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…
Richardson announces ethics reform proposals
For whatever it’s worth, Gov. Bill Richardson announced today the ethics reforms he plans to push in the 2010 session.
Why so skeptical? Richardson did the same thing a year ago, unveiling his ethics agenda for the 2009 session. After that, however, he did little to push that agenda. A number of lawmakers told me during that session session – and a couple even said publicly – that Richardson never mentioned ethics reform when telling them what he wanted them to approve.
Anyway, with that in mind, here’s what the governor announced today that he’ll push during the 30-day session that starts in January:
• An independent ethics commission to oversee the executive and legislative branches — one that would have “strong powers to investigate and discipline, including the ability to fine, censure, and reprimand public officials, state employees, lobbyists, contractors and officials.”
• A law prohibiting candidates for office from using public money for advertisements or public service announcements, “except in the case of an emergency when the announcement is directly related to the candidate’s official function.”
• A ban on campaign contributions from corporations, state contractors and lobbyists.
• A law requiring potential state contractors to disclose contributions of $250 or more made during the prior two years.
• A ban on legislators becoming lobbyists for a year after their term in office expires.
• A whistleblower protection act that would protect those who reveal wrongdoing from retaliation.