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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.18 No.8 | February 19 - 25, 2009

Making Sausage

By Marisa Demarco
Making Sausage

Pass the mustard.

It's Alive!

Though the bill looked to be gray-faced and stiff, Sen. Bernadette Sanchez cast her vote in favor of New Mexico's domestic partnership legislation Monday, Feb. 16. (A couple weeks ago, she failed to break a 5-5 tie in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the matter because she had to take a call.) A bill that would give unwed gay and straight couples some of the same rights as married couples will go before the full Senate for a vote sometime this week.

A poll was released the day before Valentine's Day showing that three-fifths of constituents in Sanchez' Albuquerque district support the domestic partnership bill. Maybe that was the game-changer for Sanchez.

It's expected to be a close vote in the Senate. Rep. Mimi Stewart's identical measure has not yet passed the House, but similar efforts managed to squeak through in previous years.

Richardson has said in the past he would sign a domestic partnership bill if one got to his desk.

The Best Time to Be Filled With the Light of Ethical Righteousness ...

... is when you're under scrutiny for pay-to-play politics. Gov. Bill Richardson is one-upping campaign contribution bills making their way through the Legislature with a proposal of his own. He announced Monday that he would like to prevent political candidates in New Mexico from receiving cash from corporations, lobbyists and contractors.

A federal investigation into the Richardson administration alleges the governor traded a state contract for campaign contributions. What he's proposing would prevent that kind of thing.

The guv's ethics package also proposes contribution limits, public financing statewide and an independent ethics commission.

Struggling With the Death Penalty

Speaking of Richardson, he was staunchly opposed to repealing the death penalty. Advocates had their hopes up when they thought Lt. Gov. Diane Denish would take his seat.

The governor says he's changing his mind. He told the Associated Press that he was on the fence about ending capital punishment in New Mexico, saying he's "softened" his position on the subject. The House has voted to pass Rep. Gail Chasey's measure that would replace the death penalty with a life sentence without parole.

The bill still needs to get the thumb's up from the Senate.

Using the Power of the World Wide Web

That's what they called it in the '90s. A bill passed the House that would let you renew your driver's license over the Internet. I can't imagine why the idea behind Rep. Elias Barela's bill wasn't implemented a decade ago. But here's to bettering our lives through the "information superhighway."