Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bingaman’

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

Monday, August 10th, 2009

This from a recent New Mexico Independent post:

And Bingaman also weighed in on his so-far unsuccessful push to include obesity prevention and treatment programs as part of a major health care reform bill — NMI’s Gwyneth Doland talked with him last week about that effort. In a response to critics who argue that the government shouldn’t have a role in combating obesity, Bingaman continued his push in the interview:

Well, I think frankly we’ve got this weird view in the country that if a person comes down with Type Two diabetes because of being overweight, and there’s a pretty good correlation there — I think most physicians would agree with that — and they need dialysis, that the government should step up and provide the resource of that dialysis. I agree with that. If the government is going to be involved in the far end… I don’t see why it’s inappropriate for the government to encourage healthy behavior up front.

See, I don’t agree that the government should pay for a patient to get dialysis for Type Two diabetes that is the result of being overweight. Mind you, I write that knowing full well that diabetes runs in my family.

Aside from the issue of personal responsibility, my other reason for being against this is the very sound logic put forth by Senator Bingaman. Hey, if we’re going to pay for it later, we should be involved in the decision making process before. The path we’re on is for government mandated exercise and government mandated diets. Remember, the government never mandates for some, it mandates for all.

Why is This so Hard to Understand?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I was vehemently opposed to regional cap and trade legislation introduced this past session because it would put New Mexico at an economic disadvantage and drive one of the cornerstones of our economy, the oil and gas industry, to other states while accomplishing nothing to deal with the global warming obsession that has been so heartily embraced by the left.

Quite honestly, rushing through national cap and trade legislation during a time of economic crisis would be equally foolish. Heck, for that matter, rushing through any far-reaching legislation on the federal level during any kind of crisis sets a bad precedent. So, my hat is off to Senator Jeff Bingaman:

Bingaman, who has worked for years to pass climate change legislation, joined Republicans for last week’s vote because he did not want to short-circuit the deliberation needed to come up with a workable bill, spokeswoman Jude McCartin said.

The rules being considered would have allowed climate change legislation to be folded into the Senate’s consideration of the federal budget, which allows limited debate and requires 51 votes for passage.

There are those who believe the world is warming on and on the road to an impending doom (I’m not one of them), but at least cooler heads have prevailed in the Senate.

Fairness Doctrine a Real Danger to Free Speech

Friday, November 7th, 2008

With Democrats taking control, one of the biggest fears starting to emerge is that the Fairness Doctrine could be crammed down our throats in an effort to “balance” free speech. At the center of the debate is our own Senator Jeff Bingaman, a major proponent for bringing back the Fairness Doctrine:


I can’t imagine a worse idea. Let’s reflect on this for a moment. We just had a tremendous Democratic sweep in New Mexico and throughout the country. That sweep occurred without any mandate dictating the content of conversation on a given station. People on both sides of the aisle should be able to agree that our current system works. If it’s not broken, why fix it?

Now consider the problems with a mandate of “fair and balanced” programming. In a nutshell, such a dictate is subjective, not objective. Worse, it is a subjective measure to be determined by the government. Remember my warning that control of government swings like a pendulum from the right to the left, and eventually back again.

I do not want extremes on either side (or moderates for that matter) dictating what I can and should be listening to… or reading… or watching. I can make that decision on my own, thank you very much. And based on the number of comments left on this blog by those who disagree with me, you can as well.

We should never give up the right to think for ourselves.

Speculation on Obama’s New Mexico Appointment

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Is Governor Bill Richardson going to take a cabinet secretary position in President-elect Obama’s administration? I think it depends on which one he is offered. If Bill Richardson were offered the position of Secretary of State, I think he would jump at the chance. It’s a high profile position in a tumultuous time that would allow him to travel the world and play the Diplomat – both things he loves to do.

However, I don’t see him chomping at the bit for any of the other cabinet positions. Instead, if he serves on the transition team, it would be more likely for him to encourage our next President to appoint Senator Bingaman as Secretary of Energy.

Senator Bingaman has always been something of a policy wonk. He has served for a very long time as Chairman or ranking member of the energy committee. He was instrumental with Senator Domenici in crafting and passing the last energy bill, and after serving 25 years in the Senate, he is in the sunset of his career. So, why not go out with a bang?

We are at a critical juncture with regard to energy policy in this country, and being at the helm as Secretary of Energy during this historic time could provide a lasting legacy for Jeff Bingaman – a man who spent much of his political career in the shadows of Senator Pete Domenici.

What would Governor Richardson do if this were to happen? He would naturally appoint himself to the position of U.S. Senator. Normally, this goes over with voters like a ton of bricks. But, as much as it pains me to admit it, I think the voters of New Mexico would likely forgive Richardson this transgression, and he would gain membership in the world’s most exclusive club that he could in all likelihood keep until the end of his career.

Lt. Governor Diane Denish would take over as Governor and appoint State Auditor Hector Balderas as Lt. Governor. Denish is going to be a formidable candidate in 2010, and adding a Hispanic Northerner like Balderas to the ticket will make her that much stronger. Their biggest problem will be overcoming the looming budget crisis that they will inherit from the departing Richardson.

Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thought of this scenario. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that this scenario has crossed NM House Speaker Ben Lujan’s mind:

If Gov. Bill Richardson is appointed to serve in the administration of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama – should Obama win Tuesday’s general election – New Mexico could find itself reaping the benefits.

That’s according to House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe, a longtime Richardson ally who recently told the Journal a Washington D.C. job could be the governor’s for the taking.

“I think if (Richarsdon) wants it, Senator Obama would find a place for him in the White House,” Lujan said. “With him being in the Cabinet or being part of the national administration, it would be very beneficial to our state.”

See, it makes perfect sense for Speaker Lujan to push for Richardson to take a position with the administration. With Richardson out of the way, Congressman-elect Ben Ray Lujan would be the Democrats natural choice to replace Bingaman when he does decide to retire. And, we all know that his father has always done a heck of a job of clearing out the candidate field for his son.

Of course, the biggest question is if Governor Richardson and Senator-elect Tom Udall are sworn into the Senate on the same day, who gets stuck with the role of the Junior Senator from New Mexico? On second thought, based on personalities, it’s not hard to figure out who would steal the limelight from whom.

I usually resist making predictions, but it’s not too difficult to envision this scenario playing out.

How Not to Make a Decision

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

So, you’d think that Congressman Tom Udall, who would like to join Senator Bingaman in the United States Senate, might take heed when he is told by the junior, soon to be senior, Senator that something is not a good idea (subscription), but that does not seem to be the case:

On Monday, Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said they opposed Pelosi’s decision to package the tax repeals and the utility mandate with the broader energy bill because it could doom the entire bill in the Senate.

Ok, a bi-partisan recommendation from two guys who definitely know a little bit about how to get energy bills passed in the Senate. And, what does Congressman Udall do:

Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said Wednesday he supports a massive energy bill that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to bring to a vote today, in part because he crafted a key provision in the legislation.

You’re kidding me, right? Congressman Udall is ignoring Senator Bingaman’s advice “because [Udall] crafted a key provision in the legislation.”

This self-serving approach to decision making helps explains why Congress has an 11% approval rating.


Medal of Honor Recipient Deserves Respect

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

It’s not often that I blog during work hours. After all, a guy has to make a living. But I just came across something that is probably one of the most offensive partisan acts I’ve seen come out of Congress in a long time.

Take a moment and watch the video that shows the floor discussion between the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’Affairs, Bob Filner (D-California) and the ranking Republican, Steve Buyer (R-Indiana):


Naming the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque after New Mexico war hero and Medal of Honor recipient, Raymond G. ‘Jerry’ Murphy, was a bipartisan recommendation that enjoys the support of the entire New Mexico Congressional delegation. In fact, you can view the original press release in its entirety on Senator Jeff Bingaman’s website. But, in a nutshell, this is the type of man we are talking about:

“Jerry Murphy was a true American hero who in war and peace dedicated himself to others. I am proud to have known Jerry and to have been able to call him my friend. It is a privilege to play a part in bestowing this deserving honor on a great man and a great American,” Domenici said. “I will work with our House counterparts to get this bill passed and enacted as soon as possible.”

“Jerry Murphy bravely served our country. While he was recognized during his life with a much-deserved Medal of Honor, we are now a step closer to ensuring that the memory of his service to our country—and his fellow veterans—will live on,” Bingaman said.

So, why isn’t this bill, which incidentally has the support of the VA Department as well as the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services, Albuquerque Armed Forces Advisory Association, American Legion, American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Veterans of America, being heard.

A very simple and offensive answer: “Companion legislation (HR.474) was introduced in the House by Representative Heather Wilson.”

That’s right, the Democrat leadership in Congress is willing to insult this Medal of Honor recipient’s memory rather than let the legislation be carried forth by a Republican they so badly want to see defeated.

This is wrong. There are no two ways about it. This is wrong.

2004 Election Fraud Concerned Democrats

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

It turns out that the election fraud perpetrated in New Mexico in 2004 was a concern to Democrats as well as as Republicans (Hat tip: American Spectator). In fact, it was a big enough deal that recently released documents by the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary show that Senator Jeff Bingaman’s (D-NM) office called not once, but twice before the election in 2004 to determine the status. See the released supporting documentation below:

So, what does this all mean? Well, the folks over at the American Spectator have this take:

Is there anything wrong with this? Probably not. But it shows that it can be an entirely innocent and normal thing for senators to inquire, during election season, about the status of investigations with political ramifications. It takes at least some of the sting out of the breathless allegations against Domenici.

Granted, there are two differences in the cases. First, Domenici called Iglesias directly, whereas it was Bingaman’s chief of staff who called and it was to the legislative affairs office at Justice, not to Iglesias, that he made his call. Second, there is no evidence that Bingaman did anything further that could be interpreted as putting political pressure on Iglesias or on DoJ, whereas it appeared that Domenici forwarded his complaints to the White House.

But the fact remains that it is just flat-out inaccurate to assert that senators are necessarily out of line to express concern about politically tinged investigations. The Democrats’ pretense to the contrary is not just hypocritical, but a rank descent into character assassination of a sort that can, by tying up resources, distract attention from the actual job of law enforcement.

For those of you out there who are trying to pretend voter fraud did not occur in 2004, please take special note that it was Democrat County Clerk Mary Herrera “who asked to meet about 3,000 suspicious registrations.” And, the lack of prosecutorial action by David Iglesias in after a year’s passage is what led to Senator Domenici’s well documented first complaint in September of 2005 to the Department of Justice.