Chavez: Good Governance

Townhall - Every member of Congress takes an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," but the newly elected 112th Congress will be the first in the nation's history to hear the text actually read aloud when the House convenes Jan. 5. The success of the tea party movement in the last election is the impetus behind the first public reading (the text has been inserted in the Congressional Record twice), and it sets the stage for the battles to be waged over the next two years.
Many of the conservative newcomers think of themselves first and foremost as constitutionalists, but they will face challenges when it comes time to put their principles into action. The incoming GOP House leadership has announced that it will adopt new rules requiring each piece of legislation to include a statement citing the specific constitutional provision authorizing Congress to enact the proposed law.
The motivation is a sound one -- Congress has increasingly expanded the areas over which it has tried to exercise control in recent years -- but the requirement doesn't go far enough. Instead of making proposed laws simpler and more easily understood, it could end up adding a new layer of legalese that will provide much fodder for debate. But it will not solve one of the most intractable problems of modern legislation: Too many laws enacted now are simply incomprehensible. Read full column here:


Richardson Donor Agrees to Restitution Settlement with New York

Steven Rattner
NewsNM note - Bill Richardson campaign donor Steven Rattner who also is the target of New Mexico Attorney General Gary King's very deliberate investigation into pay-to-play scandals involving the New Mexico State Investment Council, agreed to a large financial settlement with the state of New York over similar allegations in the Empire State.
Bloomberg - Steven Rattner, a co-founder of the private-equity firm Quadrangle Group LLC, will pay $10 million to settle kickback allegations involving New York’s pension fund, less than half of the $26 million state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sought in a lawsuit. Rattner also agreed to be banned from appearing “in any capacity” before any public pension fund in the state for five years, the attorney general’s office said yesterday in an e- mailed statement. Cuomo, New York’s governor-elect, sought a lifetime ban from the securities industry. “I am gratified that we have been able to reach an agreement in this case, as it resolves the last major action of our multiyear investigation,” Cuomo said in the statement. Read full story here:

We Just Can't Wait to Hear the Answer

Bill Richardson
Apparently outgoing governor Bill Richardson has one last national publicity stunt planned before he drifts off into obscurity and irrelevance. It will be on ABC's Good Morning America this morning that finally, and once and for all, he will answer the question nobody in New Mexico cares about. We are talking about whether or not he will give a pardon to Billy the Kid. At News New Mexico, we will be sitting on the edges of our chairs waiting anxiously to hear what he decided. Nope, we don't care why New Mexico remains mired in a deep recession. We don't care why the Rail Runner is losing millions of taxpayer dollars each month. We don't care why Richardson made sure his appointees on the EIB enacted the only cap and tax bill in the nation. We don't care why the state budget deficit estimates ballooned by hundreds of millions right AFTER the November election.
The sad thing is, Richardson does not care what New Mexicans don't care about. On the last day of his regime, Richardson will continue to do what he loves to do.......keep his name out there in media world. And Richardson's final appearance on national television as governor will be a fitting end to an eight year period when New Mexico was mostly on the short end of his efforts to engage in substance-challenged grandstanding and shameless publicity stunting. Happy New Year to Susana Martinez. Martinez would be advised to bring extra mops and cleaning fluids to her swearing in ceremony. There is a big mess on aisle number one in Santa Fe and Martinez better have a heck of a cleaning crew to help her get the stains out.


Richardson's Ego - Dual Legacy

Bill Richardson - In his final days in office, Gov. Bill Richardson has made national news for going to North Korea to try to calm tensions, considering a pardon for Billy the Kid, and announcing that a blockbuster movie will be filmed primarily in New Mexico. While at least two of those are good (I’m with those who say considering a pardon for Billy the Kid is a waste of time), those things are all notable because they get people talking about… Bill Richardson. read full column here: