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Some Things Money Can’t Buy

Apparently, common sense is one of those things. How do I know? Well, I’ve been watching Patricia Madrid’s campaign ads.

For example, Madrid’s got this ad attacking Congresswoman Heather Wilson and the oil and gas industry. Ok, there are a couple of glaring problems with this. First, let’s start with the obvious. A look at the industry that Patricia Madrid is attacking:

The industry provides New Mexico schools, roads and public facilities with more than $1.3 billion in funding each year. It is the state’s largest civilian employer. Each night, 23,000 New Mexicans come home to their families from jobs related to the oil and gas industry.

It is the state’s leading educational supporter and provides over 90% of all school capital investment through the Permanent Fund, saving New Mexico’s taxpayers an excess of $800 annually. The oil and gas industry also makes up 15-20% of New Mexico’s General Fund revenues. These are distributed to public schools and state colleges, fund the construction of public roads, buildings and state parks, and help keep New Mexico’s government operational.

What is the Madrid camp thinking? What do they think would happen to the New Mexico economy if there was no oil and gas industry? You think gas prices going up over $3.00 is bad? Imagine if Patricia Madrid got her way and put an end to the oil and gas industry tomorrow…

  • Overnight we would lose 20% of New Mexico’s general funds
  • 90% of all school capital investment funds would disappear
  • 23,000 New Mexicans would lose their jobs

Okay, now let’s look at the other ridiculous part of campaign ad. You know, that part about the billions of dollars in subsidies to the oil and gas industry. She’s talking about the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Before she launched this ad, maybe she should have checked in with what Senator Jeff Bingaman had to say about the Energy Policy Act:

Senate Energy Committee ranking member Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) beamed that the post-conference bill has “many more bright spots than flaws and deserves passage by the Senate and signature by the president.”

That’s right, Senator Jeff Bingaman actually “beamed.” In fact, Senator Bingaman was present when the bill was signed by President Bush in New Mexico, and gladly accepted these kind words of appreciation from the President:

And as Pete mentioned, Senator Jeff Bingaman gets a lot of credit, as well. (Applause.) He knows the subject matter in the bill, and he’s a proven leader on issues such as conservation and efficiency and renewable fuels and research and development. And, Jeff, I, like Pete, I want to congratulate you for a job well done, and thank you for being here — (applause.)

Now try as I may, I just can’t seem to locate the article where Patricia Madrid was leading a protest against the signing of this bill. I don’t remember hearing about the letter she sent to Senator Bingaman chastising him for “giving away billions to the oil and gas industry.”

With campaign commercials like this, it’s no wonder that Patricia Madrid and her campaign team are concerned about debating Congresswoman Heather Wilson.