letters to the editor; commentary
I want to extend my heartiest congratulations to Chip, the five-month-old miniature donkey, recently announced as our new Pet Mayor.
I am pleased to note that runner-up Archie, the 12-year-old Anatolian shepherd and lab mix, did not contest the results, did not ask for a recount, undertook no legal action to contest the results, and, according to reliable reports, maintained fire hydrant hygiene.
Moreover, during the hard-fought campaign, Archie showed respect and restraint: never referring to donkey Chip as a “jackass.” Chip, civil and gracious, as well, never once referred to Archie as “Archie Bunker.”
I think all Corraleños can take pride in the Pet Mayor race, how the candidates comported themselves, and may Chip and Archie serve as examples to their two-legged friends throughout the country in future elections.
No Candidate Endorsements
In keeping with its tradition, Corrales Comment makes no endorsement of candidates on the ballot. Since its first issue in February 1982, this newspaper has refrained from publicly supporting any candidate on its pages since Corrales Comment has focused almost entirely on local citizens running for Village or County positions.
In that context, an endorsement would mean little more than that the editor knows personally one candidate better than another. More likely, the editor will investigate accusations that a candidate has been untruthful or unworthy of voters’ confidence. Such a situation arose, years ago, after a tip from the late Evelyn Losack that a Corraleño planning to run for a seat on the Village Council had been arrested on drug smuggling charges in Mexico, and that his father had paid a large bribe to set him free. Corrales Comment poured over court records in Juarez for a week to find corroborating evidence; knowing that, the candidate withdrew.
Rather than encouraging voters to choose one candidate over a competitor, this newspaper encourages their robust presentations of ideas, proposals and policies. Candidate profiles were published in our October 10 issue. Corrales voters are more than capable of choosing their representatives without nudging by their local newspaper.
By Bob Perls
The Public Regulation Commission Amendment
Many friends have reached out to me recently to ask my opinion on Constitutional Amendment 1 regarding the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) since as State Representative, I thought of, and passed, the PRC creation legislation. I know many of you have voted, but if you are interested in my opinion here it goes.
I am against the amendment, though I respect many of the advocates of the push to make the PRC appointed. As you know, the PRC is now elected. Originally, I combined the old State Corporation Commission, which was elected with the old Public Utilities Commission, which was appointed by the governor.
I added term limits, ethics provisions making it illegal for a candidate or commissioner to accept anything of value from industries they regulate, plus districting so that not all commissioners come from Santa Fe or Albuquerque, which had been the case. It became law in 1998.
Yes, there have been problems, but I think the quality and competency of the commissioners have improved with each election cycle. I think the good work Think New Mexico did to shepherd several reforms through in 2011 requiring minimum qualifications for commissioners helped as well as the public financing option so that candidates can now fund campaigns without raising money with any attachments to regulated industries or lobbyists of any kind.
I deeply believe in the power of the ballot and continue to believe that commissioners will be more responsive to consumers than to big utilities when they are directly elected by the people. Plus, if we are going to change the way they are elected, it should be in a broader context of governmental reform, looking at why and how we have many independent executive statewide elected officials and should any of them be appointed by the governor vs. elected vs. appointed by a non-partisan commission of some sort. A New Mexico First Town Hall had a session on executive branch consolidation back in 1994. I think it is time we revisit this issue.
Also, I am working with the Biden campaign on a daily basis pulling in New Mexico volunteers who want to do outreach to swing voters in swing states. If you are interested, please let me know.