Do you smell that? Near as I can tell, the strong offending odor seems to be coming from the Governor’s office. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with Governor Richardson’s last ditch effort to fight open meetings:
The first opening of the doors to the New Mexico Legislature’s long-closed conference committee meetings might have provided a glimpse into the future — and some lawmakers say that’s a good thing.
But whether Gov. Bill Richardson will sign a bill to routinely require the opening of those conference committees — where designated House and Senate members meet to hash out differences in legislation — is uncertain. A top Richardson aide said Tuesday the governor wants to carefully scrutinize several perceived “loopholes” in the bill.
Yup, this is definitely the source of the stench. Members of the legislature voted 99-8 to open the conference committee meetings to the public. That is pretty dang near close to unanimous. The loopholes giving the Governor pause:
One potential loophole identified by Gallegos was a provision in the bill that the Legislature could move to close conference committees by adopting a rule change — an action, unlike the pending legislation, that wouldn’t require the executive branch’s approval.
“It just seems like common sense that either you would open them or not,” Gallegos said.
The rationale Mr. Gallegos puts forth is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Let’s be real. The VAST majority of legislators voted to open the committee meetings. If they suddenly did an about face and opted a rule change to close the meetings, they would be crucified in the media and it would be easy to defeat them when they were up for re-election. The campaign materials practically write themselves.
On top of all this, the absurdity of proposing that the reasoning for not signing open meetings into law is that at some point someone might try and close the meetings is beyond understanding. Every law can be changed by a future law. It happens ALL THE TIME. If you bought into the Governor’s rationale, well, then nothing would ever be signed into law because it might be reversed a future date.
This just stinks like nothing more than a rancid pile of political manure. Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a little more annoyed than usual.