Excerpts from ABQjournal: Senate Mixed on Indictments:
Gov. Richardson: Richardson's office declined to comment on the indictments Thursday.
Former A.G. Patricia Madrid, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., last year, said Thursday she hoped that top Republicans hadn't compromised the indictment and the federal investigation that produced it. Madrid cited what she called the "improper and unethical conduct of Sen. Pete Domenici and Congresswoman Heather Wilson, and Karl Rove and the Bush administration, with regard to the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias."
DPNM State Chair: John Wertheim, chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, also mentioned Domenici and Wilson in his statement, saying he hoped their "attempted political manipulation of these indictments" did not play into defense attorneys' hands. "Because if these indictments do not lead to convictions, Wilson and Domenici will be to blame," he said.
Sen. Michael Sanchez: In interviews Thursday, Sanchez said the courthouse case indictments did not change his mind. He recalled that former state Treasurer Robert Vigil was convicted last year on only one of 24 extortion-related counts, although many thought he would be convicted on more.
"If I recall way back when, everyone had Vigil convicted of every single count that he was accused of. But after a jury heard all the evidence and listened to it all, instead of reacting to the impact of it ... I think that's why you say let the process go forward."
Senate President Pro Tem Ben Altamirano, D-Silver City, said the FBI had interviewed him last summer as part of the ongoing investigation into the courthouse case, but he said Thursday's indictments still caught him by surprise.
"I just can't imagine a person ... of Manny's integrity, his hard work, his knowledge, the honesty that he portrayed during his term of office, as big-hearted as he was, I never would expect this to happen," Altamirano said.