Sometimes you encounter things that just don’t make sense. Usually, they are lone encounters that leave you shaking your head and wondering. But, sometimes they come one after another.
Gary King announced today that he will support several ethics reform proposals in the upcoming legislative session, and Gov. Bill Richardson, whose administration is the subject of a federal pay-to-play investigation, promptly did the same.
Ok, let’s state the obvious first. A Governor who has had to turn down a presidential cabinet appointment and retain a prominent attorney in light of the unethical pay-to-play conduct of his administration, has no business announcing his support for ethics reform. In a moment of rare candor on national television, that may come back to haunt him, Richardson admitted that donors have been able to buy “an edge” in his administration [a MUST READ ARTICLE]:
For his part, the governor, who declined to be interviewed, has maintained that campaign donations do not influence his decisions. In at least two cases, he canceled state contracts his political supporters had won after the deals became public. He also gave back a $10,000 contribution from a company that won a contract to provide health care to prisoners.
Yet in an interview on NBC in 2007, Mr. Richardson acknowledged that giving money to a politician gives the donor “a little bit of an edge.”
“I don’t give any extra access to somebody that contributes,” he said. “But I’ll remember that person, and I’ll say: ‘Jeez, that guy helped me. Maybe I can help them.’ ”
Of course, you can’t conduct this style of government without the tacit consent of our top prosecutor. That’s why our current Attorney General, like the one before him, should also not be making announcements regarding ethics reform proposals. Since being elected, Gary King has made a lot of noise about investigations, but any real law enforcement in the way of indictments has been sorely missing. If the Attorney General is not going to enforce the current laws on the books by putting criminals behind bars, then he has no business pushing a new set of laws.
Speaking of ridiculous new laws. Take a look at what the Farmington City Council is proposing:
The Farmington City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to outlaw “high gravity beer” — beer with an alcohol content of more than 7.9 percent — and on a ban of selling “fortified” wine containing more than 14 percent alcohol in an effort to curb public drunkenness, the Farmington Daily Times reported.
Somebody please sit these folks down for a drink and explain the realities of life. A drunk is a drunk. We’re talking about someone with a dependence on alcohol. They will drink until fully inebriated regardless of the alcohol content of a particular beverage.