Former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, who incidentally remains on the taxpayer funded payroll, is back in the news again
Now, wait a minute. Something here just doesn't make sense. Vigil-Giron's office claims to have enhanced the agency website. Please, let's get real. Oh, and I think those auditors need to go back and review their work. As I recall, that $30,000 doesn't even come close to the amount that was spent on a worthless website
That's right Ms. Vigil-Giron has had three years to get this system up and running without success. As our Secretary of State describes it, the problem is two-fold 1) the contractor has failed to meet the deadlines; and 2) there just wasn't enough money allocated. Of course, number two rings a little false when you realize that Vigil-Giron spent $2 million in 2004 on self-promoting television ads.
So, what has Ms. Vigil-Giron done about the contractor's failure to deliver? Has she demanded a refund? No. Has she sent a letter to the contractor demanding that they stop listing New Mexico as one of the "jurisdictions using SOSKB?" No. Has she gone to the Attorney General and asked Patricia Madrid to file suit against this company to get back our taxpayer dollars? No. So, what has she done?
Using federal dollars earmarked for voter education, Vigil-Giron's office only last month signed a new $350,000 contract for completion of the system with the same North Carolina company she hired to do the job in 2003.You read that correctly. Vigil-Giron's office has given the company another contract for $230,000 more than the first contract. Am I the only one who thinks this is nuts? Then again, maybe she is rewarding the company for failing to deliver a fully operational system. See, that actually makes sense. The company's failure to deliver has allowed Governor Richardson's representative the opportunity to say:
"It's a shame there are problems," Amanda Cooper, Richardson's campaign manager, said of the state's electronic filing program. "We want to file our campaign finance records in a way that people can search them."
Um, yeah... hindsight really is 20/20. I'm sure the Governor was just so upset that people were unable to search campaign finance records. Just think, if those campaign finance records had been searchable, the CDR scandal might have broke before he had a chance to run for President
In fact, the Governor was so distraught (wink,wink, nudge, nudge) that he gave Ms. Vigil-Giron another taxpayer funded job. And, Governor Richardson's rationale at the time
for making sure that this individual, mired in scandal, had another taxpayer funded position:
Even with his call for an audit, the governor defended Vigil-Giron.
He said she "has served the state, she's been an elected official, she's contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe she deserves an opportunity to stay in state government."
I'd say she has contributed. Contributed to our debt. As to deserving to stay in state government, well, I guess she does deserve it... about as much Manny Aragon and Michael Montoya and Robert Vigil deserved to stay in state government.
I guess that's enough of that. Let's move on to other news. It looks like not all hiring freezes are created equal (subscription):
The Department of Workforce Soultions puts an attorney on the payroll. Rebecca Vigil-Giron works at the Department of Workforce Solutions. I'm sure it's all just some bizarre coincidence.
Labels: Bill Richardson, Corruption, Ethics, Indictments, Secretary of State, Spending, Vigil-Giron