Swickard: Our lovable corrupt New Mexico

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. We have lovable rogues in our state. One had a sign on his office, “If I ain’t in, shove the money under the door and go away.” Everyone looked at the sign and laughed. Me, I was pretty sure that the sign meant exactly what it said. I never saw anyone in the media print a picture of the sign. Go figure.
     New Mexico, known as the Land of Enchantment, is a land of corruption. Many New Mexicans are enchanted with our loveable corrupt rogues. The only thing we ask is that they act with panache. We do not like people who bash suckers in the head and scurry away with their wallets.
     No, we want great schemes that leave us breathless as to the audacity. We want to laugh at the way that these rogues shred the laws by knowing which Judges are up for a bribe and which Judges are not. These Robin Hoods make a good living and make us glad that they came to our little slice of heaven to enliven the environs.
     I do not know why people look surprised when they metaphorically turn over a government rock and find night creatures. That is just the way many New Mexico leaders operate. As is the habit of little dogs to bark and bite, many of our leaders enrich themselves as did their parents and their grandparents. Their cousins all have government jobs.
     The problem for most corrupt leaders involves the idea that the media is watching. Most of the time the media is only watching a little bit because there are too few journalists working in each organization to spend the thousands of hours it takes to bring down these corrupt politicians. Most media are just getting by financially. In fact, it is the great hope of many journalists to get a government job with a pension.
     As for the authorities who are supposed to catch the crooks, what of them? Many are political animals who know how far to go and which of the “Fixers” to leave alone. There is a price politically to be paid if someone starts sticking their neck where it does not belong. Read full column