SANTA FE – Defamation lawsuits – like public apologies – are rare in New Mexico politics.
But a 2017 attack ad targeting State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has resulted in both.
Dunn moved last week to drop his defamation lawsuit against Garrett VeneKlasen, an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the office, after VeneKlasen signed a statement of apology.
The lawsuit centered on a radio ad in which VeneKlasen accused Dunn, then a Republican, of negotiating a billion-dollar power line through his personal ranch – a transaction “that’ll lead to a lot of money flowing his way,” VeneKlasen said in the radio ad.
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