As noted in a recent article, I recently traveled to Las Cruces to discuss campaign finance issues as part of a “Sunshine Week” panel. See a brief recap from Walt Rubel of the Sun-News.
I knew going in that I would be in the minority in terms of my perspective supporting free speech, but I was pleased that Dr. Daniel Chand whose work includes studying non-profits, joined me in saying that the Citizens United decision was “correct.” Chand, no less “progressive” than the other panelists, also cited the ACLU’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision. I don’t think Senator Tom Udall much cares about this, however.
This position was at odds with the other panelists and a vast majority of the 100 attendees (as polled at the beginning of the evening). Hopefully, I made some inroads on this and other issues.
Obviously, it was a good turnout. Hopefully, next year we’ll discuss transparency government. I’m thinking the Legislature, the state budget, economic development incentives, the lottery scholarship program, or local government transparency might be good topics.
2 Replies to “Las Cruces Sunshine Week Panel Recap”
The first amendment is in trouble everywhere, unfortunately. Udall wants incumbent politicians to regulate political speech and the Democrats generally are behind him. Meanwhile, Trump wants to gut libel laws and the emerging generation of voters were sheltered in campus safe spaces. And the Obama administration is on track to cede control of the Internet to a multinational body that will facilitate government censorship.
Happily, the current presidential race is demonstrating that big money makes absolutely no difference.
Transparency in NM took a huge leap forward when Speaker Don Tripp mandated that ALL NM House committee meetings would start on time and stick to the published agendas! As a Legislative staffer during the 2015 and 2016 sessions, I had multiple members of the public, lobbyists, and others complement this important change to Legislative practice. Unfortunately, the NM Senate continues the condescending practice of committee meetings starting hours late, and “no-notice” changes to meeting agendas. NM citizens deserve better from their Senators.