Sunday, January 18, 2009

Politics: "New Mexico's Political Wild West"

This was the headline on a story in the Wall Street Journal's weekend edition.

The story, on page A5, summarized what we have come to know. But the last paragraph added something. It said, "A few years ago, the legislature authorized the
attorney general to hire a special team of eight investigators to
probe public corruption. Mr. King promises the state "will be seeing
the fruits of that soon." Asked how many cases he expects to bring, he
answered: "More than a handful."

This of course was the same Mr. King who was unceremoniously shoved
from the governor's race in 2002 by guess who? Bill Richardson.

One thing for sure. In the real world, that is, in the private sector, Gov. Richardson would be out of a job.

Clearly there is a pay-to-play, crony capitalism culture in Santa Fe, at least at the top. One might argue that culture will be tough to change. And certainly it won't be easy. But then consider the Arizona Cardinals, perennial losers for decades. Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt has turned them into champions in two years.

How about a constitutional convention? Its been 40 years since New Mexico had one and 20 years since the topic was even discussed in a New Mexico First Town Hall. I suspect that the fiefdoms create by the long ballot add to the corruption incentive. After all, there's no supervision and money lying around. Lobogate all over again and again.

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