A lot more readers than usual came by to visit the blog this weekend. And, I do a mean a lot. The regulars know that I rarely write on the weekend, and this one was no exception. After all, a man can not live by politics alone. There is also golf.
With regard to the GOP election, let’s leave it that I’m glad the intraparty race is now behind us, and we can now focus, under the continued leadership of Chairman Allen Weh, on the tasks at hand – namely, getting Republicans elected in 2008. A task that might be made easier as the full breadth of the Courthouse kickback scandals (subscription) continues to unfold :
The practice has become commonplace.
For example, Design Collaborative Southwest got help from another former public official— Tom Rutherford— in getting the contract for the Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion, an addition to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
The architectural and engineering work cost $10.5 million, according to a fact sheet distributed by the university.
Rutherford served in the state Senate for 24 years. He was a county commissioner for two terms, through the end of 2004, the year the hospital project was approved.
Rob Perry, an attorney for Schiff, said Rutherford was used as “government affairs liaison” in helping the firm get the contract for the hospital expansion.
Richard Braun, president of Studio Southwest Architects, the successor to Design Collaborative Southwest, said he had no information about Rutherford’s role with the firm.
Rutherford could not be reached by the Journal. State records indicate Rutherford is now a lobbyist for the University of New Mexico.
Oh, and it looks like the newly elected Democratic Party Chairman, Brian Colon, is already going to have his hands full trying to keep some folks from getting back into office:
Former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron wants to be lieutenant governor.
You might be thinking that she’s looking to get on a ticket in 2010. Vigil-Giron, however, is thinking about next year.
She told me that during the Democrats’ convention in
today. Las Cruces
Rebecca Vigil-Giron back in office. It’s like a dream come true for Republicans. Remember, this is the lady whose fiscal mismanagement of the Secretary of State’s office was so severe that it resulted in a Richardson job offer
being revoked put on hold:
Richardson said he wasn’t aware the shortfall was that big.
“I was not aware of the size of the deficit,” he said. “I was aware there was some expenses that hadn’t been paid but when I learned that was $3 million, I think it’s important we get all the facts and we make sure a proper audit is done.”
The governor’s announcement [regarding Rebecca Vigil-Giron’s appointment being put on hold] followed Sen. Shannon Robinson, an Albuquerque Democrat, yanking his sponsorship of an administration bill this week that would create the Media Arts and Entertainment Department, of which the film museum would be a part. Robinson was the only Senate sponsor.
House Republicans tried but failed to stop a similar bill in that chamber.
Even with his call for an audit, the governor defended Vigil-Giron.
He said she “has served the state, she’s been an elected official, she’s contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe she deserves an opportunity to stay in state government.”
Of course, you’ve got to love the Governor’s logic in that last paragraph, “[Vigil-Giron] contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe she deserves an opportunity to stay in state government.”
Hmm, I wonder… let’s try that a few different ways…
“Manny Aragon contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe he deserves an opportunity to stay in state government.”
“Robert Vigil contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe he deserves an opportunity to stay in state government.”
Michael Montoya contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe he deserves an opportunity to stay in state government.”
Folks, that line of reasoning is right up there with Governor Richardson’s rationale for withholding judgment on Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.