Penny Stocks Terms to be familiar with

Many investors are tired of CD rates which you don’t even stay ahead of inflation when you invest in a certificate of deposit. The same can be said of savings account rates which aren’t paying much more deposit interest. On the flip side of things if you borrow money, like have a mortgage, right now current mortgage rates are extremely low.

Sometimes this leads investors to trade penny stocks.

When you open a brokerage account to invest in a mutual fund or to invest directly in stocks you should know what you’re doing, just like searching for the best CD rates at banks or credit unions. So you should turn to a cash account is a type of brokerage account in which the investor must pay the full amount for securities purchased, you can also find brokers firms advertising CD rates though brokered CD rates cdrates.me might not be as high as bank CD rates.

This type of order guarantees that the order will be executed, but does not guarantee the execution price.Even if the brokerage firm notifies you that you have a certain number of days to cover the shortfall, it still may sell your securities before then.

Diversification can’t guarantee that your investments won’t suffer if the market drops.A buy stop order is entered at a stop price above the current market price.

Stocks seem to be the only game in town, savings rates are so low even retirees or people saving for retirement won’t earn much interest. Savings rates aren’t expected to go higher for another couple of years, like at the end of 2014.

Diversification can be neatly summed up as, Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The most common types of orders are market orders, limit orders, and stop-loss orders.For example, if you buy on margin and the value of your securities declines, your brokerage firm can require you to deposit cash or securities to your account immediately.

Having a “long” position in a security means that you own the security.On the other hand, investing involves taking on some degree of risk.Investors generally use a sell stop order to limit a loss or protect a profit on a stock they own.As with any other loan, you will incur interest costs when you buy securities on margin.

You’ll also want to understand the fees associated with the buying, selling, and holding the investment.There are risks involved in purchasing securities on margin.Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are the most common asset categories.If the price drops, you can buy the stock at the lower price and make a profit.

A sell stop order is entered at a stop price below the current market price.You could lose your “principal,” which is the amount you’ve invested.Before you make any investment, understand the risks of the investment and make sure the risks are appropriate for you.

A buy limit order can only be executed at the limit price or lower, and a sell limit order can only be executed at the limit price or higher.When investing, you have a greater chance of losing your money than when you save.In a cash account, you are not allowed to borrow funds from your broker to pay for transactions in the account.That’s true even if you purchase your investments through a bank.Treasury securities.

A margin account is a type of brokerage account in which your brokerage firm can lend you money to buy securities, with the securities in your portfolio serving as collateral for the loan.If the price of the stock rises and you buy it back later at the higher price, you will incur a loss.A limit order is an order to buy or sell a security at a specific price or better.Example: An investor wants to purchase shares of ABC stock for no more than.

The investor could submit a limit order for this amount and this order will only execute if the price of ABC stock is $10 or lower.The opposite of a “long” position is a “short” position.Some investors may include these asset categories within a portfolio.Investments in these asset categories typically have category-specific risks.

However, it is important for investors to remember that the last-traded price is not necessarily the price at which a market order will be executed.A stop order, also referred to as a stop-loss order is an order to buy or sell a stock once the price of the stock reaches the specified price, known as the stop price.Investors generally use a buy stop order to limit a loss or protect a profit on a stock that they have sold short.

Investors who sell short believe the price of the stock will decrease in value.Investors maintain “long” security positions in the expectation that the stock will rise in value in the future.A market order is an order to buy or sell a security immediately.

A market order generally will execute at or near the current bid (for a sell order) or ask (for a buy order) price.Other asset categories include real estate, precious metals and other commodities, and private equity.These are among the asset categories you would likely choose from when investing in a retirement savings program or a college savings plan.

It can also sell any of the securities in your account to cover any shortfall, without informing you in advance.But when you invest, you also have the opportunity to earn more money.A brokerage firm may at any time change the threshold at which customers are subject to a margin call.

But it can improve the chances that you won’t lose money, or that if you do, it won’t be as much as if you weren’t diversified.The idea is that if one investment loses money, the other investments will make up for those losses.

When the stop price is reached, a stop order becomes a market order.A “short” position is generally the sale of a stock you do not own.Unlike FDIC-insured deposits, the money you invest in securities, mutual funds, and other similar investments are not federally insured.The brokerage firm decides which of your securities to sell.

Penny Stock tips 2017

The topic of penny stock investing investing has been discussed in countless books, papers, and reports and websites. If you attempt to read it all, you will most likely find yourself confused and overwhelmed before long. Then what are the fundamentals concerning investing that you should take the time to learn? Keep reading to learn more.

Analyze the stock market for some time before deciding to purchase stocks. Before investing, try studying the market for a while. A recommended time period to observe it would be for three years. That way, it is possible to gain a greater understanding of the ways in which the market functions, and you will stand a greater likelihood of generating profits.

TIP! Be sure you invest over an array of different stocks. Avoid placing all of your eggs into one basket, like the familiar saying goes.

Before getting into the stock market, carefully observe it. Before investing, you want to watch the market for awhile. A good rule of thumb would be to keep your eye on the ups and downs for three years. If you are patient and observant, you’ll understand the market better and will be more likely to make money.

Stocks are not merely certificates that are bought and sold. When you own stock, you own a piece of a company. Realize that this gives you entitlement to both their asset earnings and claims. In many instances, you even have voting rights in corporate elections.

Do not stay stagnant in your vigilance. It is vital to look closely at your portfolio, including any investing decision, every several months. The reason for that is the economy is changing frequently. Certain market sectors begin to out gain others, making some companies obsolete. Depending upon the economic environment, it may be better to invest in certain financial instruments rather than others. It is therefore important to keep track of your portfolio, and make adjustments as needed.

TIP! Do not time the stock market. A more solid strategy, historically, is a steady investment of a set amount of money over the long term.

Your portfolio should always have a reasonable amount of diversity. It is not a wise decision to have all your money tied up into one specific investment. For instance, if you invest all you have in one, single share and it does not do well, you are going to lose all of your money that you worked hard for.

Keep an interest bearing savings account stocked with at least a six month reserve so that you are prepared if a rainy day should come about. This allows you to have a cushion if you lose a job, suffer an illness or have any other issues that prevent you from covering your bills, so that you do not need to dip into your investments.

Know your areas of competence and stay within them. If you make your own investment decisions, it is wisest to stick with companies you are familiar with. You may be knowledgeable about a landlord management company you once rented from, but do you really know much about companies that make oil rigs? Let a professional advise you on stocks from companies that you are unfamiliar with.

TIP! Never invest too much of your money in the company that you work for. While it can fill you with pride to own the stock of your employer, it’s way too risky to depend on it alone.

Compile strong stocks from a myriad of industries if you’re poising your portfolio for long-range, maximum yields. While the market grows, in general, some sectors grow more than others. By having different positions through different sectors, you could capitalize on industries that grow drastically in order to grow your portfolio. Re-balancing consistently minimizes losses with shrinking sectors and maintains positions in later growth cycles.

Timing the markets is not a good idea. History has shown that people who steadily invest even sums of money over time do better in the long run. All you need to do is to decide how much money you can safely afford to invest. Then, start investing regularly and make sure you keep at it.

Damaged stocks are great investment opportunities, but stay away from damaged companies. Make sure you are investing in companies that have a small downturn and not a permanent loss of value. Investor panic, due to an important but repairable problem, can cause a sharp drop in a stock’s price. While this is true, one that goes through financial scandals might not have the ability to bounce back.

TIP! You may want to look into purchasing stocks which pay out dividends. This way, when the stock goes down, you at least will still get dividends.

Never invest too much of your money in the company that you work for. Although it seems good to support your company by owning its stock, there are certain risks involved. If anything happens to the company, you will not only lose your paycheck but your investment, as well. Having said that, if the shares are discounted for employees, there might be a bargain there.

Be sure you’re following the dividend history of companies you own stock in. If you are an established investor, following the dividend can keep you informed of how solid the dividends are for your goals. When a company generates significant profits, what is not reinvested into the company is disbursed to the shareholders as dividends. Divide the annual dividends by the stock’s price to find the dividend yield.

TIP! Using a constrained strategy may be the best investment approach. That means searching for unpopular stocks that still offer good value.

With this information in hand, you are more ready to wet your feet in the stock market. All of the basic information about investing in the stock market you need to know to begin. Although it is exciting when you are young to not plan much in advance, you should plan a little bit. Since you have increased your knowledge, it’s time to apply it for your personal gain.

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UBS consultant also worked for Guv’s PAC « New Mexico Independent

There’s another fly caught in the web of connections between Richardson’s advisers, fundraisers and the companies doing business with the state. Fred DuVal was working as a consultant for financial services company UBS, trying to win business with the state of New Mexico, while at the same time he was helping to raise funds for Richardson’s ¡Si Se Puede! political action committee. According to Bloomberg News:

UBS credited DuVal & Associates, the lobbyist’s firm, with helping land an assignment to sell a portion of $1.1 billion of bonds for the New Mexico Finance Authority in April 2004, according to Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board records. That was two months after, Duval 54, was named as a director of ¡Si Se Puede! Boston 2004 Inc., a committee Richardson formed to pay Democratic presidential convention expenses, filings with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service show.

…DuVal said in an interview he didn’t play a role in landing the New Mexico authority bond deals for Zurich-based UBS and he hasn’t been contacted by investigators. The firm’s bankers already had ties with the administration, he said.

…According to filings with securities regulators, DuVal & Associates was paid $10,000 a month to find business for UBS in 10 states, including New Mexico.

DuVal’s firm “obtained or retained” underwriting duties on three authority bond deals in April 2004, totaling $1.1 billion, according to UBS records filed with the MSRB for the second quarter of 2004. DuVal said the bank may have credited his firm with arranging that work unnecessarily.

“There’s a tendency to over-report and be extra transparent,” he said.

DuVal is a member of the Arizona board of regents. His bio, posted on the regents’ Web site, reveals that he, “served as senior staff to former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, where his portfolio included the Regents, and spent seven years in the Clinton Administration in Washington D.C.”

And according to Bloomberg, both DuVal and UBS gave money to the Guv:

DuVal…donated $1,000 to Richardson’s presidential campaign in March 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records. UBS contributed $25,000 to ¡Si Se Puede in June 2004, IRS records show.

DuVal said he played no role in that committee aside from agreeing to sign on as a director at its inception, and said there was no connection with the bond deals. He said he agreed to act as a director on the committee because he thought it may fund voter activity in his home state of Arizona. That never happened.

“My involvement was saying yes to lending my name and nothing after that,” he said.

As the Santa Fe New Mexican has reported, 

…¡Sí, Se Puede! raised $336,000 from the time it was formed in February 2004 until Nov. 19, 2004 — about four months after the convention — when Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. of New Jersey contributed $10,000 to the cause. 

Richardson’s then-political director Amanda Cooper was listed as executor director of the PAC. Other directors included David Smoak, a state Judicial Standards commissioner; Fred Duval, a Phoenix consultant; Denver lawyer Ted Trimpa; Washington, D.C., businessman Miguel Lausell; and banker and Richardson crony Guy Riordan. 

https://web.archive.org/web/http://newmexicoindependent.com:80/14914/gripgate-bed-check-ubs-consultant-also-worked-for-guvs-pac

Obama’s clear break with the past

We’ve had to postpone so much over the last eight years that the inauguration day of Barack Obama and Joe Biden feels as if the nation has arisen from a near fatal coma.

We’ve postponed a mature response to global warming, postponed the cleanup of toxic air and poisoned water, postponed seeing to it that Americans are no longer the health care serfs of the developed world, postponed rebuilding our bridges, roads, levees, postponed honoring our wounded soldiers with first class health care, postponed the technological recreation of the American economy, postponed full speed ahead development of alternative and renewable fuels, postponed, if not abandoned, the creation of meaningful and well paying jobs at home, postponed the inspiration of America’s youth to service, study, and self-improvement, and postponed a productive, serious, and inclusive American discourse on the problems that face us.

We’ve endured so many egregious attacks on our liberties over the last eight years that the morbid miasma seemed filled with prophetic newsreel images of nightmares of the past reborn. We’ve endured machinations to create an authoritarian presidency, endured the potential loss of habeas corpus by executive fiat, endured warrantless searches and evasions of privacy, endured the specter of indefinite detention without trial, endured an economic system that lavishes fabulous wealth on the stupendously wealthy and pauperizes everyone else.

We’ve had to hold our noses and move through the poison gas of hate speech politics for eight long years with so much venom spilled that you’d think we were on the verge of a civil war.

And now, despite all the darkness of those eight seemingly endless years, we see a break in the smog of history, a clear moment in which civility, innovation, social responsibility and economic justice might just have a chance to arise anew. This break with the past, with the Roveian American Reich of a “permanent” Republican majority, is based on the liberation of open-minded, inclusive and, we pray, transparent leadership, and not the false strength induced by the propaganda of fear. And nothing could be more welcome.

It’s not that this inauguration heals the terrible grief so many older Americans still feel from the murders of JFK, Dr. King, and Bobby Kennedy. But there is a sense that we have somehow survived a terrible tangle of outrageous fortune –- from free market banditry and a presidential Caesar who stonewalled the Congress and the nation for almost a decade, to the eroding of America’s environmental stewardship, a perfect storm of pollution and chaotic weather, an inflamed terrorist threat and a bottomed out international reputation in which America, that once stood for fairness and human rights, was for a long bitter moment perceived as no better than the feudal keeper of a dungeon.

Our economic woes go far beyond the bilking of stockholders, depositors, taxpayers and legions of retirement investors. We allowed eight years to pass, eight years in which the world moved inexorably closer to a financially catastrophic peak oil downturn. And we did nothing to prepare ourselves for the monumental energy changes ahead. The combination of robber barons and a willful failure to read the hand writing on the wall, has created a situation in which newly minted financial regulation may try to prop up the old order just as it is collapsing into a low energy transition depression.

The notion of a presidency with no checks and balances, staunchly supported by Alexander Hamiliton in his idea of an “elected monarch” all the way down to Dick Cheney and his idea of a totally top secret executive branch, will linger in the minds of would-be American tyrants for decades. They saw how spineless the Congress was, how compliant the Supreme Court turned out to be, and how shockingly effective a simple “no” to all requests for disclosure and accountability is, even in the face of destructive and farcical malfeasance. An autocrat who learns from Bushian denial and refusal, and his total mastery of public relations and the media, could shred the Constitution.

But perhaps we shall see in the next four years amendments to Article II of the Constitution which governs the presidency.

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Former investment officer alleges pay-to-play in Richardson administration

Frank Foy, left, is alleging a pay-to-play scheme involving state investments. His attorney, Victor Marshall, is seated to the right.

Frank Foy sent a clarion call Wednesday. Wanted: an army of whistle-blowers to uncover evidence of pay-to-play anywhere in New Mexico.

“I would strongly urge anyone else who might have suspicion of pay-to-play anywhere within the state, whether it’s in state government, city government, municipal government, county government, to come forward,” Foy said.

Foy, a former chief investment officer at a state board, appeared to be leading the charge Wednesday when he came forward to allege that he had been pressured to award contracts and make investments that would reward political campaign contributors of Governor Bill Richardson.

Foy, who until last summer worked for the Education Retirement Board, is alleging in a 26-page complaint unsealed Wednesday that pressure was exerted on officers at his former agency and at the State Investment Council, to make investments that ultimately lost the state nearly $90 million.

Education Retirement Board chairman and Albuquerque accountant Bruce Malott, a Richardson appointee, pressured him to invest, he said.

“I just knew, for the first time in my career at ERB, I was instructed to talk to a bond salesman,” Foy said Wednesday, referring to a salesman attempting to interest him in securities touted by a Chicago-based firm, Vanderbilt Capital. Vanderbilt gave more than $15,000 to Gov. Richardson’s presidential campaign.

When Foy tried to resist, he said he was demoted, then forced to retire this past summer.

The suit also alleges that State Investment Officer Gary Bland also pushed Vanderbilt at his agency.

Malott, and spokesmen for the governor and Bland, strongly denounced Foy’s complaint Wednesday and questioned his motives in filing it.

“I simply lost faith in Mr. Foy’s appropriateness for the position,” Malott said in a telephone interview. “It is most unfortunate that he now seeks to exploit recent headlines for his personal vendetta against me.”

Charles Wollman, a spokesman for Bland, said Foy’s assertions were without merit and that “his motivations are questionable at best.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the governor called Foy’s claims “absurd” and labeled Foy “a disgruntled former employee who was accused of serious misconduct during his time as a state employee.”

“The Governor is confident that the state agencies named in this lawsuit acted properly and in the best interest of New Mexicans,” said Richardson’s spokesman Gilbert Gallegos.

Foy acknowledged that he was accused and found guilty of three counts of sexual harassment, “even though I denied all three of them vigorously.”

“I felt it was a sham by senior management to force my hand to get me to quit or retire,” Foy said.

As to being disgruntled, Foy said, “I guess I can be considered disgruntled given the fact that I was railroaded out of my job.”

Accusations Snowball

However the case may end up, Foy’s allegations come at a bad time for Richardson, whose administration already has come under a shadow because of a separate federal probe investigating an alleged pay-to-play scheme at the New Mexico Finance Authority.

In that case, federal prosecutors are investigating whether a California firm, CDR Financial Products, got state work in return for large contributions it gave to two political action committees started by Richardson, ¡Si Se Puede! and Moving America Forward.

The investigation cost Richardson the commerce secretary job in President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Foy said he had not been contacted in that case by federal prosecutors, but he has been contacted by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Foy’s complaint lists multiple defendants besides Vanderbilt, Malott and Bland. Several financial services firms, including JP Morgan Chase and UBS are named. The suit also has 50 unnamed defendants who are known as John Doe #1 through John Doe #50.

JP Morgan and UBS both have figured tangentially in the ongoing federal probe involving CDR. And a UBS AG consultant served as a fund-raising committee director on one of Richardson’s political action committees while the bank says he helped it win state bond work, records show.

Both JP Morgan and UBS sold a portion of $1.1 billion of bonds for the New Mexico Finance Authority in April 2004, which helped to finance the state’s high-profile transportation program — GRIP, short for Governor Richardson’s Investment Partnership. CDR advised the finance authority on interest rate SWAPs related to the bond issue.

The investment at the heart of Foy’s complaint is unrelated to the GRIP bond issue, and CDR’s advice to the finance authority.

Concerted Pressure

The investment occurred in August 2006 after what he said was concerted pressure to do business with Vanderbilt. At the time, Foy was in the process of hiring outside money managers to take over investing about a third of the Education Retirement Board’s then-$8.5 billion public pension plan for New Mexico educators and school employees. Until then, he had invested that portion. It was then that he was told to speak to the bond salesman representing Vanderbilt, Foy said.

“The bottom line is the fix was in,” said Foy’s attorney, Victor Marshall. “It became apparent before the investment was made that certain people, including Gary Bland and Bruce Malott, were determined to make this investment with, of all people, Vanderbilt, whoever they are, among the hundreds of people who offer various products.”

Several months later, contributions from people associated with Vanderbilt Capital starting coming into Richardson’s presidential campaign. A total of $15,100 was given over a period from February 2007 to February 2008, records show.

“This happened a few months after the investment,”’ Marshall said. “That is not untypical. If there is a pay-to-play scheme sometimes it happens before. If the people are really stupid, they do it the same day, or right around the same time.”

After the investment, Vanderbilt paid out two dividends totaling $4 million, and then they stopped.

Ultimately the Vanderbilt investment resulted in nearly $90 million in losses — $50 million put in by the State Investment Council and $40 million from the ERB.

Foy is seeking about $300 million in damages to be paid to the state of New Mexico under a 2007 law that allows a citizen to recover three times the amount of money lost to fraud committed against taxpayers.

Foy’s complaint was unsealed Wednesday after the state Attorney General decided not to prosecute it, Marshall said. The complaint originally was filed in July.

A Troubled Fund

Foy’s complaint is not the first time the Education Retirement Board has been in the news.

In 2005, ERB was projecting a $2.4 billion shortfall and although it was able to pay benefits to its retirees, the future looked bleak. That year, a bill sponsored by State Rep. Lucky Varela lifted restrictions on ERB and other state funds (such as the State allowing them to invest in “alternatives” such as hedge funds, eliminating a “legal list” of allowable investments, and replacing it with guiding principles of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA). It was one of several attempts that year to broaden investment possibilities for the state.

At the time, Foy was ERB’s chief investment officer.

Alternative investments are also at the heart of GRIPgate; CDR, the firm at the center of the probe, advised the New Mexico Finance Authority on interest rate SWAPS.

ERB was one of many pension funds recently affected by Bernard Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme. The fund could lose as much as $10 million on Madoff-related investments with Austin Capital Management, the AP reported in December.

NMI’s Heath Haussamen and Gwyneth Doland contributed to this report.

https://web.archive.org/web/http://newmexicoindependent.com:80/15070/former-investment-officer-alleges-pay-to-play-in-richardson-administration

Balderas asks prosecutors to look at housing audit

State Auditor Hector Balderas has completed and is asking prosecutors to take a look at a long-awaited special audit of the state’s scandal-plagued regional housing authority system.

Balderas is also releasing the special audit and other reports to the public today. The move follows a two-year investigation that began when the state Legislature asked him to take a look at the state’s affordable housing system in early 2007. Balderas says his work confirms previous reports detailing widespread problems with the system.“In my opinion, the five regional housing authorities audited by my office were plagued by weak internal controls and a lack of adequate oversight,” Balderas said today in a news release. “The poorly managed fiscal operations were a colossal failure to low-income citizens and the state of New Mexico.”

The attorney general’s office has already been investigating — most of the housing authority system collapsed in 2006 — and plans to take its case before a grand jury next month. How the auditor’s work might affect the attorney general’s plans is not immediately clear, and the AG’s office does not comment on or even confirm grand jury proceedings because they are secret.

In addition to referring the audit to the AG, Balderas is referring it to the FBI.

The scandal began when one of seven regional housing authorities in New Mexico, the Albuquerque-based Region III authority, defaulted on $5 million in bonds it owed the state in mid-2006. Soon thereafter, the State Investment Council released a report that found widespread misuse of the bond money, which was supposed to be spent on houses. Instead, almost $600,000 went to former Region III Director Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos as salary and benefits. Almost $700,000 was loaned to the Las Cruces-based Region VII authority, which did little to provide affordable housing and has since shut down.

Perhaps the most intriguing misuse of money revealed in the investment council report was a $300,000 loan the housing authority made to a private company owned by Gallegos under the guise of purchasing more than 30 lots in Las Cruces — lots that had already been purchased by the authority.

In 2007, the Legislature gave Balderas’ office $200,000 to perform an accounting of all Region III assets, because the situation was such a mess that it was difficult to even determine what had happened and how much was lost. Last year, the Legislature extended the appropriation and asked Balderas to conduct a special audit.

Balderas’ office had to conduct 15 financial audits for the regional authorities that had never been completed before conducting its larger, special audit of the system.

In today’s news release, Balderas said his office found that two of the seven regional authorities are current with their audits and fiscally sound. He referred in the release to the other five, including regions III and VII, as “troubled.” Most have shut down since the scandal began.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov Diane Denish and Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, are pushing a bill in the 60-day legislative session that begins Tuesday that would reform the housing authority system to restructure them and expand oversight.

NMI hopes to have a more detailed report on the audit findings later today.

https://web.archive.org/web/http://newmexicoindependent.com/15092/balderas-asks-prosecutors-to-look-at-housing-audit

Anti-corruption bill boomerangs on Guv

State Auditor Hector Balderas has completed and is asking prosecutors to take a look at a long-awaited special audit of the state’s scandal-plagued regional housing authority system.

Balderas is also releasing the special audit and other reports to the public today. The move follows a two-year investigation that began when the state Legislature asked him to take a look at the state’s affordable housing system in early 2007. Balderas says his work confirms previous reports detailing widespread problems with the system.“In my opinion, the five regional housing authorities audited by my office were plagued by weak internal controls and a lack of adequate oversight,” Balderas said today in a news release. “The poorly managed fiscal operations were a colossal failure to low-income citizens and the state of New Mexico.”

The attorney general’s office has already been investigating — most of the housing authority system collapsed in 2006 — and plans to take its case before a grand jury next month. How the auditor’s work might affect the attorney general’s plans is not immediately clear, and the AG’s office does not comment on or even confirm grand jury proceedings because they are secret.

In addition to referring the audit to the AG, Balderas is referring it to the FBI.

The scandal began when one of seven regional housing authorities in New Mexico, the Albuquerque-based Region III authority, defaulted on $5 million in bonds it owed the state in mid-2006. Soon thereafter, the State Investment Council released a report that found widespread misuse of the bond money, which was supposed to be spent on houses. Instead, almost $600,000 went to former Region III Director Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos as salary and benefits. Almost $700,000 was loaned to the Las Cruces-based Region VII authority, which did little to provide affordable housing and has since shut down.

Perhaps the most intriguing misuse of money revealed in the investment council report was a $300,000 loan the housing authority made to a private company owned by Gallegos under the guise of purchasing more than 30 lots in Las Cruces — lots that had already been purchased by the authority.

In 2007, the Legislature gave Balderas’ office $200,000 to perform an accounting of all Region III assets, because the situation was such a mess that it was difficult to even determine what had happened and how much was lost. Last year, the Legislature extended the appropriation and asked Balderas to conduct a special audit.

Balderas’ office had to conduct 15 financial audits for the regional authorities that had never been completed before conducting its larger, special audit of the system.

In today’s news release, Balderas said his office found that two of the seven regional authorities are current with their audits and fiscally sound. He referred in the release to the other five, including regions III and VII, as “troubled.” Most have shut down since the scandal began.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov Diane Denish and Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, are pushing a bill in the 60-day legislative session that begins Tuesday that would reform the housing authority system to restructure them and expand oversight.

NMI hopes to have a more detailed report on the audit findings later today.

https://web.archive.org/web/http://newmexicoindependent.com/15092/balderas-asks-prosecutors-to-look-at-housing-audit

Udall votes for auto bailout; Wilson, Pearce vote against it

U.S. Rep. Tom Udall voted for a $14 billion bailout for American automobile companies Wednesday evening, while U.S. Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce voted against it.

The bill was approved on a vote of 237-170 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Interestingly, Udall, a Democrat, joined the Republican Pearce in voting against the $700 billion financial bailout earlier this year, while the GOP’s Wilson voted for that bailout bill.

In explaining today’s vote, Udall said the bill will prevent the collapse of the American automobile industry. He said such a collapse would cost an estimated 10,500 jobs in New Mexico — or 1.4 percent of the state’s total work force — that pay a combined $58.5 million in wages each year.

“Today, the House decided whether or not to let two of America’s largest companies collapse and take thousands of New Mexico jobs with them,” Udall said in a news release. “I voted to protect American workers, to reform the auto industry and to produce millions of cleaner, greener cars.”

Wilson, meanwhile, said in a statement that she voted against the bill because it “adds another level of government bureaucracy. It does this without providing sufficient guarantees that the auto manufacturers will follow their promises to restructure their company’s business practices and contractual obligations.”

“Nothing in this legislation is sufficient to prevent these companies from demanding another bailout several months down road,” Wilson said. “Congress should support legislation that protects the American manufacturing jobs without harming the taxpayer.”

The bill doesn’t appropriate any new money for the bailout. Instead, according to The Associated Press, it redirects funds already set aside to help carmakers make changes in their factories that are necessary to build more fuel-efficient automobiles. The bill would almost immediately provide cash to General Motors and Chrysler. Ford would also be eligible for money.

There’s no certainty the bill will pass the Senate, but if it does, the president is expected to sign it. Many senators — most Republicans — have already voiced their opposition to the bill.

Udall, who is joining the Senate next year, said the bill contains oversight and strong checks on use of the money.

“This legislation does not spend one additional taxpayer dollar. These funds were previously appropriated to modernize the auto industry,” he said. “More importantly, the bill provides increased oversight to ensure that taxpayer dollars help American workers and drivers, not stockholders or executives. It mandates that our money will not be spent on executive salaries, dividends or corporate jets. It institutes unprecedented controls to protect the people’s money from misuse. Most importantly, it ensures that Detroit can no longer continue with business as usual.”

Pearce did not release a statement following today’s vote.

https://web.archive.org/web/http://newmexicoindependent.com:80/12287/udall-votes-for-auto-bailout-wilson-pearce-vote-against-it

Wilson, Pearce square off | New Mexico Independent

The May 17 debate, televised by KNME, was sponsored by the Chaves Count Republican Women and the Chaves County Republican County.

Early on, there was some interesting squabbling over debate format, with U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, an Albuquerque Republican, pushing for rebuttal time. Fellow U.S. Rep. Pearce, on the other hand, a Hobbs Republican, seemed content to stick with whatever prevented Wilson from rebutting his most recent charge.

“Could you explain the rules?” Wilson asked at one point with an edge to her voice. “They seem to have changed.”

The debate featured a surprising about of disgreement between the two Republican Senate hopefuls. Wilson chided Pearce for recently voting against the so-called Farm Bill, saying that bill would harm the state’s dairy industry.

Pearce, not to be outdone, pressed charges of his own. Among them, he said Wilson had broken a no-new-taxes pledge (a charge she denied), that she opposed the troop surge in Iraq, and that she supproted “drivers’ licenses for illegals.”

Wilson’s response: “We shoudln’t have drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens,” adding, however, that she does not favor a national ID card.

There were more sharp exchanges, like Peacre’s responce to a question about high gas prices. “We must drill,” he said. Wilson, on the other hand, said she supported a “balanced energy policy,” that includes both increased production and conservation.

One issue on which both candidte’s agreed: they both support the USA Patriot Act.

And all that happened during the first half of the debate!

The AP’s Heather Clark wrote this dispatch follwing the debate, including the thoughts of a couple Republican voters who are beginning to make of their minds, in addition to each candidate’s own electibility argument.

In case you missed it this past weekend, watch the debate here.

The debate is split up over two parts. The above video is the first half; the second half is below.

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https://web.archive.org/web/http://newmexicoindependent.com:80/1220/wilson-pearce-square-off

New Mexico Independent » Udall says opponents using push polls

Though Democratic Senate candidate Tom Udall faces no primary opposition, he is still facing some opposition of a different sort in the weeks leading up to the June 3 primary.

According to an e-mail to supporters from Udall campaign manager Amanda Cooper, a group from Ohio is using “push-polls” to spread information about Udall.

We’ve just received some disturbing news from one of our staff—the GOP “Swift Boat” attacks on Tom Udall have begun here in New Mexico. She got an automated “push-poll” phone call from an organization misleadingly calling itself “Common Sense Issues” this weekend. This group has been caught push-polling for Mike Huckabee in Iowa and the firm they used to make those calls has been fined in multiple states for violating the law. Now they’re here slinging mud at Tom Udall.

Neither Amanda Cooper nor Common Sense Issues was available for comment.

According to the American Association for Public Opinion Research, a push poll “is an insidious form of negative campaigning, disguised as a political poll.”Some attributes of a push-poll, as opposed to a legitimate poll, include:

  • One or only a few questions are asked, all about a single candidate or a single issue.
  • The questions are uniformly strongly negative (or sometimes uniformly positive) descriptions of the candidate or issue.
  • The organization conducting the calls is not named, or a phony name is used.
  • Evasive answers are given in response to requests for more information about the survey.

There can sometimes be a fine line between message polling and push polling. Mark Blumenthal, editor and publisher of Pollster.com, writes of examples in New York’s 20th Congressional District and Arizona’s 8th District as well as polls by Clinton in Iowa that toe the line between push polling and message testing.

It seems all outside observers agree, however, what Common Sense Issues is known for is push polling.

TPMMuckraker looked into the group while they were making calls in support of Mike Huckabee. The group’s tactics included accusing McCain of voting “to allow scientific experiments to be done on unborn children.”

While Cooper referred to the calls as ”’Swift Boat’ attacks,” Common Sense Issues is different from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), the group created to attack John Kerry, D-Mass., in the 2004 presidential election against George W Bush. SBVT was a so-called 527 organization, groups that are named for the tax code under which they filed. In this case, Common Sense Issues is a qualified non-profit, which are, according to Public Citizen, “incorporated non-profits that accept little or no corporate or union treasury funds, are not affiliated with any corporation or union, and whose exclusive purpose is political rather than business-oriented.”

The groups can advocate on behalf of a particular candidate, but cannot coordinate with that candidate’s campaign in any way.

Newsweek reported on Common Sense Issues and their work in support of Mike Huckabee.

Common Sense Issues is a tax-exempt group registered in Delaware whose organizers have acknowledged the use of controversial telephone polling tactics to promote Huckabee’s presidential bid — and allegedly to trash the campaigns of the former Arkansas governor’s rivals. The nonprofit also helped set up and run Trusthuckabee.com, a Web site that was involved in front-line efforts to recruit and mobilize Huckabee supporters to turn out for the Iowa caucuses.

Rival candidates have criticized Common Sense Issues’s tactics, questioning whether the group’s ties to the Huckabee campaign are really arms-length — as required by federal law. Huckabee has distanced itself from Common Sense Issues, renouncing its support and joining his rivals in calling for investigations into the nonprofit’s activities.

While the group gained the most notoriety from their work in the presidential election with the phone calls, they have also done work in Senate races, including against U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo. Mark Udall is a cousin to Tom Udall and is running for Senate against former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, R-Colo. The group aired two TV ads in Colorado targeting Mark Udall in December, according to The Denver Post.

The ads against Mark Udall focused on his support for drilling off the coast of Cuba and for his support of the Department of Peace bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.

Common Sense Issues is not the first qualified non-profit to be involved in the New Mexico Senate race. Lilke Common Sense Issues, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund is not a 527 group, but a qualified non-profit and launched the Two Bad 4 New Mexico campaign, which includes two TV advertisements, a radio advertisement and a Spanish-language radio advertisement. The group is also actively canvassing in Albuquerque on behalf of Tom Udall.

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund is actively opposing both Republican U.S. Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce. Wilson and Pearce are both vying for the Republican nomination and the chance to face Tom Udall, who is unopposed by any other Democrat, in the general election in November.

The Common Sense Issues Web site, which seems to still be under construction, lists among its issues, “Life Issues,” “Liberty” and “Radical Islam.”

Update:  Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican writes the push poll is on behalf of Steve Pearce and also takes shots at Heather Wilson:

An automated “push poll” being conducted by a national conservative group in New Mexico’s U.S. Senate race is praising Republican candidate Steve Pearce while saying negative things about his Republican opponent Heather Wilson and the unopposed Democratic candidate Tom Udall.

https://web.archive.org/web/http://newmexicoindependent.com/1250/udall-says-opponents-using-push-polls