Sunday, May 31, 2009

Michael Sanchez forms gubernatorial committee

It's a sign of the times. No press release or press conference yet, but state Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, has posted on his Facebook page that he's formed an exploratory committee for a possible gubernatorial run.

The FB post doesn't say much beyond that but two people wrote in saying they like the idea.

The move could shake up the Senate a little. Sanchez is the majority leader, and the announcement comes after Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino said last week he's looking at the lieutenant governor post.

It also could make the Democratic primary much more interesting.

Welcome to the 2010 election season!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gov. to kick off anti-DWI campaign with Ponch

How many Hollywood stars can our governor meet in a month? Guess we won't know until this month actually ends, but the latest actor to appear with Gov. Bill Richardson will be Ponch. As in, Erik Estrada.

The pair will kick of the 100 Days and Nights of Summer anti-DWI campaign Thursday night in Albuquerque. No word yet when Richardson and the Fonz will appear together.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Allen Weh hires press secretary

You can't have a gubernatorial campaign without a press secretary.

To that end, Allen Weh has hired Chris Sanchez, a recent UNM grad, to do the job.

Sanchez is a former editor of the UNM Daily Lobo and worked at the Albuquerque Tribune (we were co-workers) and Albuquerque Journal, as well as the Denver Post.

"I am honored to work with Allen Weh as he explores a possible run for Governor in 2010," Sanchez said in a statement. "New Mexicans will be voting for the candidate they feel will bring change to the Governor’s office. They will be looking for a leader who will put New Mexicans back to work without raising taxes, who will end corruption in state government, and who will stand up for our small businesses and our families. I believe that leader is Allen Weh."

Expect more hires by the serious gubernatorial candidates in the coming days.

On the trail of stimulus cash

Wanna know who will be getting what from the state's expected $3 billion in federal stimulus cash?

I've tried to assemble a handy list here.

See other cool sites? Let me know and I'll link to them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's raining subpoenas

You mean you haven't gotten one yet?

Seems like it's almost in style these days to get a subpoena. The latest was issued in the case of the OptumHealth of New Mexico contract.

Other recent ones have included the Governor's Office, the New Mexico Finance Authority, the State Auditor's Office, the state Investment Council, the Educational Retirement Board...

Maybe I should make a multiple choice quiz for future New Mexico history books so kids can match the office that's been subpoenaed with the scandal. . .

Friday, May 15, 2009

Crowd wants in on federal stimulus cash

Just 15 people RSVP'd to the meeting Thursday in Espanola on federal stimulus grant opportunities. But more than 100 showed up at the Northern New Mexico College for details on how to apply for the $2.8 billion that's supposed to be available for a variety of projects.

Interest is growing in the cash as we near the application deadlines. There's also growing curiosity about how the money will be handled and how transparent the spending will be. There are several sites dedicated to this task, I like this one best so far. Stay tuned here for other reporting on the spending in New Mexico.

Federal prosecutors want NM financial docs

Looks like there's more bad news for New Mexico on the investment front.

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed state endowment records, according to a story on

It says in part:

"The New Mexico Investment Council, which includes Governor Bill Richardson, received the request earlier this month, said spokesman Charles Wollman, in a telephone interview. He declined to describe the contents of the subpoena, issued by the U.S. Attorney in Albuquerque. The state’s $6.3 billion teachers pension fund also received a federal subpoena, said general counsel Christopher Schatzman, who declined to describe its contents or to what it pertains."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Watch Obama town hall live

Check out KNME-TV for streaming coverage of the event in Rio Rancho this morning.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More investment unrest

Some state lawmakers are calling for a big shakeup of the state's investment-related panels in the wake of recent scandals.

Although the upcoming special session is supposed to focus on budget issues, it's a good bet lawmakers will be back with proposals to give them more say in who sits on those boards, including the State Investment Council.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pat Lyons to run for PRC

. . . meaning he won't be running for governor, which he seemed to be thinking about in the past months.

In a press release today, the Republican, two-term land commissioner said he'd focus on the state's infrastructure if he were elected.

"Infrastructure is vital for society and the economy to function, and should be governed to protect the interests of the public. At the same time, we must sustain a healthy business climate," he said. "It can be delicate balance but I have always taken a proactive role in fostering business and industry and my sound business approach has made companies feel comfortable investing in New Mexico."

The move means the Republican primary for governor might be less crowded, but that the attention paid to the PRC could be heightened -- if that's possible, given that panel's track record . . .

Lyons would serve the southeastern part of the state on the commission. The seat he's trying for includes Quay, Curry, Roosevelt, Lea, Eddy, Chaves, De Baca, Guadalupe, Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Torrance, Lincoln, Otero, and Dona Ana counties, according to his release.