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Tuesday, January 30, 2007
(9:29 AM) | Stephen:
New Mexico Politics

I am from Alamogordo, New Mexico. Not too many people have heard about that town. Hell, New Mexico Magazine has a monthly column composed of reader-submitted stories about people treating New Mexico as a foreign country, and they never run out of material.

So imagine my surprise to find Pam Spaulding writing about dear little Gloria Vaughn, long the State Representative for my hometown and surrounding areas. Mrs. Vaughn, that "sweet little old lady" - in the words of one person in Alamo I just spoke to - tried to get a Defense of Marriage Act through a couple of years ago, and failed. Now she wants a constitutional amendment, which would require the New Mexico House and Senate to pass it with actual majorities of total members, not just voting members present, the Governor to sign it and the voters to approve it after all that.

In Santa Fe, whenever Vaughn's name is mentioned, the response is rolling eyes and chuckles. I won't guarantee that this amendment will fail, but it would take a minor miracle for it to pass. It would also be the first piece of meaningful legislation that Vaughn would have produced in her career.

Heading north to Santa Fe, a while ago Steve Clemons wrote about "rumors" regarding Governor Richardson's conduct around and with women. Supposedly Gov. Richardson "made lewd gestures, specifically pointing to [women working for him] and then pointing at [his] crotch with a room full of media and other politicos there in the room." This bugged me on several levels. One is that this type of behavior is never ok. Another is that Steve Clemons is a solid Hillary Clinton partisan who spent the first part of his post talking about how Bill Richardson could never win the presidency, and how his "his obsessive flirtation with the White House steals oxygen, in my view, from many other excellent Hispanic-Americans who might otherwise move forward if he were not always the front-runner Hispanic who could not go all of the way."

I would be interested to know who those other "excellent Hispanic-Americans" are who occupy positions, such as a governorship, that would give them a platform for a presidential run. Or who were the US Ambassador to the UN, or who were Energy Secretary. Certainly these nameless Hispanics have great resumes and positions, even though I can't name even one with a profile as high as Gov. Richardson's. Unless it's Alberto Gonzales, but I'm not sure he would go for the Democratic nomination.

Finally, what really bothers me is that I have never heard of such a thing. My politically-inclined and Republican father never mentioned such a thing, nor has my somewhat politically-active and Republican brother. Most importantly, those that I know in the New Mexico state government have never mentioned it, and they are Democrats who not only have worked for several prominent politicians and have held some high positions under some of the other governors, but they also happen to seriously dislike Bill Richardson. Why would all these people fail to mention such a thing? Why would the New Mexico GOP keep quiet? Why would a "room full of media" keep this under wraps?

I've put some feelers out and I hope to have something definitive that I can post before too long.

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