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Friday, February 27, 2009

Sen. Linda Lopez Continues Delays on Ethics Bills in NM Senate Rules Committee

ClockBy now, we can view foot dragging as a kind of tradition in the Senate Rules Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque). Remember, Lopez's Committee didn't even start dealing with bills until two weeks into the Session. And you may recall that earlier this week the SRC came to order late and then spent about a half hour of its precious time listening to mini-dissertations about antelope herds by Senators Tim Jennings and Sen. Stuart Ingle.

Anything to avoid taking up the backlog of ethics and campaign finance reform bills that are languishing in the SRC. After all, Lopez, Jennings and Ingle are charter members of the status quo preservation league in the NM Senate. Get the money and unethical shenanigans out of the Roundhouse? A direct threat to a legislative way of life up there.

I guess Sen. Lopez and the gang of SunCal lobbyists were so thrilled by their victory in the Senate yesterday on the SunCal TIDD giveaway bill (SB 249) that the Senator was operating on low batteries today. The SRC didn't get to any of the ethics bills until about a half hour before they had to close up shop.

With little time left, the Committee finally took up four ethics commission bills that had been on their calendar all week. Senators Feldman and Campos introduced a substitute bill very similar to Rep. Al Park’s ethics commission bill on the House side. There seemed to be strong support for the substitute but, not surprisingly, the Committee ended its meeting without any vote being taken. Maybe next time.

Despite promises from Sen. Lopez, no combo bill emerged today to substitute for a number of campaign contribution limits measures that are sitting in the Committee. The contribution limits bills are all pretty straightforward. This isn't rocket science, but Sen. Lopez just can't seem to get it together in a timely fashion to get something finalized for a vote. At this point, is anyone unaware of why that is?

February 27, 2009 at 01:34 PM in Ethics & Campaign Reform, NM Legislature 2009 | Permalink


1. I kinda feel remiss in not having commented on the whole Domestic Partnership thing. So, to catch up...what everybody else said times infinity. Among the trillion things I'll never understand, Catholicism is right near the top.

2. As a Senate District 11 resident, I'm feeling partially responsible for Linda Lopez. Anybody down here in the SV wanna run against this woman? Please don't make me do it. I'll contribute to the campaign of anyone who does run against her. Hell, I'll manage the campaign of anybody who wants to run against her. Anybody?

Posted by: scot | Feb 27, 2009 7:03:54 PM

We do need a more progressive Dem to run against Sen. TIDD Lopez, D-Suncal. She serves her corporate masters far too well.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Feb 27, 2009 10:58:24 PM

Too bad she got reelected last November for four more years. It will be awhile. By then Sun Cal will be firmly installed and taking up our tax revenues for the next 30 years.

Posted by: LW | Feb 28, 2009 10:03:43 AM

Don't kid yourself - nothing will happen on Ethics reform this session. Folks need to escape with the payoff from Suncal's TIDD before things get locked down.

Latest joke - What did Senator X get for working for SunCal - 10 to 20 years with time off for good behavior.

Posted by: mwfolsom | Feb 28, 2009 12:42:18 PM

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