Inside the Capitol

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

7-13 Do You Know Where Your Gov. Is?

Syndicated Columnist
SANTA FE -- In response to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's mysterious, five-day disappearance, the Associated Press polled all state governors' offices to determine the accessibility of other governors.
Sometimes the AP reporters were put through to talk with governors directly. Sometimes governors were out of the office but the staff knew where they were. And in the case of Gov. Bill Richardson, the governor was in but wouldn't talk with them.
A New Mexico reporter got suspicious the following day when he noticed Lt. Gov. Diane Denish had police protection indicating she was serving as acting governor.
A check with the governor's office discovered Richardson was at an undisclosed location on personal business. Information also was volunteered that the following week, the governor would be out of town with his wife, Barbara, in Cape Cod.
It turns out some members of the Capitol press knew that already because they had a copy of the governor's schedule for the following week. Others of us haven't received any communications for awhile.
During Gov. Richardson's first term, all of us, and maybe many others also, received e-mail weekly schedules that were nicely detailed. But soon after his reelection, those schedules stopped as the governor hit the campaign trail, first for himself and then for Sen. Obama.
Since the governor's schedule was dependent on so many outside factors, that seemed somewhat understandable. But that hasn't improved now that he's back to being our full time governor.
Even if it is a little harder to find him these days, Gov. Richardson's staff assures us they always know the governor's whereabouts and can always get in contact with him.
In the past few days, a television commentator reported that the words "He's hiking the Applachian Trail" have entered the lexicon of pop culture as meaning "He's unexplainably absent."
* * *
So often New Mexico has trouble getting its less-than-a-million votes counted. We can't take any solace in the eight-month Minnesota senatorial recount because the vote was a virtual tie and the procedures for considering disputed ballots were very specific, unlike the Florida presidential fiasco of 2000.
But it appears we all can take a lesson from Iran, which was able to count 40 million paper ballots, by hand, in only two hours. Do you suppose the ayatollahs would hire our as consultants?
* * *
In this business, I end up on all sorts of political e-mail distribution lists, ranging from far left to far right. Human Events, a publication with a hard right slant, recently sent me an e-mail titled "How to Reign In the Radical Left." The body of the e-mail advertised that subscribing to their publication was a great way to tick off a liberal.
I imagine liberals might be ticked off at conservatives reigning in the radical left. Do you suppose they meant "rein in?" I know some liberals who would like to rein in the radical left too.
* * *
The tea parties scheduled for July 4 to protest that Americans are taxed enough already fell short of estimates made by organizers. According to information on the Internet, the April 15 Tax Day rallies were held in 21 locations around New Mexico and 2,000 spots around the nation.
The organization of the July 4 gatherings didn't seem to be nearly as effective. The Republican Party stayed out of it this time. Fox News didn't do the promotion it had done in April. Albuquerque and Farmington were the only New Mexico cities I saw doing any promotion.
In many cases politicians were not allowed to speak this time mainly because many of them caused problems with their comments on April 15. There have been no claims on the Internet about huge turnouts.
Could it be that on July 4th people are in a mood to celebrate rather than protest?
MON, 7-13-09

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



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