Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tainted Contributions for Charity

Here's my story about Lt. Gov. Diane Denish giving the campaign contributions from Smiley Gallegos and Bob Strumor to a yet-to-be-decided charity. Gallegos and Strummor were among those indicted this month in the Region III Housing Authority investigation.

This practice of politicians donating suddenly toxic contributions to charity has become so common in the state I wouldn't be surprised if there are charitable organizations that are starting to get dependant on it.

One weird thing about Denish's announcement, it actually came by way of a press release from her chief of staff Josh Rosen shortly after 10:30 p.m. Friday.

That's right -- after 10:30 p.m. Friday. I've heard of the Friday night news dump, but this is ridiculous. The Albuquerque TV stations were all done with their news programs, and newspapers were way too close to deadline to be reading press releases from the lieutenant governor's office. As for myself, I was a quarter way through my Santa Fe Opry shift on KSFR.

Denish's political director Steve Fitzer assured me today that sending the press release out so late was not part of some strategy to avoid the news cycle. Rosen, he said, was tied up with meetings all day. Still seems weird though.