous chemicals. Enacting major environmental laws is a very tall order,” Udall said at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2013.
A program that allowed local police departments to seize assets from those accused of crimes will now only apply to those who are convicted except for specific crimes, according to United States Attorney General Eric Holder. The Washington Post described the move as, “the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.” The practice received national attention following a Washington Post investigation and a piece in the New York Times among other outlets. The Washington Post investigation found that nearly $2.5 billion in assets had been seized without search warrants or indictments since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. The money would largely go to local law enforcement.