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Never Mind the Details

The Governor’s latest campaign ad is about the healthcare of New Mexicans. It features Mrs. Bill Richardson singing his praises, but forgets to mention some important details:

However, that same report ranked New Mexico 38th in terms of general health care. The state was in last place for prenatal health care. Less than 60 percent of pregnant women in New Mexico have access to adequate care, the report said, compared to the national average of 75 percent.

The commercial overlooks some other not-so-rosy statistics concerning health care in New Mexico. In January, the American College of Emergency Physicians, ranking states for emergency health care, rated New Mexico 43rd in the nation. The ACEP study gave the state a grade of D-plus.

Morgan Quitno Press, a Kansas-based research company, ranked New Mexico 49th in its 2006 list of “Most Healthy States.”

But gee, I guess the Governor would prefer we don’t think about STILL being ranked 49th in the nation when it comes to health. Kind of like he prefers we ignore the details of his latest taxpayer gift to the billionaire owner (that is Billionaire with a “B”) of Virgin Galactic:

State officials have repeatedly insisted that Virgin Galactic is committed to the project and will put up something like $20 million of its own money in the lease, which they say will be for no more than $1 million per year for 20 years.

What they have failed to mention is that the state wants to invest $20 million in Virgin Galactic. That detail was finally reported this weekend in the Journal article.

Though no investment has been formalized, that’s a big chunk of change about which we weren’t told. A Richardson spokesman told me earlier this year, when the governor was promising money for another investment before the State Investment Council voted to approve it, that the council would do what he wanted because he appoints the majority of its members and controls the council.

If the state invests $20 million in a company that agrees to pay the state $20 million to lease a facility the state builds, who’s paying the lease after all?

Well, I guess it could be worse… although I’m not really sure how.