Anti-Semitic incidents in New Mexico, as well as the rest of the country, increased dramatically during 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, according to an annual audit from the Anti-Defamation League. The group’s Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents reported seven incidents in 2015, 11 in 2016 and seven in 2017 through the end of March. Those this year included two widely publicized bomb threats at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque. ADL also cited threats to a local website called ABQ Jew and an incident in an Albuquerque parking lot where a woman allegedly spit on a Jewish woman’s car and told her to “get ready for the next exodus” because of the election of Donald Trump. Suki Halevi, the ADL New Mexico regional director, also cited an interview on KSFR public radio with Christopher Bollyn, a conspiracy theorist who has called 9/11 “a massive Zionist Jewish crime.” The interview, which ADL said was apparently favorable to his point of view, occurred last summer on “Camp Lovewave,” a program that KSFR has since discontinued.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich says a former Donald Trump campaign chairman should testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee after reports of the former campaign official’s ties to Russia. Heinrich, a member of the committee, said that Paul Manafort must testify “and give the American people the answers they deserve.”
Heinrich cited an Associated Press report that Manafort “secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics.”
Manafort worked for Oleg Deripaska, who is a close ally of Putin, for a reported $10 million a year contract. Heinrich said the work described by the AP was similar to recent Russian hacking actions during the elections in the United States. “I am alarmed by reports that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort created and then sold the Russians what appears to be a game plan to undermine democracy and further the interests of the Russian government – including inside the United States,” Heinrich said. “His reported recommendation to use political campaign tactics, establish front groups, and manipulate the press are strikingly similar to the actual tactics we know the Russians employed to undermine our presidential election.”
The Trump administration has attempted to downplay Manafort’s role, with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying Manafort’s role in the campaign was “for a very limited amount of time.”
As CNN reported, Manafort was Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist for the summer of 2016 before the role went to Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon and political strategist Kellyanne Conway.
Saying President Donald Trump has created “undue fear” in New Mexico’s immigrant community with threats of massive deportations of undocumented residents, an Albuquerque Democrat introduced a bill that would prohibit state and local police from arresting people based solely on their immigration status. House Bill 116, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, would bar police from using state or federal “funds, equipment, personnel or resources” for detecting or apprehending a person whose only violation of law is entering or residing illegally in the U.S.
“I’m trying to make sure our communities are protected, so they don’t fear any negative repercussions from Trump’s threats” Roybal Caballero told The New Mexican
A spokesman for the governor said in an email Tuesday that “while we haven’t reviewed the legislation, the governor’s stance on these issues has always been clear. As a former prosecutor from a border district for more than 20 years, it’s never been about immigration — it’s about public safety.” During her first month in office in 2011, Martinez issued an executive order that nullified New Mexico’s status as a “sanctuary” state. That order, which applied to state police and other law enforcement agencies under the governor, said “State law enforcement officers shall inquire into the criminal suspect’s immigration status, and report relevant information to federal immigration enforcement authorities.”
In a press conference in North Dakota where Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, he said that New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez will “come over to my side” and support him. “I haven’t had the support of the governor of New Mexico, she was opposed, she was on somebody else’s side, which is fine, that’s everybody’s right,” he said, “I imagine she’ll come over to my side.”
Martinez endorsed Marco Rubio just a few weeks before he dropped out of the race. The question came days after Trump slammed Martinez and her job performance, saying “She’s not doing her job.”
This led those in the Republican establishment to support Martinez, even those who have endorsed Trump. Martinez so far has not endorsed Trump. She also has said she will not vote for Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate.