‘Year of Water’ or ‘Year of Corruption’

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Mario Burgos:

If the Democrats in the State House vote Representative Ben Lujan back in as Speaker of the House, Republicans across the state can rejoice. Democrats will be sending a clear message that the political corruption turned into an art form by Michael Montoya, Robert Vigil and Smiley Gallegos is alive and well in New Mexico.

Representative Lujan SHOULD NOT be considering staying on as Speaker of the House. He SHOULD be considering resigning from the House. The nation sent a clear message on Election Day that it is tired of national politicians that look the other way when corruption runs rampant.

Mark my words, if the Democratic Representatives show they are devoid of a backbone by re-electing Ben Lujan as Speaker of the House, in two years New Mexicans will send a clear message that they are tired of local politicians that look the other way while corruption flourishes at the expense of hard-working New Mexicans.

He’s absolutely right: House Democrats should move beyond personal loyalties and elect a speaker that will allow them to govern, rather than one facing questions of impropriety. That’s the correct course for the party, and the voters deserve it.

Furthermore, I would imagine the last thing Gov. Bill Richardson wants is a corruption scandal tarring the 2007 legislative session. He narrowly averted such a situation when the House of Representatives convened in late 2005 to consider impeachment of then-treasurer Robert Vigil (who resigned before the process was complete). With Richardson expected to disclose his plans for a presidential campaign in January, he’s going to want a productive session in which he can help shape the agenda.

For some background on Lujan, check Heath Haussamen’s posts here and here.

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