- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 23, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has begun publishing a running list of her daily appointments, providing a glimpse of political consultations during her first busy months in office.

The schedule of daily events and meetings shows Lujan Grisham set aside time for Native American leaders, an ExxonMobile subsidiary and an investor in a proposed racetrack-casino.

Lujan conferred with more than a dozen state lawmakers - Republican and Democratic - as the Legislature approved teacher pay increases, gun control laws and energy reforms during a 60-day annual legislative session.

Tripp Stelnicki, a spokesman for Lujan Grisham, said Tuesday that the schedule is being published on a weekly basis, with some revisions to account for last-minute appointments. He said the itinerary captures about 95% of the governor’s professional engagements and that unlisted meetings primarily involve staff.

Former Gov. Susana Martinez, Lujan Grisham’s Republican predecessor, intermittently published a less-detailed appointment calendar. Stelnicki said the current governor’s office is “taking an extra step toward transparency when possible.”



During this year’s legislative session ending in March, an evening dinner was reserved for the lead House budget negotiator, Rep. Patricia Lundstrom.

The governor’s schedule included meetings with conservative-leaning Democrats such as Sens. John Arthur Smith of Deming and Clemente Sanchez of Grants, who resisted some of the governor’s proposals on funding for early childhood education and a minimum wage hike.

Appointments with individual Republicans include Sen. Gay Kernan of Hobbs - a co-sponsor of landmark education reforms.

There also was time allotted for actor-turned-politician Steven Quezada of “Breaking Bad” fame, and a call with President Trump’s former secretary of homeland security, Kirstjen Nielsen.

Lujan Grisham set aside time for political strategist David Contarino, the former campaign adviser and chief of staff to Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson who has gone on to work with independent political expenditure groups.

Lobbyists who met with the governor include Vanessa Alarid, whose clients include pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the gun-control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown reported spending $385,000 on campaign contributions in the run-up to 2018 elections.

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