Monday News Roundup: Eddy County To Begin Using Regional Voting Sites

Oct 21, 2013

Donors Give More To Officials' PACs Than Parties - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico's major political parties find themselves lagging in fundraising behind committees run by individual elected officials.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Gov. Susana Martinez's political action committee raised six times as much during the past six months as the state Republican Party.

Meanwhile, a committee run by state House Speaker Ken Martinez raised more than five times as much as the state Democratic Party.

A University of New Mexico political scientist says a big reason for the mismatch is that donors believe they'll get more bang for their buck by giving to an elected official rather than to a party.

Professor Lonna Rae Atkeson says donors apparently see little personal benefit from giving to a party which lack powers that an officeholder has.

Eddy County To Begin Using Regional Voting Sites - Associated Press and The Carlsbad Current Argus

Another New Mexico county is changing how it conducts elections.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that Eddy County in 2014 will allow voters to cast ballots at any of 10 polling centers, no longer required to go to their designated precinct polling sites.

Chief Deputy Clerk Robin Van Natta says more than half of New Mexico's counties have switched to polling centers.

The Eddy County Commission authorized the change when it approved a resolution this past week.

County Clerk Darlene Rosprim says consolidating polling sites from 41 to 10 will reduce the number of poll workers needed, reduce the need for voters to use provisional ballots and speed up processing of election-night results.

Las Cruces To Sue State Agency Over Tax Rejection - Associated Press and The Las Cruces Sun News

Las Cruces intends to sue a state agency over its rejection of a planned increase in the southern New Mexico city's sales tax.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Mayor Ken Miyagishima disclosed the intention to sue following a closed-door City Council meeting law week.

At issue is the state Taxation and Revenue Department's finding that a Sept. 3 tax increase approved by the City Council doesn't conform to requirements of state law.

City officials want the increase of three-eighths of 1 percent to begin Jan. 1 in order to collect $4.4 million during the fiscal year's second half.

The increase was passed to offset anticipated losses in state stipends as a result of legislative action earlier this year.

'Breaking Bad' Fans Stage Mock Funeral For White - Associated Press

The eulogy drew cheers but not everybody was happy about a mock funeral for "Breaking Bad" character Walter White drew more than 200 pretend-mourners to an Albuquerque-area cemetery.

Relatives of several people buried at Sunset Memorial Park said they thought it was disrespectful and inappropriate to hold the mock funeral Saturday at a real cemetery.

The show filmed in Albuquerque recently ended its run after five seasons. White, a fictional chemistry teacher who became a drug kingpin, died in the last episode.

The funeral raised money through donations for a program that helps the homeless, and cemetery manager Vaughn Hendren says it agreed to allow the funeral only after being assured the mock headstone can be removed if it becomes an attraction.