In 2006, fear, intimidation and harassment appear to be sanctioned tactics for Richardon administration appointees. First, you had the strong arm approach of state Tourism Department marketing director Jon Hendry:
Paulette De La Pascal, who represents filmmaker/producer Christopher Coppola, says state Tourism Department marketing director Jon Hendry told her that Coppola’s company would have trouble hiring union workers if it didn’t support House Bill 358, currently moving through the Legislature.
Hendry is also the business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 480.
Hendry’s actions ultimately resulted in his resignation. Just days after the Hendry incident, the Department of Labor announced it was auditing the NM Republican Party. Secretary of Labor Conroy Chino claimed it was a random computer generated audit:
New Mexico’s Department of Labor has ordered what it calls a routine audit of the state GOP, but Republicans suspect politics as the reason for putting them on notice.
A state computer randomly selects 200 to 250 businesses each quarter for audits to determine if they are complying with unemployment insurance laws, said state Labor Secretary Conroy Chino.
However, Chino was later forced to admit that there was nothing at all random about this audit:
Administration officials denied [targeting the GOP], saying at first that a computer program randomly chose the Republican Party among more than 200 New Mexico operations selected for audits in the first quarter. The department later said the GOP was chosen by a tax examiner but that the selection was”not one bit political”
Now you have Environment Secretary Ron Curry harassing small businesses that refuse to serve him after hours.
Miyazaki [restaurant owner] said Curry and his girlfriend [state Sen. Cynthia Nava, D-Las Cruces] arrived at the restaurant after closing time, expecting to be seated.
He said Curry became angry, threw his business card on a counter, asked staff members if they knew who he was and threatened to shut down the restaurant.
Next thing you know the restaurant is being buried in citations, and what does the department spokesman have to say about the “coincidence:”
Adam Rankin, a spokesman for the department, said New Mexico restaurants are inspected annually and Mix Pacific Rim wasn’t singled out.
Right, just like the Labor Department audit was computer generated.
Update: It seems that in the case of the environment department this inspection may have actually been a coincidence. In which case, it would just mean that Envirnonment Secretary Ron Curry just used extremely bad judgement without regard to how his actions could be perceived. I encourage you to read more here.