State Rep. Debbie Rodella likes to practice "random acts of kindness," and apparently spent money from her re-election campaign to do it, the Albuquerque Journal is reporting.
One three occasions, Rodella, D-Ohkay Owingeh, gave constituents $100 to help cover funeral costs, reporter Raam Wong writes in todays editions.
And Rodella had other ideas for her kind streak. She asked the state Attorney General’s Office last year whether it was OK to spend campaign money on phone cards, pizza parties and other small expenses for voter, according to the Journal.
"My purpose in doing so would be to garner good will from these men and women and their family and friends," Rodella wrote.
Is seeking the good will of voters, through small purchases that benefit voters, a legitimate campaign expenditure?" Rodella wrote in the June 11, 2007, letter released to the Journal Tuesday.
The Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion last month that while some such expenses could be legitimate, depending on the circumstances, others could constitute an illegal bribe. Debbie Rodella is the wife of former Rio Arriba County Magistrate Tommy Rodella, whom the state Supreme Court removed from the bench last month for judical misconduct.
Elsewhere around the state, New Mexico Law enforcement agencies cracking down on DWI this summer are finding more than drunks at area sobriety checkpoints. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports today that at a checkpoint last week near Santa Fe, 16 Mexican citizens were detained as they tried to pass in a Ford F150 pickup. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department, which was one of the agencies opertating the checkpoint contacted immigration officials, who took the immigrants into custody, the paper reported. Federal agents involved in operations targeting criminal activihave taken at least 45 people into custody since late May.
Speaking of immigration issues, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports today that a steel and concrete fence erected on the U.S.- Mexico border around parts of Sundland Park isn’t doing much to keep illegal immigrants out of the U.S.
The section of fence is in need of some updating. Large holes and an open concrete culvert are large enough for a person to fit through, the paper reports:
On Saturday, several children peered through a freshly cut hole in the fence, while about 300 feet away, men working on a new water treatment plant in Anapra, Mexico, stood at another larger hole under the fence, which anyone could walk through at any time.