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Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Vox Populi

The readers write and quite a bit, too. . .

One of the big "what ifs?" in state politics is what if at the end of the election season the
Representatives--currently controlled by the R's with a 37 to 33 majority--ended up in a
of the Legal Beagles and state legislators say the state Constitution provides for the Secr
preside over the House until a speaker is agreed upon. and even appoint committee chai
State Senator Daniel- Ivey-Soto an attorney and former NM elections director doesn't se
his take.

Joe, Regarding the powers of the Secretary of State at the beginning of a new legislative
Section 8 as it relates to the House says: The house of representatives shall be called to
said house by the secretary of state. He shall preside until the election of a speaker, who
member receiving the highest number of votes for that office.

In 1953, the Secretary of State asked if she may cast the deciding vote to break a tie if t
deadlocked on the election of Speaker. In Attorney General Opinion 53-5633, it was opin
not a member of the House, the Secretary of State cannot break the tie unless the House
decides to give the Secretary of State that power (Article IV, Section 11 of the Constituti
chamber to set its own rules). The House has declines to amend its rules to give the Sec
additional power or authority. If there is a tie, there is no election and the House must re
is broken.

Then-Attorney General Robinson went on specifically to opine that the Secretary of State
are confined to the election of a Speaker of the House and only such motions as are incid
of such speaker would be in order.

I note that the rules of the House Rule 9-1 is clear that the Speaker appoints committe
9-1-2 is clear that The speaker shall designate the chairmen when the committee is app
rule is specific to the Speaker and not to the Presiding Officer, the Secretary of State
(Link to the House Rules here.)

At the end of the day, an Attorney General Opinion is presumed to be the law, but only a
the law, so if we end up at 35-35, we may end up in Court over this, as each political par
whatever advantage they can get. However, I fear the more likely outcome is that the Ho
days balloting and re-balloting to elect a Speaker. If they fail to break the tie, that may e
business they conduct in 2017

Interesting stuff, but we remember the early 80's when conservative Dems joined with H
coalition and choose a speaker. Something of that order could be in the cards in the even
next year. (Not necessarily a conservative coalition but a coalition of some sorts).

Silvio Dell'Angela
Maybe you missed this rant from a Texas congressman about Donald Trump. It drew som
responses and we'll run one of them after revisiting the congressman's comments;

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville, TX) took a poison pen to the Republican presum
nominee, Donald Trump. "Mr. Trump, youre a racist and you can take your border wall a
ass," the Brownsville Democrat wrote in a lengthy missive to the real estate magnate. . .
you dismiss me as just another 'Mexican,' let me point out that my great-great grandfath
country in 1857, well before your own grandfather," His grandchildren (my grandfather a
served our country in World War I and World War II. His great-grandson, my father, serv
and, coincidentally, was one of the first 'Mexican' federal judges ever appointed to the fe
That struck in the craw of ABQ activist Silvio Dell'Angela who wrote:

Joe, I dont know why you even printed this inane and insulting rant by Texas Congressm
all those of Mexican heritage here who consider themselves to be only Americans. Many

having jobs taken away from them from the illegals entering this country. I guess the Co
open borders to even allow those loyal to ISIS to enter.
This poor excuse for a US legislator insults all of Mexican heritage by claiming somehow
their people if they dont demonize Trump. I wonder whether this man also would also
Mexican flag at any Trump protest rally and possibly also burn our American flag. . .

This Texas embarrassment to Congress who thinks he speaks for all those of Mexican he
The question is why not? Instead he takes credit for the military service of other family m

Our Governor Martinez like Congressman Vela wears her Latina background on her sleev
somehow justifies not supporting Trump. . .

Brent Eastwood, Ph.D

We took issue with a newspaper report citing an assistant professor of economics at Duq
Pittsburgh that said New Mexico fell behind Arizona decades ago when it let federal spen
dominant part of its economy, instead of nurturing a private sector. Republican political s
Eastwood in DC responded:

Joe: I cant agree with you on your latest analysis of a recent study comparing the econo
and Arizona.

First, on your point about the authors connection to Charles G. Koch. You are correct tha
chairs the board of the Institute for Human Studies (HIS) and Koch is a major funder of
Yes, Learn Liberty is also an IHS project.

But Joe, come on. This is a bunch of libertarian PhDs who throw seminars for college stu
just running a marketplace of ideas based on Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Jefferson, Friedrich

It is true that sponsored research is a problem in academia, especially when the funding
disclosed by the researcher. It should have been revealed that the studys author, Matt E
affiliations beyond his academic position. So you are correct to bring that up. Also, social

usually discuss draft papers with the media. Papers should be published first to allow rea
original document. I was not able to find Ryans paper on the web and that is problemati

But you must agree that the comparison between Arizona and New Mexico is an excellen
Its a question I have often pondered, Ive only heard one good answer over the years an
Albuquerque could not grow in the same way as Phoenix because it is hemmed in geogra
mountains and federal lands.

Ryans assertion that New Mexico relies too much on the government sector is not new a
Government spending, government transfers and entitlements, and government jobs wil
important in New Mexico. Many New Mexicans could not make it without government ass
saying that the state should cut public welfare programs.

Government employment will perpetually be huge in the state and it should remain so in
Mexicans generally enjoy working in government and are quite good at it. New Mexicans
high level of civic duty and civic involvement.
None of that is the problem.

Ryan makes an important distinction between beneficial government activity and adverse
Its the adverse political activity in New Mexico that is harmful and unproductive. Advers
difficult to define and measure, but we know it when we see it. It is associated with polit
pay-to-play, scheming, scamming, flimflamming, illegal lobbying, campaign finance abus
ads, message coordinating between PACs, unethical backscratching and deal making, log
campaigning, brow beating, intimidating, retaliating and other wasteful and unproductive
Adverse political activity leads to economic dysfunction and stagnant growth.

All states have adverse political activity and Arizona is no stranger to it. But in New Mexi
adverse political activity is acute, even though most of its beneficial government particip

Therefore, it is time to examine some of the root causes of Arizonas economic leap forw
understand why New Mexico fell so far behind. This study is a start in that direction, eve
connected in some way to Charles Koch.

Thanks for those insights, Brent, but we would offer another reason, perhaps a controve
decades ago NM did not follow the private sector path of Arizona. This state has had and

Hispanic New Mexicans were not as prepared for the 1960's workforce that Associate Pro
to. Many Hispanics as well as our Native Americans were struggling for full civil, educatio
rights. The government sector economy that developed here was largely populated by ou
indigenous population was left to find its way.

We could not have "imported" thousands of scientists and other workers to build a privat
here for the government jobs. We had to build a free market with the population we had
was not as ready as Arizona's. And still isn't. And it won't be until we really take on the s
generational disadvantages that continue to haunt the state's development.
Thanks for stopping by this week.
This is the home of New Mexico politics.