The Albuquerque Journal has an interesting piece today on New Mexico State Engineer, John D’Antonio (subscription):
When New Mexico’s top water official argued in April for a billion-dollar water project to benefit Navajos who have no running water, he cited a public television documentary in support of his argument.
“The reality faced by many Navajo families today and the benefits of the settlement agreement were highlighted in a recent PBS documentary, ‘The Water Haulers,’ and many New Mexicans were shocked to realize the primitive conditions some of their neighbors are faced with,” state engineer John D’Antonio wrote in an April 8 opinion piece published in the Albuquerque Journal.
What D’Antonio didn’t say was that his agency helped pay for the documentary.
Ouch! If this was done by corporate America instead of a Richardson appointee, people would be screaming for someone’s head to be served on a platter. I mean is anyone actually buying the story D’Antonio’s is selling:
D’Antonio said it never occurred to him he should identify his agency’s role in the documentary’s production when he cited it in his April 8 opinion piece.
“Quite frankly, it didn’t even cross my mind,” he said in an interview.
D’Antonio said he thought of the documentary as “an educational piece.”
“It wasn’t a piece of propaganda,” he said.
Yeah, like heck it wasn’t. The State Engineer’s office pays half of the production cost and then uses it to make the case to provide a billion dollar project to the group the financed the other half of the project.
Now, I admit it. I’m not a big fan of Mr. D’Antonio – going back to the days when he decided he could unilaterally create his own “laws” to seize our water rights. But, I guess this just serves to confirm that in the Bill Richardson Administration, anything goes.