NM land commissioner says investment council censure is a political play

Rifts within political parties are nothing new. The Democratic National Committee is still reeling from infighting that was exposed during the lead-up to the election it lost to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Even here in New Mexico, while the Democratic divide is less pronounced, there is already a long list of Democrats vying for nominations for state and federal elections. Now, a contentious meeting last week to discuss state investments may have shown how New Mexico Republicans are divided, too. New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn believes the State Investment Council’s punitive action against him has at least something to do with his run for Congress—and he says that Gov. Susana Martinez and one of her prominent advisors are to blame.

House Majority Leader gets help from PAC in reelection race

A federal PAC is coming to the aid of the state House Majority Leader, even as House Republicans seek to keep control of the state House. That’s the news from the Santa Fe New Mexican, which spoke to Mark Murphy, who is a major donor to GOAL-West PAC. GOAL-West PAC also received attention last year for trying to influence Las Cruces municipal elections. Now, the PAC is seeking to aid Republicans in state House races. Most are on the list of swing districts, like Andy Nuñez of Hatch in District 36 or Christina Hall of Albuquerque in an open seat in District 24.

Driver’s license compromise sails through Senate

Just one day after hammering out a compromise in a key committee, the full Senate overwhelmingly passed the compromise bill, sending it to the House. The legislation is now just one vote from the House away from heading to the governor’s desk. The original sponsors of the bill from the House indicated Friday night the House would support the legislation and Gov. Susana Martinez said that she would support and sign the bill “as is.”

Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, and Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, presented the legislation on the Senate floor late Saturday afternoon as a hard-fought compromise. “We’ve gone five straight years of doing the same thing and people trying to get different results,” Smith said. Ingle said he understands everybody may not be happy with the bill.