The state Senate is staying in the news, and the events of the last week have political junkies grabbing their popcorn to watch the drama.

I wrote last week about the lack of transparency in the legislative ethics investigative process. But really, it all boils down to this: The accuser is under a gag order and cannot say anything about the case once a complaint is submitted, while the accused can say whatever they like.

In this case, accused serial sexual harasser Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto keeps talking.

First, as I wrote last week, he seemed to look to put an end to the complaint once and for all with an op-ed submitted to the Albuquerque Journal declaring it “suspended indefinitely.” Things, as we like to say these days, escalated quickly.

Instead of leaving it as “suspended indefinitely,” he went on to give a brief interview. In the op-ed and the interview he also managed to list all the possible root causes for his behavior that didn’t happen.

As the always-on-point political scientist and psychologist Martha Burk says on New Mexico in Focus this week, “I didn’t do it, but if I did it’s because of my mother is Cuban, I was abused as a child and I’m hard of hearing.”

His primary accuser who filed the formal complaint to the Ethics Committee, Marianna Anaya, immediately filed a lawsuit looking to lift the gag order so she could talk about the case.

On the 14th, stopiveysoto.com was launched by the coalition of nonprofits who have been calling for his resignation since these complaints surfaced seven months ago.

Then on the 15th the Santa Fe Reporter published the 29-page investigator’s report, where the public learned that probable cause was found in two of Anaya’s claims against Ivey-Soto.

Hours after that, Ivey-Soto told other news outlets that he had been told by Senate Pro Tem President Mimi Stewart to resign his chairmanship of the Senate Rules Committee or the investigation would be leaked. So he went to the FBI’s Albuquerque field office to file an extortion complaint against Stewart.

As one does.

(Actually, the FBI doesn’t take complaints in person, so he had to leave and call it in.)

As he kept talking, and we kept reading, we learned:

The investigator, an attorney used often by the Legislative Ethics Committee, interviewed 21 people and detailed accounts of 10 other complaints against Ivey-Soto, including from Sen. Katy Duhigg, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse-Oliver and Sen. Stewart.

Three people came to Ivey-Soto’s defense in the investigation report, including Rep. Georgene Louis, who pled no contest after being charged with DUI during the 2022 legislative session.

Stewart said in an interview that she was contacted by the group of advocates who were calling for Ivey-Soto’s resignation and passed on the demand, intimating that they leaked the report. In an email exchange with me, a member of the coalition had denied that they had leaked the report.

Ivey-Soto did an interview with the Santa Fe Reporter Monday. He claimed the call from Sen. Stewart to resign came through a third party.

There were four senators on the investigative subcommittee, two from each party.

There doesn’t seem to be a process to break a deadlock on the part of the investigative subcommittee.

Ivey-Soto rebutted the investigative report.

No one—neither Ivey-Soto or Stewart—is naming the intermediaries who made the ask to Ivey-Soto to resign or have the report leaked.

This Saturday, the Senate Democratic caucus will be meeting to vote for new leadership: President Pro Tem, Majority Leader, Whip, and Floor Leader. Senator Linda Lopez, current Majority Whip, is challenging Stewart for the President Pro Tem position, as she has before.

According to Ivey-Soto, Lopez was the one he called after he lodged his FBI complaint against Stewart. Should be quite a meeting.

Monday, the Legislative Council meets. There is a proposal put forward for that meeting to send a gridlocked Investigative Subcommittee to a retired judge or justice. It could be taken care of at a vote at Monday’s meeting. And there is obvious new support for legislation to open Ethics Committee proceedings to public scrutiny.

But when you have a legislator who will say anything to deflect responsibility and report his own caucus members to the FBI, does this matter? At some point, all processes rely on good faith. That attribute seems to be in short supply in this case.

It’s almost Trumpian.

I must admit I had been disappointed with the GOP for their complete radio silence on this whole mess. At the very least a condemnation of harassing behavior would be in order, one would think. Having watched this unfold, in retrospect, makes me think rather that Senate Republicans have been very canny. Self-immolation appears imminent for Senate Democrats.