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Obama Please Take Our Governor

So, let’s see if I’m understanding this correctly… New Mexico is facing a half a billion dollar shortfall (subscription) that threatens education funding:

New Mexico faces the prospect of a larger than expected budget shortfall this year because of declining energy prices and the economy continues to weaken.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings sent a letter Monday to public school and higher education officials warning that revenues could run $500 million short of what’s needed to cover spending in the current budget year. Lawmakers were told last month the budget shortfall was at least $200 million to $250 million.

“I’m really afraid that we could be in a place where they have the perfect storm,” Jennings, a Roswell Democrat, said in an interview.

He and other lawmakers say all areas of government should prepare for possible cutbacks because of the bleak revenue outlook. Public schools and higher education account for three-fifths of spending from the state’s general budget account.

And, Governor Bill Richardson’s immediate focus is to do WHAT? (subscription)

Gov. Bill Richardson has abandoned plans to build a $25 million state-of-the-art equestrian center at Mesa del Sol in Albuquerque and instead wants to put it at Expo New Mexico, home of the State Fair.

“Gov. Richardson decided to locate the new equestrian center at Expo New Mexico as part of a larger effort to redevelop the property following the loss of the Downs at Albuquerque,” Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos confirmed Monday.

“While Mesa del Sol is an attractive location, the governor’s immediate focus is on transforming Expo so it will thrive as a cultural and entertainment destination for all New Mexicans,” Gallegos said. “A state-of-the-art equestrian center will be part of the new Expo New Mexico’s future.”

For the sake of New Mexico, everyone please write President-elect Obama and ask him to appoint Governor Richardson to something… anything, and the sooner the better.