I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
New Mexico loses Congressional clout
Because U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici retired after 36 years of service and all three representatives left their positions, Roll Call has New Mexico’s congressional clout dropping from 19th at the start of the 110th Congress to 29th at the start of the 11th Congress.
New Mexico, in fact, had the largest drop in clout of any state.
California, not surprisingly, ranks first in the biennial rankings, far ahead of New York and Texas. Idaho brings up the rear, edging Delaware and New Hampshire.
How do they come up with the rankings?
“With March Madness upon us, let’s just say that the selection process is every bit as scientific — and clear-cut — as the one NCAA officials use to determine who is going to the big dance,” Roll Call writes. This is, of course, a joke. Though at least it is more reliable than the Bowl Championship Series, used to determine the championship game in college football.
Here is the breakdown of how the Washington, D.C.-based newspaper comes to its conclusions:
We give points to each state based on several factors, including:
• size of the delegation
• number of full committee chairmen and ranking members
• number of Members on the most influential committees
• top leadership posts
• number of Members in the majority party
• per capita federal spending received
• seniority, and
• power rating of the opponents.
Wait, that last point has something to do with the NCAA tournament — we think.
New Mexico ranks better in the “clout per member” rankings, narrowly missing the top 10 and coming in at 11th. New Mexico is 36th in population.
New Mexico, it can be safely assumed, can thank U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-Silver City, for preventing a lower ranking, according to Roll Call. The senator, who has served since 1983, is the chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and Reps. Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Luján and Harry Teague — all New Mexico Democrats — are all freshmen.