Inside the Capitol

Thursday, April 23, 2009

4-27 It's the Silly Season Again

Syndicated Columnist
SANTA FE -- Some of our friends and neighbors still are doing the darnedest things. Taking first place these days for craziness is Gov. Rick Perry of Texas talking about seceding from the Union again.
Perry may actually have gotten sucked into this deal. Certifiably silly commentator Glenn Beck, who has bounced around the airwaves recently, has been suggesting since the November election that the states that didn't vote for President Barack Obama should secede.
When Gov. Perry delivered a Texas Tea Party speech on tax day, several partiers started yelling "secede." That got Perry energized and so he started talking about secession and about how Texas has a special right to secede.
I kinda thought we settled that business back in the 1860s and that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled since that secession was unconstitutional. But Perry says since Texas entered the union under special circumstances its treaty of annexation gives it the right to secede.
My history consultant, Dave Clary, down in Roswell, tells me the 1844 treaty never was implemented because Congress voted it down and Texas never took it up.
In 1845, President John Tyler persuaded both Congress and the Texas Legislature that they could adopt a simple resolution admitting Texas into the union. Thus Texas became a state, but without any right to change its mind.
It's gotten kinky enough again in Texas that the colorful Kinky Friedman has decided to run for governor again. This time, he'll run as a Democrat instead of an independent. Gov. Perry will face longtime U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Looks like Perry is trying to get to the right of her.
Things continue to be exciting down in Lincoln County. This time, a guy wanted on drug charges put a death notice in the newspaper so the charges against him were dropped. Former Deputy Sheriff Steve Sederwall notified authorities that the guy was very much alive and living just down the street from him.
Why go to all the trouble of faking your death when you can just put a notice in the paper? It's not really that uncommon an occurrence. Anyone interested in a New Mexico-based novel on the subject can pick up Stuart Woods' "Santa Fe Rules." One of three he's written about the area.
A Phoenix radio station played a wacky April Fools joke on its listeners this year. It announced that the city had bought 1,000 red light and speeding cameras in order to balance it's budget from the fines it plans to collect.
Calls to city hall reportedly were overwhelming. The story was believable because the state of Arizona bought 100 cameras last year to help balance its budget.
Statistics support the contention that traffic cameras save lives but Arizona's motivation is money. Camera violations are very costly but the ticket doesn't go on your record and insurance companies aren't notified. If you can afford it, speed all you want in Arizona. If you can't, be very, very careful.
Earlier this month, an Arizona jury sentenced a serial killer to death. It was quite controversial but the killer invited the jury to go ahead and do it. New Mexico's last execution went much the same way. In 2001, Terry Clark said he was ready.
With the college of Santa Fe about to go out of business, the newly restarted athletic program also will be a casualty. And with it, also will go the quirky name the students had chosen as a mascot.
It seems quite likely that no other schools call their teams the prairie dogs. And yes, the city of Santa Fe still treats its prairie dogs like royalty. They can't be eradicated.
They must be relocated to facilities better than what our homeless receive. Holes must be dug for them at 45-degree angles with just the right amount of vegetation around them so they will have plenty to eat but still have a place to hide.
MON, 4-27-09

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)



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