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ABQ Journal Editorial Non Sequitur

Talk about missing the mark, the Albuquerque Journal missed it today and missed it by a long shot. How can the editorial board of the state’s largest daily newspaper be so easily duped as to believe “ethics reform” is going to have any effect on stopping crooks, thieves and swindlers?

Read this opening paragraph to today’s editorial (subscription):

If having the former leader of the New Mexico Senate indicted in a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme doesn’t scream “we need ethics reform,” then probably nothing does.

Most states have limits on campaign contributions. Most have some form of an independent ethics commission empowered to oversee public officials. But in New Mexico, the sky’s still the limit when it comes to campaign donations, and government officials are still expected to police themselves.

That is a complete and total non sequitur. What in the world does a construction kickback scheme have to do with campaign contributions? Anybody want to bet that Governor Richardson’s folks walked into the editorial board and fed them this nonsense? Probably no need to bet, since the giveaway is found towards the end of the editorial:

Despite prodding from Gov. Bill Richardson, neither ethics measure was deemed worthy enough of lawmakers’ attention to warrant up-or-down roll call votes. And that should get the public’s attention.

Give me a break. Governor Bill Richardson has steered the biggest and most successful pay to play administration New Mexico has ever seen. Moreover, this is the Governor who fought tooth and nail to keep any campaign contribution limits from being thrust upon him before he ran for re-election. C’mon Journal, it was only a year ago, and it was reported in your pages (subscription):

Gov. Bill Richardson wants lawmakers to postpone work on broad ethics or lobbying reforms until next year and instead focus on anti-corruption proposals developed in the wake of a kickback scandal involving state treasurers.

Richardson’s comments came Wednesday after a Senate committee unanimously approved a bill to prohibit campaign contributions and most gifts to legislators and state elected officials — such as the governor and treasurer — from companies and individuals providing investment or financial services to the state.

At the time, Governor Richardson gave some lame excuse about thirty days not being enough time to fully consider ethics reform. So, please explain to me, if thirty days is not enough time, then how the heck is a week and a half special session enough time?

It’s mind blowing to me that the editorial board fell for such obvious political spin. They should be seasoned enough to have recognized it for what it was. An absentee Governor trying to save face for making a poor executive decision by forcing the legislature back into session right on the heels of a 60 day session.