A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 6, 2013
For some reason, my story on the newly unsealed affidavits in the governor's email case case didn't make it to the New Mexican's web site. I'm posting it below:
political consultant communicated regularly with Republican Gov. Susana
Martinez’s former campaign manager and her former personal assistant,
according to documents unsealed Wednesday by federal authorities. The
FBI says the three also shared Martinez emails that allegedly were
affidavits are part of the federal government’s case against Jamie
Estrada, Martinez’s former campaign manager, who was indicted last week
on charges that he illegally obtained Martinez emails and lied to the
Estrada, who is scheduled to be arraigned June 17 at the federal courthouse in Albuquerque, has said he didn’t break any laws.
Loera, the Democratic consultant, was arrested this week on three
counts of possessing child pornography. An affidavit unsealed Wednesday
confirmed that authorities found pornographic images of young children
on computer discs at Loera’s home after confiscating his computers and
other equipment in November while searching for evidence in the
Loera’s lawyer, Brian Newman, told The Associated Press he had no comment and hadn’t seen the unsealed affidavits.
agents in November also searched the Rio Rancho home of Martinez’s
former assistant, Anissa Galassini Ford, who allegedly received emails
from an account controlled by Loera. Ford has not been charged with any
an interview with FBI agents, Martinez identified Estrada and Ford as
people with possible motives for intercepting her emails. According to
the affidavits, Martinez told the FBI that both had left her campaign
under “unfavorable circumstances.”
Estrada has disputed that he was
fired and earlier this week released documents showing that Martinez and
her campaign kept in contact with him and included him in some campaign
of the affidavits said Ford had worked as Martinez’s personal assistant
until November 2010, which is when Martinez was elected governor.
a review of evidence seized from Estrada’s residence, numerous text
messages, chat conversations and emails were identified between Estrada,
Ford and Jason Loera which confirm [they] know each other and
communicate on a regular basis,” one of the documents said.
person included in some of the emails from Loera, according to one of
the affidavits, was Bruce Wetherbee of Independent Source PAC, a
union-funded group that has been highly critical of Martinez and which
released many of the emails.
said Wednesday he knew Loera but said he couldn’t talk about any
possible sources of the campaign emails. He said a statement about the
matter would be posted on the PAC’s website. It hadn’t been posted as of
to the affidavits, the FBI got a break in the case from an email made
public last September by Sam Bregman, the Albuquerque lawyer who this
year was elected state Democratic Party chairman. Bregman included the
email in legal documents he filed in an appeal of a state Corrections
Department employee’s firing.
The email had been sent to Martinez from
her former deputy chief of staff, Ryan Cangliosi. That email indicated
that it had been forwarded to Bregman from an account called
The name is similar to “Omar
Ravenhurst,” a pen name used by the late Kerry Thornley, a 1960s
counter-culture writer, conspiracy buff and acquaintance of Lee Harvey
executing a warrant to search Google records of that account, the FBI
learned that Loera was behind OmarRavenherst@gmail.com.
the latest batch of search warrant documents were released in the
Estrada case, Martinez took to her Facebook account to post a lengthy
statement about the email investigation, attacking some of her political
in the statement pointed out that Loera was involved in a political
action committee headed by Bregman. “Bregman was very active in trying
to use the emails to attack me,” she said.
of the search-warrant affidavits pointed out that Loera had been paid
by Bregman’s PAC, Grassroots New Mexico, and had made a contribution to
the PAC. Bregman on Wednesday declined to comment to The New Mexican or The Associated Press.
Associated Press reported Wednesday that during a news conference in
Rio Rancho on wildfires, Martinez said she was troubled by Bregman’s
possible involvement in the email case, saying, “I think the public
deserves to know what he knew, when he knew it and how much he knew.”
her Facebook posting, the governor also ripped into one of the
Democrats who has declared plans to run against her next year, writing
that, “Some of the stolen emails included things such as bank account
information, receipts for clothing, and political strategy memos. Those
personal emails were released to be publicized by New Mexico Attorney
General and Democratic candidate for governor Gary King. Afterward, King
claimed he had no idea there was an ongoing FBI investigation despite
the fact it had been very publicly reported in the media.”
said in an interview Wednesday that under the state Inspection of
Public Records Act he had no choice but to release the emails, which had
been requested by the Santa Fe Reporter and others, including a
Republican activist. King said the records act does not have any
exceptions for the type of “personal” information Martinez complained
“Does the governor believe the attorney general shouldn’t follow the law if it’s something she doesn’t want released?” he said.
there had been reports in newspapers about the FBI looking into the
governor’s emails, he said the FBI never contacted him about it — until
after he released the emails.
took issue with the notion that he had interfered with the FBI’s
investigation. “It looks like they got their man,” he said, referring to