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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Are New Mexico's "Rising Star" Democrats Mistake Prone? Plus: APD Chief Eden Gives Us The Eyebrow Raiser Of The Week, And: The Mystery OfMary Han 

Are New Mexico's "rising star" Democrats making too many mistakes, giving the Governor's political machine an even easier ride? Let's take a look:

--Senator Martin Heinrich is embarrassed over headlines that he wrongly reimbursed himself with government funds for transportation costs to , trips that should have been paid for out of his own pocket. A rookie mistake that blemished Heinrich unnecessarily.

Attorney General Hector Balderas openly endorses Machine favorite Matt Chandler for a spot on the UNM Board of Regents only to see Chandler's nomination suffer a rare defeat in the Dem state senate. Earlier, the new AG fired en masse 40 staffers who worked for his Dem predecessor, firings that are still making news today.

State Auditor Tim Keller scored points for firing at the Machine with his probes of the secretary of taxation and revenue and the city of ABQ's questionable contract with Taser's lapel camera videos. Then he shoots himself in the foot by opening a private email address to conduct state business on, something Gov. Martinez did and was busted for. Now Keller is busted.

ABQ Dem Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham was coasting along until her magic carpet ride. She received carpets as gifts from the government of Azerbaijan and didn't report it. She was also called out for taking the trip in the first place because of who was paying for it. House Ethics cleared her of any wrongdoing but it gave the R's a possible potent opening if she seeks the governorship.

In just about any context these are minor infractions that would normally not draw much scrutiny, but the state Democratic establishment has been flattened by the Machine and these are the personalities the party is counting on to reverse the tide. They need to be hitting every time they swing.

Another major factor in why the Dems need their A game is the quiescent media when it comes to Gov. Martinez. Controversy after controversy erupts but she is spared the flashing cameras. Google--one of the world's major companies-- pulls out of New Mexico. Anyone ask the Guv about it? Nope. Let the mayor of Moriarty deal with it. The taxation secretary is caught up in Keller's investigation. Anyone ask Martinez on camera about it? Nope. A Guv statement attacking Keller will suffice. NM ranks 49th in child well-being Anyone interview the Governor? Nope. The state ranks at or near the bottom in job growth in the nation? The Governor's response? She isn't asked.

It's not all up to the media. If the Dems were pressing their case against the Machine they would get the press. Keller has shown that, but most seem to be playing the dangerous game of waiting her out. And while they are waiting they are making mistakes when they should be forcing mistakes.

THE EYEBROW RAISER

The eyebrow easier of the week was easily when APD Chief Gorden Eden said he has never read the criminal investigative report on the killing of homeless camper James Boyd, despite it arguably being the most famous slaying in the department's history. Eden made the statement in testimony at this week's preliminary hearing where it will be determined if two APD officers will stand trial on charges in connection with the Boyd shooting. He later explained why he has not read the report, but that explanation puzzled many, including ABQ attorney Tom Grover who writes:

He's trying to say he can't look at the report because if he did he'd violate the officers' due process rights for administrative investigations. First, it doesn't apply to at all to former APD officer Keith Sandy because he's no longer employed by APD. Regarding officer Perez, we're talking about the criminal investigation of the shooting of Boyd NOT the administrative investigation of Perez for misconduct. The administrative investigation of a public employee's misconduct always follows the criminal investigation because statements by officers in administrative investigations are compulsory--an employee who refuses to answer can be fired for simply not answering. Lastly even if there were something that would pose a conflict, Eden as Chief of Police can assign authority to discipline Perez to a deputy chief or to the city's chief administtrative officer. For Eden to come off as so uninformed about this event and again to misstate a legal issue (remember, he at first called the Boyd case a justified shooting) shows how little has changed with APD.

Yep, that's the stuff you'll get nowhere else and we're glad to bring it to you.

THE MYSTERY OF MARY

Mary Han
The most disturbing part of a report about the controversial 2010 death of noted ABQ attorney Mary Han is this:

The noble cause of a forensic pathologist is to seek the truth, says the foreword to Spitz’s seminal “Medicolegal Investigation of Death.” That requires the pathologist to “abandon rhetoric, ancient dogma and fictive contentions in favor of finding and presenting fact.” The facts in Han’s death appear to be irretrievably lost, the truth forever out of reach. Surely it’s time the OMI found the guts to say so and change its report.

Is the truth really "forever out of reach?" Or is there someone out there who some day will step forward and solve this mystery? Or does that only happen on TV?. . . .

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