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The “Me First” Commerce Secretary Nominee

60 Days. That’s all we have. 60 Days to deal with a budget deficit likely to exceed a half a billion dollars. 60 Days for a whole slew of freshman legislators to figure it all out. 60 Days that will have a tremendous impact on the future of public education in New Mexico. And, guess who plans to throw a wrench into the whole system?

“This is by no means an easy decision and brings with it a mix of emotions. I am proud of what we have accomplished in New Mexico during the past six years and we’re not done yet. I will be here to deliver the State of the State address when the Legislature convenes on January 20. I will present an aggressive, responsible and balanced budget plan as well as a full slate of important initiatives. I will not resign as Governor until I am confirmed by the United States Senate, and until then I will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of all New Mexicans.

Rather than step aside and let the next administration take on the challenges that face us, our outgoing Governor is going to stay in the saddle as long as he possibly can. Because… well, because he feels like it.

This will go down in history as the worse decision of his political career. Worse than the Wen Ho Lee fiasco. Worse than bankrupting our transportation system by building a train we can’t afford. Worse than giving a billionaire upwards of a $100 million dollars to pursue space dreams.

Admittedly, as a partisan political player, I should be thrilled by Governor Richardson’s actions. His commitment to keeping Lt. Governor Diane Denish from taking over the reigns during this time of crisis is tantamount to declaring, “the lady just can’t do the job.” It is the ultimate slap in the face.

The result of declining oil and gas revenues this year and into next mean that some very unpopular decisions are going to have to be made over the next two sessions, and our soon to be Governor Denish will be kept out of the loop. However, she will receive all of the blame.

So, as a partisan, I should be thrilled that Governor Richardson has practically ruined any chance of Diane Denish to become re-elected Governor in 2010. However, as a New Mexican, I am extremely dismayed. The next two years are going to be tough enough, and Richardson just made them tougher.