ICYMI: Another Shoe Drops In the Gov. Martinez Emailgate
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 27 June 2012 - 4:51pm
ICYMI:Another Shoe Drops In the Gov. Martinez Emailgate
Albuquerque, NM - The hits keep on coming in Gov. Martinez and Jay McClesky's emailgate - just yesterday the Independent Source PAC revealed personal emails showing the Martinez administration bullied and guided a competitive contract into the hands of a $70,000.00 donor. The e-mails also reveal longtime NM GOP hatchet man Pat Rogers and the Martinez administration were intimately involved.
In Case You Missed It: below is a statement from DPNM Chairman Gonzales and Joe Monahan's write up from this morning on this continued controversy:
The following is a statement from the Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, Javier M. Gonzales:
"The truth is, the Downs deal stunk to high heaven from day one. Susana Martinez got more than $70,000 from a company, then turned around and heavy-handedly forced through a contract worth millions for that same company. It was the same kind of Pay-to-Play she crusaded against on her campaign and it was one of the first times the hypocrisy of the Martinez administration was on full display.
"Now we know the reality: the Governor's top deputy Ryan Cangiolosi and her right-hand man Jay McCleskey were in consistent contact with the lawyer and lobbyist for the company, manipulating the bid process in favor of her benefactors. That's the definition of Pay-to-Play, and now that's it is more than rumor, more than hints of corruption, it's time for Law Enforcement officials to step in. We have every confidence that the Attorney General is already taking a hard look at this, and we hope he will consider all avenues - including the appointment of a special prosecutor - to get to the bottom of this newest evidence about the Downs deal so the people of New Mexico know the truth about how far this governor and her administration have gone to personally participate in bid-rigging on behalf of her contributors."
Independent Source PAC Investigation into Susana Martinez's Pay-to-Play Downs Deal:http://independentsourcepac.org/
ISPAC Post of Emails: http://www.scribd.com/doc/98336926/Private-Emails-Used-During-Downs-Procurement-Period
ISPAC Letter to FBI and Attorney General: http://www.scribd.com/doc/98318270/Signed-Letter-to-FBI-and-AG-on-Emails
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Another Shoe Drops In Emailgate: GOP Power Player Rogers & The Downs Deal; Private Emails On State Racino Sent To Top Guv Aide
The wheels that carry the administration of Governor Susana Martinez may not be falling off, but they are looking increasingly wobbly. Another shoe is dropping in the email scandal and a well-known Republican name is openly bolting from Martinez and her chief political advisor Jay McCleskey. First the new email.....
A fresh string of emails sent to a private account of Martinez deputy chief of staff Ryan Cangiolosi reveal wheeling and dealing by longtime lawyer/lobbyist and GOP National Committeeman Pat Rogers. Most seriously, the emails raise the question of whether the controversial 25 year racino lease approved for the Downs at ABQ will now be subjected to a legal challenge.
That Rogers, a veteran GOP power player serving as attorney for the Downs, was communicating with Cangiolosi via private email about the status of the racino deal raises the specter of bid rigging and collusion. Rogers may call it providing updates on the process as the State Fair Commission considered the deal, but the union-fundedIndependent Source PAC, which revealed the back channel emails, one of whch Rogers also sent to McCleskey, has asked to the state attorney general FBI for an investigation. The three emails released can be viewed here.
This is not Rogers' first run-in with email controversy. He was at the center of the US Attorney scandal earlier this decade that had him and other top R's trying to oust fellow Republican David Iglesias as US Attorney here. Iglesias was indeed fired and a scandal ensued over whether it was an abuse of power.
Two state lawmakers have requested that Attorney General King investigate the private emailing. King has not announced if he will do so. Insiders say there have been some preliminary moves toward an investigation, but nothing formal. NM Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales pounced:
..The Governor's top deputy Ryan Cangiolosi and her right-hand man Jay McCleskey were in consistent contact with the lawyer and lobbyist for the company, manipulating the bid process in favor of her benefactors. That's the definition of Pay-to-Play, and now that's it is more than rumor, more than hints of corruption, it's time for Law Enforcement officials to step in. We have every confidence that the Attorney General is already taking a hard look at this, and we hope he will consider all avenues - including the appointment of a special prosecutor - to get to the bottom of this newest evidence about the Downs deal so the people of New Mexico know the truth...
We will carry the comments of Rogers and Cangiolosi when they come in.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Laguna Development Corporation was competing with the Downs for the racino deal, but were rebuffed. They contemplated legal action at the time, concerned that the contrct was wired from inside the Martinez administration. Now they have these emails in which ISPAC says: "Rogers appears to be providing legal advice to the state on how to run state fair commission meetings, while also developing a plan to retaliate against Commissioner Charlotte Rode.."
Rode, a Republican, raised early questions about the Downs deal and came out in opposition. The 25 year old lease was approved on a 4 to 3 vote by the fair commission and eventually approved by the state Board of Finance which numbers Governor Martinez among its members.
Rogers labeled the subject of his email about Rode "Dragon Lady" and called her "a shill of the Maloofs." That's a reference to the Maloof family of business fame who have cut their ties with New Mexico so the reference to them is enigmatic. As far as calling Rode a "Dragon Lady," it is the kind of personal reference that has been a marker of Jay and the gang throughout their political lives.
Martinez was a recipient of $70,000 donations from the owners of the Downs and people connected to the facility. The Downs owners were also major donors to Diane Denish, the Dem candidate for governor who lost to Martinez. Part-owner Paul Blanchard was also a major player in the Democratic Big Bill administration. This tine around in addition to hiring Rogers as their attorney Blanchard and the Downs have hired former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, first as a security consultant and now as a construction manager for the Downs. White is a close friend of McCleskey's. Also, we blogged this week of former GOP ABQ City Councilor Sally Mayer joining Expo NM (the old state fair). Her daughter, Monica Jacobson, is secretary of the state tourism department. Dan Mourning, the manager of Expo, is a close friend of White's and the former owner of the now defunct Capo's restaurant in downtown ABQ.
Developer Chuck Gara, a member of the evaluation committee that recommended the Downs lease, hired McCleskey in 2003 to work against several ABQ city council candidates. Here is our October 3, 2003 blogdealing with that. All three candidates Jay and Gara targeted won their races.
At the time critics dubbed the dealing over the Downs "The Down and Dirty Downs Deal." These emails from Rogers only buttress that notion, while confirming another open secret in the state political community--that Pat Rogers is part of the shadow government that has has taken hold in Santa Fe with McCleskey at its helm.
To be continued....