Monday, July 02, 2012

Balderas And King Start To Tiptoe Towards Emailgate Probes; King Looks At Emails; Balderas Eyes Downs Deal 

Hector Balderas
Slowly but surely the investigative arms of the New Mexican government are tiptoeing towards emailgate. The issue is how aggressive the investigations will be and whether they will result in significant political and legal damage to the Martinez administration.

State Auditor Hector Balderas tells me he has received a complaint about the administration's dealings over the lucrative racino lease at the Downs at ABQ. Is he going to launch a probe? "We have it under review," said the auditor. Insiders say Balderas is expected to open a formal investigation.

The Downs deal last burst back into the headlines when GOP activist and attorney Pat Rogers, the attorney for the Downs, was busted when emails he sent to the private account of Martinez Deputy Chief of Staff Ryan Cangiolosi were disclosed. Cangiolosi said he never received them because they were sent to an inactive account, but that struck the Alligators as legalese and the first hint that there may be some "lawyering up" going on.

And what about Attorney General Gary King? You may have missed it because King was very quiet when he confirmed that he would investigate--at the request of two state legislators--another aspect of emailgate. The news popped up this way last week:

King...has assigned investigators to investigate one case of private email use in the executive branch that was first revealed in The New Mexican. This investigation is in response to a request by two Democratic legislators concerning a May 2 email sent from a Public Education Department spokesman’s private email account to Martinez’s political director Jay McCleskey and several administration officials on personal email accounts. The group that unearthed the emails that the governor wants investigated is the (union-financed) Albuquerque-based Independent Source PAC...

Democrats King and Balderas are both Dems and both potential candidates for the 2014 Dem Guv nomination. They will both be accused by R's of launching political motivated investigations, but it will be what any probes reveal that will impact the political futures of Martinez and these two Dem leaders.

Emailgate is an unexpected twist in the Martinez administration which has lumbered along for its first 18 months. Will it be a defining moment or a bump along the path? Political damage has been inflicted. It would seem King and Balderas will have something to say about whether there will be even more.


We received a number of emails when we blogged this last Thursday about the race for the ABQ congressional seat:

The odds of (Michelle Lujan Grisham) becoming the next congresswoman we're just posted in Vegas. Republican Janice Arnold-Jones had to look away. It's that painful...

And here's a sample of the email:

Mr. Monahan, You suggested the Vegas books were open on the Arnold-Jones-Grisham race. I wanted to know the spread but couldn't find a book. Could you point me to a source please. Thank you.

Well, don't hop on a plane to place your bets in Vegas. We were joking. There are no odds set on political races in the USA, although there are in England.

So what would the odds be if betting were allowed on the race between Dem Grisham and Republican Arnold-Jones? We'll have to check with the Senior Alligators on that one.


We don't see it this way, but some others do:

(Congressman Martin) Heinrich’s  claim that “When our labs thrive, New Mexico thrives” is also false.  Despite the vaunted long-term economic presence of the nuclear weapons industry and large budget increases for the Los Alamos and Sandia Labs since the end of the Cold War, federal census bureau documents that New Mexico has fallen from 37th in per capita income in 1959 to 43rd in 2010. Out of 3,142 counties in the USA, Los Alamos is the 2nd richest, has the most millionaires per capita, the very lowest poverty rate, and is tied for lowest unemployment, all thanks to its programs for weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, some of the poorest communities in the country live contiguous to the Lab’s boundaries, sharing in little if any of its riches.  The LANL Director receives $1.3 million in annual compensation, and the Lab’s for-profit corporation is making record profits while cutting up to 600 jobs. So what good are nuclear weapons programs really doing for New Mexicans, other than for the privileged nuclear weapons elites? 

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