Before there was the Martinez administration Email-gate, there was the Bush White House Email-gate. Like Martinez, George W. Bush’s administration sought to conceal its actions from public disclosure by using private emails regarding public business.
Guess which New Mexicans were directly involved in communicating with the White House on private emails? Jay McCleskey, Darren White, and Mickey Barnett. Individuals directly involved in ensuring that the Downs at Albuquerque was given the billion-dollar racino contract.
The Martinez administration has refused to release emails from Pat Rogers to Jay McCleskey, Scott Darnell, Ryan Cangiolosi and Keith Gardner related to the Downs at Albuquerque. The New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, in charge of enforcement of the Inspection of Public Records Act, has definitively stated that those and other emails sent or received on private accounts are public record when they pertain to public business.
Think any of this is a coincidence?
The emails on the Downs constitute admissions against interest—evidence–of collusion between the Downs and the Administration during the bidding process. Collusion is illegal under both state and federal law. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is being prosecuted by the Feds for just such collusion.
In the Bush Email gate, McCleskey, White, and Barnett communicated with Scott Jennings, the Bush White House deputy director of political affairs on the gwb43.com email server. McCleskey and Jennings discussed trying to get Pat Rogers installed as the US Attorney for New Mexico.
McCleskey was the regional political director for the RNC at the time he communicated with the White House on those private emails. It was the RNC, who owned and operated the server gwb43.com that the White House used to conceal its actions. Read McCleskey’s emails here.
Darren White and Mickey Barnett both communicated to the White House about their insider access to unnamed key people in the New Mexico US Attorney’s office. They trashed AUSA Larry Gomez in order to keep him from being named acting US Attorney. Gomez was indeed not selected by the White House to fill the void left by Iglesias’ termination. See White’s email here.
Congressman Henry Waxman conducted an investigation into the use of the private email accounts by the Bush White House. Waxman released, via a hearing, close to two hundred of those emails. Read a letter from Waxman to the President’s counsel demanding that all of the emails be preserved.
Keith Gardner, Martinez’s chief of staff was recorded explaining to Brian Powell why he never used his state email account, “That’s all discoverable. That’s why I never email on my state email anything that can come back to bite my ass. It is all done off line. Shit I never use my state email cause it’s all done on different stuff I don’t want to go to court and jail.”
Concealment of public records is a felony in New Mexico. Obstruction of justice–concealing evidence of collusion–is both a state and a federal offense.