It is rare, but I actually agree with the Governor – sort of:
Richardson on Monday reiterated his call for Vigil to resign. “And if that doesn’t work, a rapid impeachment,” he said. The governor said he is concerned that the longer Vigil stays in office, the more likely it will hurt the state’s credit and bond ratings.
I agree it would be in the best interests of the state and Vigil’s constituents if he were to choose to resign. I agree that if he does not, impeachment proceedings should begin as scheduled on Friday. However, I take issue with the governor’s call for a “rapid impeachment.” It is surprising that a career politician such as Governor Richardson does not fully grasp the gravity of impeachment proceedings.
His call for a “rapid impeachment” makes a mockery of the process. Someone on Governor Richardson’s forever burgeoning staff (subscription) needs to advise him that this is a legislative process, and will operate independent of his need for speed.
Which brings us to another important point…
Richardson told reporters that Carraro’s proposal is “counterproductive” and “freelancing at its worst.”
“I think it’s very unwise, and the timing couldn’t have been worse,” he said. “It lets (Vigil) off the hook.”
The governor also said he believes Vigil was thinking of resigning over the weekend and that Carraro might have prolonged the situation. “I think he was very close (to resigning),” Richardson said.
Again, I am inclined to agree with Governor Richardson that Senator Carraro’s proposal is misguided. However, it is not “freelancing at its worst.” No, that designation would have to apply to this proposal:
Governor Bill Richardson, Attorney General Patricia Madrid, and State Treasurer Robert Vigil today announced they have reached an agreement and will file that agreement with the New Mexico Supreme Court. The joint petition requests the Court to allow Mr. Vigil to be recused temporarily from his duties as Treasurer and continue to receive his salary while pending federal charges against him remain unresolved. The petition also asks the Court to allow Governor Richardson to appoint an Acting Treasurer to serve during that period.
This blatant attempt by the Governor and Attorney General to usurp the constitutional authority of the legislature while seizing headlines was far more destructive, costly and time consuming then the letter presented by Senator Carraro.
Senator Carraro’s letter gave pause to the proceedings for no more than 24 hours (subscription); however, the circus initiated by Governor Richardson and Attorney General Madrid sidetracked the whole process for at least seven days.