What a Stark Contrast

Outgoing Governor Bill Richardson devotes his final moments in office to a publicity stunt regarding the long deceased criminal Billy the Kid, and incoming Governor Susana Martinez “rolls up her sleeves” from Day One and issues executive orders to shine the light on the modern day criminality who have plagued New Mexico politics for far too long:

Within minutes of taking the oath of office, Gov. Susana Martinez signed executive orders early Saturday to enhance public access to state records and remove potential roadblocks for federal investigators.

State agencies will not be allowed to deny public record requests by citing “executive privilege,” or keep correspondence between a state executive and other officials secret when discussing possible public policy, except when explicitly approved by Martinez.

State agencies have been ordered by the new governor to comply with any requests from investigators for federal agencies, even when those agencies do not have a subpoena.

Now, some may argue that Governor Martinez needs to switch gears from prosecutor to Governor, but I think forcing government officials to act in the light of day is a step in the right direction and something that has been sorely missing for far too long. Plus, Governor Martinez coupled this move with an immediate 90 day moratorium on new regulations:

Martinez also created a small business task force to identify rules that are harmful to business growth and job creation. The task force, chaired by Secretary-designate of Economic Development, Jon Barela, will conduct its review over a 90-day period, during which all proposed and pending regulations will be frozen.

What a stark and welcomed contrast. The previous administration used regulatory and administrative strategies to make end runs around the democratically designed balance of powers, and Governor Martinez starts her administration by taking two strong steps to restoring that balance.