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Lt. Gov. heading to Oklahoma

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Independent Source PAC, the Democratic-aligned group known for its frequent attacks on Gov. Susana Martinez, is going idle because its union funding has run dry.

The group is best-known for beating the drum on allegations that the Martinez administration mishandled the award of a 25-year racino lease extension to the Downs at Albuquerque and raising questions about the administration’s use of private email communications.

Martinez has responded by defending the Downs at Albuquerque lease award as fair and aboveboard. After criticism about private email use, the governor directed state employees to use state-hosted email accounts when conducting state business.

Founded in 2011, the political action committee was fueled almost exclusively by major donations from the national Communications Workers of America union.

PAC Director Michael Corwin said that funding has stopped, forcing the group to shelve its efforts to oppose the state’s first-term Republican governor.

“We carried it for as long as we could. If somebody comes along and decides they want to fund us again, I’ll consider filing and reopening on that,” Corwin said. “It’s the Democrats’ loss. We did good stuff.”

However, Independent Source can’t formally close just yet. The group is required to remain intact while the Federal Election Commission reviews a claim filed by the Republican Party of New Mexico that the PAC erroneously reported its fundraising totals in 2012, Corwin said.

ON THE ROAD: Lt. Gov. John Sanchez is heading to Oklahoma this week for a national gathering of lieutenant governors and a firsthand look at recent tornado damage.

The annual meeting of the National Association of Lieutenant Governors begins Wednesday in Oklahoma City, according to Sanchez’s office.

This year’s gathering will focus on topics including immigration reform, health care, energy issues and the federal farm bill. The agenda also includes a dinner with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin at the Governor’s Mansion.

Once the three-day meeting ends, the lieutenant governor plans to tour Moore, Okla., which was ravaged by a May 20 tornado that killed 23 people and caused extensive damage.

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