Win Some, Lose Some
In this week’s Chile Street:
Election night has come and gone, but one race stretched well into the next day
Campaign makes collusion allegations in final hours of election
Some changes are coming to Chile Street
Michelle Martens sentenced in brutal death of daughter
An ABQ speed camera has been incorrectly citing drivers
Archdiocese warns of fake kidnapping calls
Good morning! Today is Friday, Nov. 11. Here’s a look at the past week in New Mexico news.
Win Some, Lose Some
We made it, New Mexico! We survived another contentious election.
Election night was a long one though with word of a winner in the 2nd Congressional District being delayed well into Wednesday when Democrat Gabe Vasquez declared victory over incumbent GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell.
Herrell later conceded the race as a narrow 1,224 votes separated the two.
“Make no mistake about it, there’s nothing that happens in Washington that New Mexico can’t do better,” Vasquez said in a statement. “To everyone out there struggling, no matter whether you voted for me or not, please know this: I see you, I hear you, and I’ll fight my heart out for you, because public service is a sacred responsibility that I will never take for granted.”
In another close match up, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham earned a second term by capturing 51.2% of the vote over Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti’s 46.4%. Libertarian Karen Bedonie ended the night with 2.4% of the vote.
The Final Hours
The final hours of the election were certainly not boring ones.
Going into the weekend, the Ronchetti campaign launched an accusation that KOB-TV had colluded with Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign during a 2018 debate against Steve Pearce.
KOB issued a statement Nov. 3 calling the allegations “patently false” and publicly asked for the Ronchetti campaign to share any evidence with management so an investigation could be launched. KOB also ran a story about the incident.
The campaign responded with a lengthy press release. In the screed, the campaign called the KOB story “bizarre” and criticized the station’s reporting.
Read KOB’s statement and see its story here: kob.com/news/top-news/statement-from-the-general-manager-of-kob-tv/
Read the Ronchetti release here: markronchetti.com/icymi-lujan-grisham-refuses-to-deny-cheating-charge/
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
A Change is Gonna Come
Let’s just get this out of the way: Since Elon Musk took control of Twitter about two weeks ago, the social media site has become home to more racism and bigotry. Using Twitter has felt disjointed and chaotic, and the future of the Twitter-owned platform this newsletter utilizes is bleak.
These things are well beyond my control, but they do mean that changes are coming to Chile Street.
This newsletter comes to your inbox via a service called Revue. It allows me to lay out each issue, add images and links, and then have it automatically mailed to subscribers at midnight each Friday. Revue is owned by Twitter though, and credible rumors say that the service will be shut down by the end of the year. And even if that turns out to be false or Revue is saved at the 11th hour, given the absolute turmoil at Revue’s parent company, I’m not particularly interested in continuing use of Revue anyway.
Chile Street will soon migrate to Substack, a similar newsletter creation service. Ironically, when I took control of Chile Street from Marie Baca in July of 2021, we were already using Substack. Why did we leave? Because Substack had its own chaos at the time. First came an influx of disinformation about Covid-19, then a slew of transphobic propaganda. At the same time, Twitter had just purchased Revue as part of a push to attract more writers to Twitter, so it seemed like the right time to make the move.
But then the Great Twitter Implosion of 2022 came and, well, here we are.
Have things changed at Substack since then? Yes and no. Since last summer, Substack’s management has acknowledged the above problems and promised to snuff out “dubious or objectionable” material on the platform. Things seem to have improved, but they’re not perfect. Of course, the perfect platform for delivering a newsletter is probably nonexistent. The line between free speech and censorship is always fine, and so, with some reluctance, Chile Street is moving back to Substack.
I’ve never published on Substack, and I anticipate some kind of learning curve, so please bear with me as I figure it out. Most likely, this issue of Chile Street will be the final one on Revue, and beginning with the Nov. 18 issue, the newsletter will come from Substack.
Little will change for readers. The layout will look different, and you might have to take steps to ensure Chile Street doesn’t land in your spam folder. Other than that, nothing drastic will change for you.
The collapse of Twitter might, however, change this newsletter in other ways. Until this week, I’ve used Twitter to cultivate and catalog news stories that are featured in Chile Street. Going forward, that will likely change.
Simply stated, Twitter is not a fun place to be anymore. The vibe is weird and dark, and the influx of “verified” check marks — and the accompanying accounts impersonating everyone from sports stars to elected officials — make it more difficult to discern valuable information from outright lies. If that’s not enough, there’s the profusion of crypto scam accounts posing as official accounts, too.
I liken Twitter today to the scene in “Back to the Future Part II” where Marty and Doc return to 1985 only to learn that it’s an alternative version of the year they knew. Things look similar, but somehow worse. The people you think you know don’t act the same as they used to, and an insecure and broken man-child is in charge of everything.
That chaos spreads into the usability of the site as well, where the ill-conceived ideas of a mercurial leader are rolled out as features to every user, instead of first being tested among a small group of users. When they fail, they’re removed hours later.
Musk said on Thursday that bankruptcy was a possibility, and that he’s sold some of his stake in Tesla to “save” Twitter. Like a drunken gambler on a bad loosing streak, Musk continues to bet on the next thing in hopes that he wins big and regains all he’s thrown away.
Anyway, this is to say that Twitter will no longer be part of my process for selecting items for this newsletter. I’ve got some ideas on how I’ll do things without using Twitter, but again I ask that you bear with me as I fine tune along the way.
Once the dust settles, I think all these changes will lead to an even better Chile Street. As they say: Sometimes change is what we need.
Michelle Martens sentenced to 12 years — Michelle Martens was sentenced to 12 years for her role in the 2016 death of her daughter, 10-year-old Victoria Martens, KOB-TV reported.
Read or watch the story here (no paywall): kob.com/new-mexico/michelle-martens-sentenced-to-12-years-for-role-in-daughters-death/
ABQ speed camera shut down for incorrectly citing drivers —
The city has shut down a speed camera that has been up for less than a month because it was citing drivers who didn’t deserve to be ticketed, by: George Gonzales of KRQE-TV reported.
Read or watch the story here (no paywall): krqe.com/traffic-roads/albuquerque-speed-camera-shut-down-for-incorrectly-citing-drivers/
City councilor wants investigation of Albuquerque pandemic book — Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis is calling for a formal investigation into a book commissioned by the city that chronicles the mayor’s handling of the pandemic and racial tensions of 2020, Gabriel Chavez of KRQE reported.
Read or watch the story here (no paywall): krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/city-councilor-wants-investigation-of-albuquerque-pandemic-book/
San Miguel County jail murder, one year later — One year ago, seven men attacked a 40-year-old inmate at the San Miguel County Detention Center and beat him to death in a cell. In the aftermath, all seven men involved were charged with first-degree murder. Six of those men are scheduled to go on trial for their alleged involvement, but last week, one of the men involved pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder, Phil Scherer of the Las Vegas Optic reported.
Read the story here (no paywall): lasvegasoptic.com/news/crime/smcdc-murder-one-year-later/article_dbe0c18c-5b91-11ed-abfd-f331ef84b5db.html
Archdiocese warns parents of fake kidnapping calls — The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s Catholic schools said its become aware of a recent scam where someone contacts parents and demands ransom for their child. The scammers tell parents that their child was taken off school property, and scammers sometimes have the name of the child and the school they attend, KOB reported.
Read the story here (no paywall): kob.com/new-mexico/archdiocese-of-santa-fe-warns-parents-of-fake-kidnapping-calls/
You Voted, Now What?
Certifying the vote once took place largely behind the scenes and without much recognition. But in the era of election denial, it’s become a contentious political issue. But what's next now that the votes have been counted?
Canvassing boards in counties with 150,000 or more voters have up to 13 days after the election to declare the results. In smaller counties, canvassing boards are required to declare no later than 10 days after an election, Ryan Lowery reported for Source New Mexico.
The process is fully completed 31 days after the election when the Secretary of State issues election certificates to the winning candidates.
For more on the entire process, read Lowery's story here (no paywall): sourcenm.com/briefs/explainer-certifying-results-after-new-mexicans-vote/
That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!
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Who’s responsible for Chile Street? The culprit is Ryan Lowery, a New Mexico journalist living in Albuquerque.