Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Raw! Uncensored! The Shocking E-mails Mary Herrera Did Not Want You to See!

If only they were that sensational ...

I got pristine copies of some of the e-mails that were completely blacked out in the versions provided to to reporters in last Friday's 400-plus page document dump by the Secretary of State's Office.

Read my latest story HERE.

I'm still trying to figure out which exception under the Inspection of Public Records Act justified the redacting of these letters.

Even more so, I'm completely baffled as to why these letters would be blacked out at all.

The content of a Feb. 15 e-mail from Santa Fe County elections director Denise Lamb — sent Feb. 15 to Herrera, recently resigned Elections Bureau direcor A.J. Salazar, Deputy Secretary of State Francisco Trujillo and others — was completely redacted by Herrera's office.

A copy of the letter provided by Lamb shows that the e-mail simply said the Santa Fe County Clerk had "exhausted" its supply of registration forms in Spanish. Lamb was requesting 500 more copies from the secretary of state.

Granted, other e-mails between the two offices provided by Lamb show an increasing frustration on Lamb's part in trying to obtain various forms from the SOS. Under a new policy, all form requests for county clerks have to be approved by Trujillo.

But the e-mail from Lamb that was completely redacted is a simple request for 500 new Spanish-language voter forms.

Then there were Feb. 13 e-mails from Think New Mexico officials. They were trying to get Herrera's endorsement of a bill dealing with campaign contributions that the think tank was pushing.

In that e-mail to Salazar, Think New Mexico director Fred Nathan basically talks up the bill and notes that several other state officials were supporting it.

An e-mail that same day from Associate Director Kristina Gray Fisher is even more mundane. She merely tells Salazar she's attaching an electronic copy of the campaign finance bill.

And yet, the SOS decided to completely black it out.

While these cases of innocuous messages being blacked out do seem funny, they raise serious questions about how well the Secretary of State understands the Inspection of Public Records Act.


  1. Javier Gonzales, the Chairman of the Democratic party in N.M. can be contacted by email at javier@nmdemocrats.org

  2. According to KOB News in a story entitled "Sensitive content questioned in Secretary of State’s emails" (3/22/10) "...Earlier on Monday, the Secretary of State’s office says they only blacked out information that the attorney general’s office told them to redact. But by evening, the attorney general issued a statement saying that was untrue." (http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S1479421.shtml?cat=500)

  3. "To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink."
    Emmanuel Goldstein, "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism" [1984]

  4. The state's chief election officer [redacted] New Mexico's state government ethics regulator [redacted] the entire election process [redacted] financial disclosure by candidates and state officials [redacted] lobbyist activity [redacted] voting machines [redacted] absolute integrity and competence [redacted] Javier Gonzales [redacted] and [redacted] Don Francisco Trujillo's fearless, courageous and daredevil reputation [redacted] friend to those who have no friends [redacted] according to Mike Locksley [redacted] he [redacted] said.

  5. All the county clerks have been summoned by the Secretary of State to a meeting in Albuquerque tomorrow and I'm hoping you might be able to keep tabs on that since there's bound to be some fireworks.