New Mexico’s leading Democrats love the limelight. Unfortunately, their latest tactic for staying in it is coming at the expense of the state’s taxpayers. It is unclear who deserves credit for beginning the trend, but according to yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal, the latest example of self-promotion using tax dollars belongs to Attorney General, Patricia Madrid:
Madrid’s television public service announcements began airing on Friday. Her office spent $138,000 on the spots.
The money came from New Mexico’s participation in a consumer protection lawsuit, and a court order that directed that part of the settlement money be used for consumer education, Madrid said.
Now, I have some experience with public service announcements and consumer education from the non-profit perspective, and let me assure you $138,000 is a lot of money to be spending in New Mexico. Worse yet, is these spots appear to have very little educational value. Instead, they are nothing more than flagrant campaign pieces designed to self-promote and influence pending legislation:
“Predatory lending is bad for you, your community and our state’s community,” Madrid says in the announcement.
Granted, Madrid’s spending pales in comparison to the $2 million spent (subscription) by Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron:
Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron on Friday defended her decision to spend nearly $2 million on radio and television ads explaining how New Mexicans could register for and vote in the Nov. 2 general election.
Vigil-Giron said the federal Help America Vote Act required her to spend the money on voter education programs before the election.
The Democratic secretary of state said Republican attacks of her decision were politically motivated.
“If they have a problem with seeing my mug on television, well, then that’s their problem,” Vigil-Giron said.
All the same, this disturbing practice of politicians using taxpayer money to plaster their “mug” across our television sets needs to come to the end. It would be a nice first step to controlling out of control growth in our state’s government spending.