Inside the Capitol

Thursday, October 07, 2010

10-13 What's Up With Governor?

Syndicated Columnist

SANTA FE -- What is Gov. Bill Richardson up to? What will he be doing during his last two and a half months in office? We know he can't sit still so his final months are bound to be busy.
Will he stay in Santa Fe as he says he will or will he leave for something more exciting? Will he make bold moves that will deeply affect our state or will he concentrate on finding a job or polishing his legacy?
Gov. Richardson occasionally gives hints. What other governor, here or anywhere, holds a garage sale three months before going out of office? Why not wait until his term ends? Do the Richardson's want to make a quick getaway?
The garage sale was called an estate sale but that doesn't sound like Bill. It's too final. It's probably first lady Barbara's doings. She wouldn't mind putting an end to the Santa Fe phase of her life.
Some of the sale items were revealing. A large number of bolo ties and women's turquoise jewelry items were for sale, along with Nambe pieces. Maybe it wasn't the total Richardson collection but could it mean that the couple is contemplating moving somewhere where such New Mexico items aren't as popular?
Some of the sale items appeared to be gifts the governor received, some even autographed. How do you suppose those donors felt?
Proceeds from the popular sale in a building across the street from the Capitol were announced as going mostly to charity. Some wags suggested they could donate the proceeds to the state to help reduce the budget deficit the governor created. It's deductible.
Many stories have circulated about Gov. Richardson's interest in jobs in the Obama administration, with a national lobbying group or as head of a major organization in athletics or the film industry, maybe based in New York or Los Angeles.
But Richardson says he's been there, done that. He says he wants to settle in Santa Fe and maybe drive around the country visiting major league baseball parks.
Richardson gave a hint of his desire to stick around during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta recently when he said although this is his last year as governor, he plans to attend many more balloon fiestas.
So what will the governor be doing during his last 10 weeks in office? He's talked about staging a big trial to decide whether to pardon Billy the Kid. Not much seems to be happening on that. Maybe another trade mission to some exotic place? Or freeing some captives from a rogue country?
Gov. Richardson wanted to take a passenger rocket ride from New Mexico's Spaceport America before he left office but development of the space plane fell behind after a tragic accident during fuel testing.
Regardless of what you think about him, it has been a wild ride. Richardson began his tenure almost eight years ago by proposing a big tax cut. It sent him off to a great start.
Former Gov. Gary Johnson had proposed tax cuts during almost all of his eight years in office but Democrat-dominated legislatures had knocked them down.
Gov. Richardson sold the cuts as part of a massive economic development initiative. Even his huge billboard on Times Square supposedly was a part of the economic development program.
Richardson brought in big shots from the film industry and green business ventures, such as solar and wind power. The film industry is about the only venture that has taken off. But we still aren't sure whether the state is coming out ahead after its 25 percent rebates to film makers.
Richardson would easily be able to find a spot on a celebrity reality show. He could take off a few pounds in a South American jungle, kick up his heels dancing with a star or get fired by Donald Trump..
He'll come up with something.
WED, 10-13-10

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



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