With just under two weeks until the Nov. 6 election, Gary Johnson—former governor of New Mexico, extreme athlete, marijuana advocate and Libertarian candidate for president—is talking about his campaign in the past tense.
It’s been more than three years since Marino “Reno” Leyba shot and killed his pregnant teenage girlfriend, Sarah Lovato—but this week, the New Mexico Supreme Court sent the case back to the district court for a new trial.
It was December 2007, and Kirtland Air Force Base needed money. The base wanted to build training facilities for paratroopers and combat rescue officers. In total, the project would cost more than $14 million—funded mostly by appropriations from Congress. US Rep. Heather Wilson, R-NM, was instrumental in helping Kirtland secure the funding, earmarking $3.7 million for the new facilities.
Ashley Sanders calls me from somewhere near Flagstaff, Ariz. She and Renae Widdison, organizers for the Move to Amend Coalition, are on their way from California to Florida, piloting a truck loaded with a giant money-stamping machine that labels bills with big, red slogans like “A corporation is not a person; money is not speech” and “Not to be used for bribing politicians.”
The saga of Jerome Block, Jr.—from election violations to drug addiction, with chimichangas and Gatorade in between—captured Santa Fe’s attention earlier this year. On election day, voters will have the opportunity to approve three amendments to significantly alter the face of the embattled Public Regulation Commission, to which Block was first elected in 2008. But current commissioner Doug Howe says the changes are much bigger than Block.
To Greg Mello, executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, the recent federal approval of a uranium de-conversion plant near Hobbs only contributes to southeastern New Mexico’s identity as a “wasteplex.”
On the same year as Common Cause’s 40th anniversary, the US Supreme Court handed down a controversial ruling in the now-famous Citizens United case, allowing unlimited spending from special interests and effectively striking down several campaign finance rules that had been in effect for decades.