Thursday, August 30, 2007

Can Foley Beat The Rap? Delay In Court Case Raises The Question, Plus: Guv & Pal Peters In A Pickle Over Projects, And: Harris Recall Developments 

Rep. Foley
Will Dan Foley beat the rap? That question is now being raised in Roswell where the State House Minority Leader was arrested on June 24 for screaming profanities while rushing on to a basketball court in what he said was a defense of his son. He is charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing a Roswell police officer. One cop charges Foley spit on him. The sensational charges have turned into a political hot potato in Chaves county, and as the Roswell Record reports, the case appears stalled as it bounces from court to court.

Nearly a month since being dismissed from Roswell Municipal Court, the Dan Foley case is currently under review by the Chaves County District Attorney's office - with the possibility existing that it may never be re-opened.

Forwarded to the district attorney's office by the Roswell Police Department, the case remains in limbo, officially deemed an "investigatory file."

How justice is handled in this high-profile case is being watched statewide, and while the district attorney for Chavez county, Tery Haake, has not yet surfaced, it is he and the Roswell police leadership who will take the heat or the praise for the final outcome. Haake is up for re-election in 2008.

If the case is not refiled, Foley would dodge a bullet in the form of a possible guilty verdict. Whether he dodges a Republican primary opponent next year is an open question. Meantime, insiders report the Roswell Record, under public attack from Foley, is more determined than ever to report each twist and turn in the case in the SE NM city. Stay tuned.

Peters (The New Mexican)
Hold your horses. That was the word Wednesday as Big Bill, feeling the heat, put on hold state negotiations with his old friend and Santa Fe developer Jerry Peters on that now controversial Santa Fe commuter rail hub and transportation department headquarters

The AP's Barry Massey comes with the details on that and with another piece on the Big Bill campaign contributions from Peters and others who are looking to do biz with Transportation. The critics are trying to make it out to be "pay to play" from the Guv. Peters, looking at it sunny side up, says the reviews of the deals the Guv is ordering "should serve as a good housekeeping seal of ethical conduct" for those who eventually secure the bids.

The federal investigation into the construction of the Bernalillo County Metro Courthouse is brushing up against these Santa Fe deals so Jerry and company better hope that there are no seals to be broken on indictments, never mind good housekeeping seals.

(Full disclosure: I do PR work for Sunland Park Racetrack which opposes an off-reservation casino being proposed by Gerald Peters.)


September 24th is going to be a pivotal date in the recall effort against ABQ GOP City Councilor Don Harris. The city ethics board said Wednesday it will decide then whether Harris will face fines, a reprimand or both on complaints filed against him by a citizens group seeking his ouster. Voters will decide Harris's fate just a few days later, on October 2nd at the regular city election. How the ethics board goes could heavily influence that vote.

"I think he has made some serious mistakes," said Jim Lowe of the citizens group that gathered the petition signatures to force the recall He argues that the freshman councilor may have used campaign donations for personal expenditures. Harris said he has made mistakes, but his "heart is pure." An audit of the councilor's campaign account will be conducted by the city and reviewed at the meeting on the 24th.


Caroline Buerkle, who served as campaign manger for Dem Attorney General Patricia Madrid in the '06 campaign against ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson, has signed up as a part-time "political adviser" to Dem US Senate candidate Don Wiviott. Buerkle is a New Mexico State University product who also worked for Madrid at the AG's office which is now occupied by Democrat Gary King...

That's it for today. Drop me a line with your latest political news.

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