A State Ethics commission is not a partisan project, and one of the loudest organizational voices calling for its formation has been the New Mexico League of Women Voters. I spoke with Meredith Machen, President of New Mexico’s League about their efforts to bring ethics into politics

House leaders have called for the resignation of Secretary of State Dianna Duran based on allegations she embezzled money to feed her gambling habit. As the voices grow stronger for Duran to step down, so do the voices wanting an Ethics Commission. Today we continue to look at the state’s need for an Ethics Commission, the efforts that have been made to create one.

John Calef presents Santa Fe Local News at Noon

During summer recess in Congress our elected officials have been coming home and getting a sense of issues on the ground. We caught up with Third District Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and in the first of a two-part interview, asked him about some of the current issues he’s working on for New Mexicans.

As the allegations against Secretary Duran are being discussed nationwide, here in New Mexico we’re also discussing our lack of an ethics commission. We are one of only eight states which does not have such a commission, despite efforts on the part of some state representatives to create one. Paul Biderman served five years as Director of the Institute of Public Law and research faculty at UNM’s school of Law, and conducts ethics trainings for public officials across the state, including for Commissioners of the PRC. He’s joins us live today to discuss ethics in New Mexico.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Friday filed a 64 count complaint against Secretary of State Dianna Duran accusing her of embezzling and laundering money. The complaint alleges that Duran, who was reelected to her post in the last election 2014, used government funds to feed her gambling habits.  . Secretary Duran has not yet responded to the allegations. We asked Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who unsuccessfully ran for the post, to describe the functioning of the office and its vital responsibilities to New Mexico.

Santa Fe Local News at Noon presented by John Calef

Thursday night was the final concert of Santa Fe’s incredibly popular Bandstand concert series featuring local and national musical acts throughout the summer.

KSFR's Zelie Pollon was there to see the curtain close for one more year.

It has been anything but a quiet summer for the SF county board of county commissioners as they have dealt with several high profile and politically controversial issues. 

A resolution passed on Tuesday evening by the Santa Fe County Board of Commissions said it would not give money for the construction of a water system in the Pojoaque valley until the legal haggling over country roads is settled with San Ildelfonso Pueblo.

Mayor Gonzales said the city faces a 12 to 15 million dollar budget shortfall. Where and what he'll have to cut to make up for the deficit is still unknown. KSFR's Tom Trowbridge speaks with Mayor Gonzales.

Santa Fe State Senator Peter Wirth says he will sponsor a proposed constitutional amendment to reform the state's bail system, which he calls "broken." Wirth, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says his bill will be introduced during the 2015 30-day session of the State Legislature. The Democrat's proposal puts forward two key reforms, one of which would allow judges to deny bail before trial for the most high-risk, dangerous defendants.

John Calef presents Santa Fe Local News at Noon

Small companies in the city different have the opportunity to get a boost thanks to an upcoming event hosted by the Santa Fe Businesses Incubator.  The next Eureka Effect event in coming up in September, and KSFR’s John Calef has the details.  

Yesterday in Virginia a journalist and cameraman were shot while broadcasting live from a strip mall in the town of Moneta near Roanoke, Virginia. The gunman appeared to be a disgruntled colleague who was recently fired. While such extreme events are rare for journalists in America, there are consistent dangers that we face every day. I spoke with Rory McClanahan, board president of the New Mexico Press Association and editor of the Mountain View Telegraph about some of what New Mexico journalists face.

  The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish meets at Santa Fe Community College later this morning. On the agenda are efforts to increase by 25 percent the number of bears hunters can kill annually, easing the rules for trapping cougars on private lands, and expanding cougar trapping to millions of acres of state trust lands. The cougar changes would discontinue a requirement that hunters get a special permit to use traps or foot snares to snag cougars on private land. The proposed changes have drawn opposition from animal rights groups.

John Calef presents Santa Fe Local news at Noon

On Monday President Obama announced a set of executive actions to accelerate the country's transition to cleaner sources of energy and ways to cut energy waste. According to the White House announcement one of the purposes is to continue to expand opportunities to install energy saving technologies today, particularly those homes that need it most.

Freedom of information has been in the news a lot lately, with an injunction against the Santa Fe New Mexican to prohibit information from being published. This among many attempts to keep journalists from accessing information. On Monday in Santa Fe was a presentation about Open Government. I spoke with Greg Williams, the President of the board of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.