First, the “dynamic duo” tried to circumvent the impeachment process:
State GOP chairman Allen Weh sharply criticized Richardson and Attorney General Patricia Madrid, both Democrats, for proposing the state Supreme Court allow Vigil to temporarily step aside with pay. He said the treasurer was “being treated with kid gloves” by Richardson and Madrid.
Under the proposal, Vigil would still receive his $85,000 annual salary but the governor would appoint an acting treasurer who would serve while Vigil defends himself in the federal prosecution.
Richardson and Madrid defended the request they made to the court. Madrid called it the “quickest approach to removing an indicted individual from office.”
Next, they disregarded the legislative process:
“These regulations are tough, sensible limits designed to protect consumers from unfair lending practices,” Gov. Bill Richardson said Monday. “We expect industry opposition and lawsuits on this issue but we will continue to fight to help New Mexicans who are struggling to make ends meet.”
In anticipation of a legal battle, Attorney General Patricia Madrid has filed a lawsuit that asks a state district court to affirm the authority of the state Regulation and Licensing Department to issue the new regulations.
Madrid has tried unsuccessfully to get legislation regulating payday loans passed since she became attorney general in 1999. The regulations announced Monday don’t require legislative approval, she said.
Now, they are undermining the public regulatory process:
[PRC Commissioner Jason] Marks says he and the majority of the PRC commissioners were in favor of holding Qwest to its promise.
He says infrastructure from the investments Qwest originally promised would have helped rural businesses and residences with improved telecommunications services. Now, he says, the state is faced with another contract, the benefits of which are largely unknown.
Marks says the new proposal is far from being accepted and that, while he appreciates Richardson’s and Attorney General Patricia Madrid’s efforts in brokering a settlement, they made a mistake in announcing the settlement as a “done deal” on July 27. Marks says it is “far from that.”
Bill Richardson has apparently learned quite a good deal about how to launch a dictatorship from his friends in Cuba, Iraq and North Korea. And despite all of her “independent” rhetoric, Attorney General Patricia Madrid has consistently demonstrated what it means to truly be a “rubber stamp” politician.