Earlier this week we broke the story of a New Mexico State Police officer who says the governor's staff attorney and Amy Orlando, Martinez's hand-picked appointee to follow Martinez as Dona Ana County District Attorney, ordered him to spy on the newly elected Democratic District Attorney they both campaigned against in 2012.
This is a big week for spy stories: The NSA was caught spying on Americans and now a state cop says the governor's office is spying on political opponents. What's really going on here?
In April 2013, a state police officer authored an internal
memo (read it here) to his supervisors writing: “I was asked to record the meeting
by Amy Orlando and Steven Blankenship. Amy Orlando, being the past District
Attorney and Steven Blankenship being as Assistant District Attorney from the
last administration” (sic). Robles added
that, “The topic of the meeting was the Sunland Park Case.”
After Orlando and Martinez lost the district attorney race to Democrat Mark D'Antonio in November 2012, the governor quickly hired Steve Blankinship to be her general counsel - her personal attorney in government - and Amy Orlando landed a new social worker job. Neither have law enforcement duties, so why are they interfering with officers and prosecutors involved in a criminal investigation?
After we broke the story, reporters all over the state started asking questions. The Albuquerque Journal published the first story today on the front of the Metro & State section (read it here) . Orlando admits to still talking to the cop about the case even though she is no longer a prosecutor and the governor's office is in full spin mode trying to distance the governor from this investigation. There are still a lot of unanswered questions.
This is an important story and we need your help to get to the bottom of this. Did the governor really not know her best-friend and personal attorney were spying on a Democratic opponent? What would they have done with the recording if the officer hadn't done the right thing?
We're ready to file more records requests and spread this story -- and we have to do it before the trail runs cold. Finding sources and doing this research costs a lot of money. Can you help with a quick donation to be sure we can spend our time following this story and not raising money?
This is the second big scandal for Martinez in two weeks. While she's been busy crisscrossing the country raising big money from Republican big cats, whistleblowers with insider access are lining up here at home to tell their stories about what's really going on in her administration. Just last week two former campaign staffers - her finance director and her personal assistant - came forward saying they had been interviewed by the FBI about the dirty Downs lease deal.
Now a state police officer - sworn to uphold the law - is coming forward to say the governor's appointees directed him to spy on a Democrat. What's next? We want to know.
We broke this story and we're not letting it go away until we have all the answers. Can you help?
One more thing: while we're doing the research you can help keep the story alive. Spread it on Facebook, Twitter and to friends - even share it with a reporter you think should be writing about this story.