Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The New York Times has a story about how the bush administration, under the machinations of Karl Rove, broke the federal election laws in 2006 by using federal money to organize political events.  Big Time.  The story was buried on a back section.  Yesterday's news I suppose.  The feds won't even say if they will prosecute or not.  The dark side wins again.

The dark side has lost, mostly, when the corrupt administration of Patrick Lyons at the Land Office was slapped on the hand by the New Mexico Supreme Court for illegally trying to swap state land for private land in the wildlife rich Whites Peak area in the north.  This swap would  have absolutely screwed local hunters and turned prime lands over to some out of state ranchers and oil men.  I have said for years that these land swaps were unconstitutional.  So are these so called 'development leases' that give real estate developers access to state lands without going to open and competitive bids.  I hope our new Commissioner Ray Powell will look at all of those carefully before jumping into that mud pit himself.  Ray is an honest man so I think he will do the right thing.

Powell will have to reign in his new general counsel, Harry Relkin, who might have some ethical quandries to solve.  Relkin worked for Powell when the land deal was made with Forest City Covington, a reputable developer, at Mesa Del Sol.  Relkin did most of the work on that deal.  Then when Ray left office after being termed out, Relkin became the counsel for Forest City Covington in New Mexico for the Mesa Del Sol Project.  Now that he has left there and gone back to work for the Land Office, Powell will need to be very careful on dealings with the developer so there are no conflict of interest problems.

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