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Ben Ray Lujan Compensation Issues

Looks like Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Ray Lujan has a problem with the salaries paid to CEO’s of the utility companies serving New Mexico (subscription):

The Public Regulation Commission wants to know if the pay packages of top utility executives are “reasonable and prudent.”

The commission on Tuesday ordered Public Service Company of New Mexico, Zia Natural Gas Co., Raton Natural Gas Co., Southwestern Public Service/Xcel Energy and El Paso Electric to report pay packages of top executives by Jan. 11.

“Not all of the utility executives’ compensation is in rates, but a portion of each executive’s salary is in rates,” said PRC Chairman Ben R. Lujan.

“It’s important for us to understand whether the decisions made in awarding those packages are reasonable and prudent.”

You’ve got to love the irony here. A young man without a college degree, has a powerful father who gets him paid political appointments and then works with a Governor Richardson to clear the primary field so he can get an elected position that pays over $90,000 per year.

Gov. Bill Richardson is going to bat for a handful of fellow Democrats in contested primary races this year, but other candidates are questioning the appropriateness of his actions.

Richardson has provided a statement — a three-sentence quote — in support of Ben R. Lujan of Santa Fe, a former worker in Richardson’s congressional office and the son of House Speaker Ben Lujan. The younger Lujan is running for a seat on the Public Regulation Commission.

Oh, and did I mention that prior to all of these shenanigans the guy’s previous job experience was limited to being a casino dealer? I’m sorry, but the last person that should be questioning the “reasonable and prudent” nature of anyone’s compensation package is Ben Ray Lujan.