Friday, April 08, 2011

The Leaky Legal Faucet in Las Cruces; Grand Jury Questioned, Plus: More Javier Vs. Sam, And: The Frugal Guv 

Chandler & Murphy
What's with the grand jury down in Las Cruces leaking like a sieve and does Special Prosecutor Matt Chandler, the 2010 GOP nominee for attorney general, risk getting called out for it?

Chandler, the district attorney for the Clovis area, was named special prosecutor by fellow Republican and then District Attorney Susana Martinez to investigate charges that the Richardson administration somehow received bribes to appoint District Judge Michael Murphy to the bench. The charges were reportedly brought by one of the attorneys who Murphy beat out for the judgeship. Murphy's attorney strongly denies the judge has done anything wrong and notes that the leaks are illegal.

We even learn from the leaks gushing out of the grand jury that Murphy allegedly said his judgeship cost him $4,000 which he then paid to a local political yokel who in turn was supposedly a representative of the Big Bill administration. But for all we know the "bribes' could have been legitimate political contributions or there was no money exchanged at all.

Meanwhile, the NM Supreme Court is being asked by the state Judicial Standards Commission to temporarily suspend Murphy while the case is litigated.

They say a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, but it's pretty weird watching Special Prosecutor Chandler eating his in public. Whether he's personally responsible for the leaky legal faucet or not, the legal amateurism down in Cruces might make some think Chandler, 35, isn't seeking justice--but the 2014 nomination for attorney general. Whatever is going on, how this case is eventually resolved could have an impact on his political career.

The judge presiding over the leaky grand jury might want to give everyone involved a good talking to. Even if indictments were merited, the defense could have good cause to have them dismissed because the grand jury process has been so corrupted.


Veteran NM politico and talk radio pioneer Mike Santullo reacts to our blog this week that took note of skyrocketing gas prices in the metro. He looks for political consequences if things don't improve:

Joe, you were right to focus on the gas price shocker. With gas prices over $3.50 a gallon, lettuce as high as $2.99 a head, avocados at $1.49 each and the price of gold hitting $1,462 an ounce, we can expect to see even higher food & gas prices at least till the end of the year. Then the law of supply & demand will take over as consumers start boycotting certain items and the produce in the supermarkets sits there....People will make a decision to limit their travel to necessities only, thus cutting back on their eating out and using their gasoline primarily to get them to and from work. When retail outlets experience this....immense political pressure will be felt by our elected officials.


In the back and forth between incumbent NM Dem Party Chairman and challenger Sam Bregman we get a response to a slam made here this week against attorney Sam over his representation of a client accused of child molesting. From David Alcon:

In response to the anonymous Javier Gonzales supporter who commented on Sam Bregman's representation of an alleged child molester. I would remind you and anyone else that in our society trial lawyers help provide a path to social justice and protect citizens from egregious abuses of power from the state. In fact, trial lawyers are a staple of the Democratic Party and maintain leadership positions within our party. For example, House Majority Leader W. Ken Martinez, and Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez are both trial attorneys. The Democratic Party has no place for the right-wing bigotry this anonymous source has presented.

The Dem state central committee will choose a chairman April 30.


Dems have criticized Governor Martinez for not having a jobs plan, but she might just generate a job or two for a furniture store if their promotional campaign featuring her works out. From the company news release:

New Mexico Governor Learns Great Style Doesn't Have to Be Expensive, Even if You Live in a Mansion. Decorate Your Home Like a Head of State With Bonus Buys From Ashley Furniture HomeStore.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore....helps newly elected New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez furnish the residential portion of the governor's mansion in Santa Fe for a fraction of the amount of money allotted -- saving the state a whopping $36,000. Governor Martinez has been a customer for about 20 years, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News, and was able to furnish her residence in the governor's mansion for just $26,000, well below the $62,000 that the state had designated. By choosing home furnishings from Ashley Furniture HomeStore, the governor stayed significantly under budget -- and was able to take advantage of about 60 percent in savings.

It appears Susana came in $36,000 under budget for her home decorating. We can already hear New Mexico husbands saying, "Honey, If the Governor can do it, so can we..."

Thanks for the company this week. This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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