A driver’s license compromise … from a Republican?

By Rob Nikolewski on January 17, 2013

For more than two years, New Mexico legislators have debated, argued and sometimes hollered over rescinding the state law granting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.
The bills haven’t gone anywhere but a potential compromise bill based on the driver’s license model used by Utah is getting prepared by two influential state senators, including a Republican leader [...]

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Jennings, Nunez say adios to the Roundhouse

By Rob Nikolewski on January 14, 2013

On Tuesday (Jan. 15), the 60-day legislative session begins but it will start without some familiar faces — most notably, Tim Jennings.
The Democrat and state senator from Roswell has been a fixture in Santa Fe for 34 years and has been the Senate Pro Tem since 2008. But he lost in a bitter and expensive [...]

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EXCLUSIVE: Mary Kay Papen says she “definitely has the votes” to become the new Senate Pro Tem

By Rob Nikolewski on January 8, 2013

State Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces) told Capitol Report New Mexico on Tuesday night (Jan. 8) that she “definitely has the votes” and and will become the next Senate Pro Tem.
“I know I’ve got the votes,” Sen. Papen said, adding, “I’m extremely confident … I think I have a minimum of 7 and as [...]

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Who spent the most — and who got the worst bang for their buck — in NM’s 2012 legislative races

By Rob Nikolewski on January 2, 2013

Tim Jennings spent an awful lot of money for every vote he earned in the November election but $73.61 per vote was not enough to keep him in the New Mexico State Senate.
An analysis by Capitol Report New Mexico of the amount of money each candidate spent in competitive 2012 Roundhouse races reveals which candidates [...]

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“Give me your breath,” Ben Lujan remembered at memorial service

By Rob Nikolewski on December 27, 2012

New Mexico Speaker of the House Ben Luján was remembered in speeches given by some of the most powerful politicians in the state at a memorial service Thursday morning (Dec. 27) in the rotunda of the State Capitol but the most affecting words were delivered by those who worked with him.
“He would say, ‘we’re [...]

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Pete Campos is the pick for Senate pro tem … for now

By Rob Nikolewski on December 9, 2012

At the New Mexico Senate Democratic Party caucus on Sunday, Pete Campos was selected as president pro tem of the chamber to replace Sen. Tim Jennings (D-Roswell), who lost his re-election bid back in November.
But while Campos — who’s served in the state Senate for 21 years from Las Vegas — received the nod, it’s [...]

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NM reaction to news that Illinois may grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants

By Rob Nikolewski on November 21, 2012

One New Mexico state lawmaker says if Illinois goes ahead with a proposal to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants it should make sure Illinois has an accurate database while another has his own suggestion for lawmakers in the Land of Lincoln — don’t do it at all.
Illinois legislators — with some state Republicans joining [...]

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Michael Sanchez “comfortable” where he’s at

By Rob Nikolewski on November 19, 2012

Don’t expect Michael Sanchez to relinquish his role as Senate Majority Leader to pursue the open position of Senate Pro Tem.
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable where I’m at,” Sen. Sanchez (D-Belen) told reporters Monday morning after the Legislative Council committee met in Santa Fe.
With the defeat of Sen. Tim Jennings (D-Roswell) back on Election Night, the [...]

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Tim Jennings on losing re-election after 34 years in the Senate: Not real surprised, takes a couple shots at Susana

By Rob Nikolewski on November 7, 2012

After 34 years, Tim Jennings is no longer going to be part of New Mexico’s state Senate.
“It’s been an awesome, absolutely incredible ride,” the outgoing Democrat and Senate pro tem told Capitol Report New Mexico in a phone interview some 16 hours after he learned that he lost by four percentage points (52-48) to dairy [...]

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After 34 years, Tim Jennings outsted by upstart Cliff Pirtle

By Rob Nikolewski on November 7, 2012

In an upset that changes the face of the state Senate, Tim Jennings is out and 27-year-old Cliff Pirtle is in.
“It’s really humbling,” the Republican Pirtle told Capitol Report New Mexico as the final votes were delivered in Senate Distrtict 32 in the Roswell area. “It really hasn’t sank in yet.”
Pirtle knocked off Jennings in [...]

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