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Friday, May 25th

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AG Balderas sues DeVos, Trump administration for abandoning student protections

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ALBUQUERQUE – Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a coalition of 19 states July 6, in suing the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos for abandoning critical federal protections for students that were set to go into effect on July 1, 2017.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges that the...

House Ethics Committee probing complaint against Luján

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S House Ethics Committee will take a deeper look at an ethics complaint against Rep. Ben Ray Luján.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, and Michael Collins, the chief of staff to Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, are also under review by the watchdog panel.

The committee did not say why the three are under investigation, but Luján’s office said his comes from a complaint from a conservative group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust.

The committee noted that the announcement of the extension of the matter “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.”

According to Luján, the...

Toulouse Oliver will run for full term as SOS

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In news that surprised no one, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced Tuesday that she will run for reelection.

“From modernizing campaign finance rules to increasing ballot access and voter education in our native and rural communities, we are making swift progress on many of the priorities I set early on,” the Democrat said in her press release. “I look forward to serving a full term for the people of New Mexico so that we can continue to combat dark money in politics, raise the bar for transparency and accountability in government and cement our sacred voting rights for every eligible citizen.”

No other candidate has announced their intention to run.

Toulouse...

No sign that Russians accessed NM voter systems

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There’s no indication that New Mexico’s voter databases were improperly accessed, according to New Mexico’s secretary of state.

This comes even as U.S. senators probed the issue in a hearing June 21.

Wednesday morning, Jeanette Manfra, the acting undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications at DHS, told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that election systems in 21 states were targeted in a Russian cyber attack.

Jeh Johnson said that while interference by Russia “was unprecedented” in “scale and scope,” there was no indication that Russians changed any votes in 2016.

New Mexico hasn’t been contacted by any federal authority of any alleged breaches by...

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 Griego was charged with last summer by a district court judge in Santa Fe.

Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office is prosecuting Griego.

The new charges include 13 perjury counts, each of which are fourth-degree felonies, for lying on several of his campaign finance reports between 2012 and 2015. He also faces two separate charges for filing false campaign reports in...

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