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Wednesday, Dec 13th

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Embezzlement, perjury part of 22 new charges against ex-state senator

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This week, a grand jury charged former state Sen. Phil Griego with 22 new criminal counts centering mostly on embezzlement and perjury for allegedly using campaign money for personal use and lying about it.

In total, Griego faces 19 new felonies and three misdemeanors. This adds to the nine previous corruption counts...

Pearce describes ‘very traumatic’ scene of shooting at congressional baseball practice

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Steve Pearce, a Republican congressman from southern New Mexico, was present at a congressional baseball practice that ended with gunshots as someone opened fire on those practicing. Pearce described it as “very traumatic.”

One congressman, Republican Steve Scalise of Louisiana, was shot and underwent surgery. At least four others were wounded, though none were killed. Scalise is the House Majority Whip.

Pearce was unharmed. Pearce even met with students from a Silver City high school after returning from the practice.

“When he was at the third-base side. I was walking to the first-base side. As I lay out in the parking lot, looking, I saw him walk around the building and...

NM Political report discusses special session budget deal, tax overhaul failure

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This week, NM Political Report editor Matthew Reichbach was on Here & There with Dave Marash, discussing the recent special legislative session.

The show appears on KSFR in Santa Fe and is available online for free.

Legislators met during the brief special session to address the state’s budget, making sure it would be balanced, as required by the state constitution. One piece of legislation, championed by Gov. Susana Martinez and agreed to by reluctant legislators, used severance tax bond money to help cover a budget hole.

Reichbach and Marash also discussed a tax overhaul proposal that did not clear a House committee. Democrats in the committee said the complex bill wasn’t...

Santa Fe soda tax rejected after record-high turnout

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Santa Fe voters delivered a decisive rejection of a proposed 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages to support early childhood education in a special election May 2.

As of 10 pm Tuesday night with votes counted in all but one voting convenience center, the proposal was losing by a near-15 point margin.

The vote capped the end of an intense, expensive and heated debate that saw nearly $1.9 million in direct spending overall from political action committees on both sides as of May 1. More than $1.2 million of that money was spent on opposition to the tax proposal, while a PAC in support of the tax spent roughly $685,000 to convince city residents to vote yes on the measure.

This...

Jeff Apodaca officially announces bid for governor

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The son of a former New Mexico governor announced his plans May 1 to follow in his father’s footsteps. Jeff Apodaca, a former media executive and son of former Gov. Jerry Apodaca, told NM Political Report he wants to “turn New Mexico around” in early childhood development, job creation and health care.

“I’m not running because of any legacy,” Apodaca said.

If elected, Apodaca, a Democrat, said he would work to diversify New Mexico’s economy so the state is less dependant on oil and gas. Not only could New Mexico use wind and solar power for its own purposes, Apodaca said, but the state could power other states using renewable energy sources.

“There are billions of...

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