Friday, April 06, 2007
Judge Kavanaugh Responds To Blog Report On Tainted Campaign Cash; Plus: Iglesias With More Heat On Heather And Pete, And: Just What Is "The News?"
ABQ District Court Judge J. Michael Kavanaugh, responding to our Thursday blog detailing the heavy dose of campaign contributions he received from parties indicted or pleading guilty in the Metro Courthouse scandal, said he will donate that $8,000 to charity as has been done by other political figures who have received tainted cash. Kavanaugh said where and when he will donate the money has yet to be decided and that " I'll probably have to borrow the money."
He also pointed out that technically no judge is supposed to know where his or her campaign contributions come from. Although they are readily accessible by reading the newspapers or looking at reports on the Internet, Kavanaugh said he was unaware of the individuals who gave him the $8,000 we reported on for his '04 District Court campaign, Kavanaugh was the presiding judge of ABQ Metro court when planning for a new courthouse began and the construction of which led to the federal indictments of several parties including former State Senator Manny Aragon. Here is Judge Kavanaugh's statement as emailed to us:
"Judges are not permitted to know who contributes to their campaigns or how much they contribute. During my campaign, whenever a contributor handed me a donation, I would pass it on to my treasurer who would then make a record of it and include it in required reports to the Secretary of State. I made every effort to avoid examining the checks received and didn't open any envelopes containing donations. I have not reviewed the list of contributors to my campaign and am prohibited from doing that. I believe that the right thing to do is to donate to charity any campaign contributions received from anyone involved in the case, in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
...I have fully cooperated with Federal investigators and may or may not be called as a witness in the case. My term as Chief Judge at Metro was from May of '96 to May of '99. ...Contrary to rumors and as I told the investigators, there was NEVER a secret meeting attended by me where anything illegal or improper was discussed with ANYONE relating to the courthouse project. I lobbied the New Mexico Legislature for over 2 years and that included Senator Aragon. He never asked me for anything in return for his support of the legislation and I didn't offer anything. I would never expose myself or the judiciary to anything illegal and I never even suspected anything of the sort..." Emailed Kavanaugh.
A POLITICOS EASTER
La Politica slows to a crawl for the Easter weekend, and it's no wonder. Catholicism, Hispanic NM and politics have been intertwined here for centuries. Ed Romero, who started off as a ward-heeler in Bernalillo county and went on to become U.S. Ambassador to Spain, has insightful reminiscences of Easters past that are uniquely New Mexican.
One of the prized possessions left to me by my grandfather was the bloodstained disciplina (discipline) that he used to flagellate himself. It was made of leather, but some were made of fiber from the yucca plant. I remember seeing the cicatriz (scars) on his back when I would help him bathe. He also left me his books of alabados (praises), which contain the archaic Spanish of our ancestors. Throughout, there are wax stains from the burning candles because prayer books were read by candlelight.
KEEPING THE HEAT ON
David Iglesias continues to turn up the heat on ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson and GOP Senator Pete Domenici. Now he's saying the duo may have violated the federal Hatch Act when they made those controversial calls to him last October during which Iglesias said he felt pressured to speed up indictments in the Metro Courthouse scandal. Iglesias is talking about it with the government's Office of Special Counsel.
DONA ANA DEBATE
Newly minted southern Dem congressional candidate Bill McCamley blogs in with a different take than ours on the Dona Ana county Spaceport tax. We argued Thursday that McCamley's vocal advocacy of the tax could cost him conservative support, but he asserts:
"Do you consider the Chair of the Dona Ana Republican Party a liberal? He wrote an editorial in support of the tax. So did the only Republican County Commissioner, Kent Evans...The main opposition came from the south valley alliance (a group of colinias representatives). These people wanted to see a tax but, but only if it went directly to funding for the poor." Argues McCamley.
The southern disrtrict is represenated by conservative GOP Rep. Steve Pearce.
HAPPY EASTER, NEW MEXICO
Just what is the news these days? Here's a comical take on the question to conclude our week and to send you into a Happy Easter.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
Not for reproduction without permission of the author