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Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Angle On King And Emailgate, Plus: Keeping John Sanchez Around 

Gary King
Dem Attorney General Gary King is being blasted by the Guv's operatives and media supporters who say now that he is an announced candidate for Governor any investigation he conducts into emailgate or the down and dirty dealing over the awarding of the racino lease at the Downs at ABQ will smack of politics and lack credibility. But is King getting clever? An insider reader writes:

Gary is generally prohibited from assigning a case to a special prosecutor unless there is a specific conflict of interest. By announcing for governor, he has set up a genuine conflict. When he was undecided about running, there was no basis to authorize a special prosecutor.

Whether King intentionally created the conflict so he could open the door for a special prosecutor to come in on emailgate or whether he just backed into it is unknowable.

Critics of King have to be careful what they wish for. A special prosecutor's findings would not be as vulnerable to their political attacks and could potentially be used by King and any other Dems who run for Guv in 2014. Speaking of which....

SANCHEZ '14?

On the blog speculation about whether Susana will keep John Sanchez around as Lt. Governor in 2014, a tapped in reader writes:

First, the choice of who accompanies the Governor into the general election in 2014 is up to the Republican voters of New Mexico. Just as two years ago, Lieutenant Governor Sanchez and whoever challenges him will face off in a separate primary election. The only time the Governor gets a say in who fills the office of the Lieutenant Governor is when there is a vacancy. Second, any challenges to the sitting Lieutenant Governor in a primary would be a long shot. Aside from the obvious difficulties in upsetting a current office holder, Sanchez has been doing a great job lately. He was a popular choice at the Republican Convention this year to become a national delegate receiving more votes than Gov. Martinez. He is a native New Mexican and a proven vote getter in the Hispanic north. Also, his job presiding over the NM Senate has been exemplary as described by members on both sides of the isle. Nationally, he is the only Republican Hispanic Lieutenant Governor. Lastly, any guesses as to the future of our current Lieutenant Governor are premature. There are too many miles of political track to travel this year and next to put any stock on weather predictions.

It's true that the Light Guv is nominated separately from the Guv, but if Susana really wanted to dump John, there are ways of getting the job done. Not that she is going to do that...

As for Sanchez's future, we said it was cloudy because he started his race for the Senate this year with a good argument that he and not Heather Wilson should be the nominee, but his campaign was half-hearted and he had to drop out. There is a political price to pay for that.

BUCKING THE GUV


Susana went to bat for former GOP Las Cruces area State Senator Leonard Rawson, but her own appointees turned on her:

Members of the State Investment Council on elected Peter Frank as their vice chairman, again rejecting Gov. Susana Martinez's favored candidate. Frank defeated former Republican state legislator Leonard Lee Rawson of Las Cruces in a 5-4 vote. Two council members appointed by Republican Martinez voted for Frank, tipping the election his way. They were Scott Smart of Portales and Linda Eitzen of Albuquerque. Martinez, who chairs the investment council, first proposed last month that Rawson be elected vice chairman. Council members rejected Rawson then, also on a 5-4 vote. 

Rawson was muddied up in an ethics controversy (he secured capital outlay funds to pave a road that provided access to commercial development he owned) ) when he last ran for the Senate in 2008 and was defeated. Did that play a part in his rejection?

That Martinez's appointments on the SIC went their own way speaks to the hyper-controversy that has surrounded it since the Big Bill days. No one today wants to get caught on the wrong side.

SENATE ACTION

From the liberal Daily Kos site:

Republican ex-Rep. Heather Wilson is launching her first negative ad of the race, attacking Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich for voting for the Affordable Care Act, which included a medical device tax that Heinrich had previously spoken out against. Meanwhile, yet another new environmental group is getting in on the action here: The National Resources Defense Council is throwing down $38K on mailers hitting Wilson. In addition to the NRDC, you've got the Defenders of Wildlife, Environment America, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters. Wilson must have pissed them off something fierce, because all told, they've spent almost $1.5 million to defeat her so far. 

Thanks for stopping by this week. Reporting to you from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan.

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