Mario Burgos

Clear thinking and straight talk from the top of a mountain.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Semantics Don't Change the Facts

Former New Mexico Insurance Superintendent, Eric Serna, got forced to resign after years of allegedly shaking down those that came under his authority:
Serna indicated to Madison that he favored "good corporate citizens" making contributions to legitimate charitable organizations.

Ruiz said Serna sometimes "looked the other way" on fines when insurance companies agreed to make contributions to favored charities. Ruiz said Serna would choose Con Alma and $35,000 would be sufficient.

At first glance, some might argue that he is just trying to help out some needy charities. Of course we later learned that Serna used at least one of those charities as his own personal slush fund.

Now it appears that during her tenure as Co-Chair of Con Alma with Eric Serna our Attorney General, Patricia Madrid, picked up a trick or two on how to defraud New Mexicans for personal gain:
Madrid spokesman Paul Nixon denied the mailers are political and said they were not sent to help Madrid's campaign.

Nixon said the recent mailer cost $61,257 to produce, paid for out of a settlement fund from a class-action suit against Microsoft. He said the funds do not represent "taxpayer money" because they came from the settlement. However, the settlement money did go into a state fund.

The brochure was mailed to homes statewide, not just in Wilson's congressional district.
Let's look at three points here.
  1. Taxpayer money funds the Attorney General's office. So, that settlement money is in fact "taxpayer money." It is not intended to be a campaign slush fund for use by the attorney general.
  2. Why should we be surprised that the taxpayer money is being used to mail the campaign brochures statewide? Attorney General Patricia Madrid is campaigning throughout the state, not just in the first congressional district, and she needs to get the word out.
  3. How can anyone say that mailers are not designed to help the campaign? How many times over the last eight years has the Attorney General sent out similar mailings? How many times have they been sent in waves like this?
What's troubling is that despite the outcry in the press following the first mailer, the Madrid campaign continues to send out campaign mailers on the taxpayer dime.

I finally understand why she never prosecuted any of the corrupt politicians currently under indictment by the U.S. Attorney's office. She was too busy learning from them.
 
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