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Wednesday, Apr 25th

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Big PAC spending in Las Cruces elections gets national attention

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LAS CRUCES –The big spending by a political action committee in the recent Las Cruces elections is receiving national attention.

USA Today cited the spending by GOAL WestPAC in trying to defeat incumbent mayor Ken Miyagishima as one way that money is increasingly flooding into local elections.

In New Mexico, the focus...

Downfall: How the campaign finance enforcer became a law breaker

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SANTA FE – Minutes after pleading guilty to multiple felonies on Oct. 23, former Secretary of State Dianna Duran hardly acknowledged her wrongdoing to reporters outside the courtroom in Santa Fe.

Instead, she repeatedly emphasized how her criminal behavior—which included using campaign money to pay for personal use at casinos—had nothing to do with how she “preserved the integrity of the electoral process” in her five years as head of state elections. She characterized her embezzling and laundering of campaign money as “poor personal financial decisions” that didn’t have “anything to do with the integrity of the office.”

“I know and believe that I have done a...

Is the latest REAL ID threat for real?

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New Mexicans may not be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses to board airplanes by next year, according to a letter from the federal Department of Homeland Security.

The federal agency recently rejected a waiver the state applied for to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Congress passed the law 10 years ago in an attempt to shore state driver’s licenses into a national I.D. program follow the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.

The Associated Press first reported on the DHS letter, which was addressed to New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Demesia Padilla.

“New Mexico has not provided adequate justification for continued noncompliance with the REAL ID...

Weak deal? Dianna Duran and her pension

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One of the biggest criticisms following the aftermath of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s plea deal and resignation was that it looks like she will keep her government pension.

This week, Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Milan Simonich lamented that Duran “gets a pension for violating the voters’ trust” while the newspaper’s editorial board urged Santa Fe District Court Judge T. Glenn Ellington to reject the plea deal for being “too soft.”

State law allows judges to fine public officials convicted of felonies “the value of the salary and fringe benefits paid to the offender … after the commission of the first act that was a basis for the felony...

Employment opportunities for Navajo veterans

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Sundt, an Arizona construction company, is looking to hire approximately 500 contract workers over the course the next three years starting in October 2015.

The Four Corners Power Plant will be installing new environmental equipment onto their two larger units and the contract workers will be utilized in the installation of this equipment over the next three-year timeframe.

Sundt is looking to identify Navajo veterans who would be interested in working on this retrofit project. Jamescita Peshlakai, Veterans Liaison for the Navajo Office of the President and Vice-President will be working with Sundt to facilitate the employment of Navajo veterans for the...

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