We support pension reform, but not taxpayer-funded lobbying

As the bi-partisan 25-15 vote on the Senate floor in support of SB 72 which significantly overhauls New Mexico’s PERA public employee pension system, this issue has created a number of “strange bedfellows.” RGF and various groups of public employees have largely been on the same side. And, that is good news for keeping the system solvent.

But,  support for the reform doesn’t mean that we support fire fighters (on taxpayer-paid time) using their equipment (paid with taxpayer money) to head to the Capitol to lobby in support of the bill. An anonymous tipster alerted us to the fact that firefighters from Albuquerque and Santa Fe (at least) were doing this on a regular basis as the reform bill made its way through the committee process.

After all, 99% of the time RGF is fighting alone or nearly alone against taxpayer-funded lobbying efforts. The last thing we need is for tax dollars to be used to be diverted away from public safety and fire prevention and towards lobbying (no matter how much we may agree with their efforts in this particular instance).

The mayors of Santa Fe and Albuquerque should step in and make sure that from here on, no on duty, in uniform, firefighters are allowed to spend their day at the Roundhouse.  They have a job that taxpayers are paying them for, it’s called public safety. Lobbying for their own benefit should always be done off duty.

Check out a few photos below:

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10 Replies to “We support pension reform, but not taxpayer-funded lobbying”

  1. Why this issue seems to be an issue for certain individuals. We as firefighters did nothing wrong we were showing support but otherwise not involved our Fire and medic units were still available for any emergency. We are asked to do many eve ts where we take our units and are amounts crowds but never recognized for that we respond to many calls day or night and never ask for recog ition, because that’s our job. Why would someone e be worried about us showing up at the round house for something we feel is important. And if your concerned approach us and voice your concerns, don’t make assumption

  2. This is once again wrong information from those that don’t understand what it means to be in a sworn uniform agency. First of all the only trucks I see are the ones assigned to the area of the capital. They are ready for any 911 call they have to respond to. Second it is out of respect that sworn personal wear their uniform before a government representative or agency. Anyone that has served in any form of sworn capacity would understand that. It’s sad that there are those that look to belittle the honor that others try to show. Get your facts right before writing a so-called “anonymous tipsters” words for the world to see. At least give both sides of the information for all to understand. You can then see where the errors of enchantment really are.

  3. Great post! Firemen believe they are the anointed few and can get away with anything they want. They will say that the firemen and trucks worked that area, but they stayed at the Roundhouse all day, about five hours, until their bill SB 72 was done. Then they were off to go eat lunch. Mayors Keller and Webber should put an end to this. No other government employees are allowed to lobby for their personal benefits while in uniform and on duty. They are being paid by the citizens to protect us, not to lobby for themselves. The uniform doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to the taxpayer. Firemen would do well to remember who they serve.

    1. Just a quick correction, Sir or Ma’am. We responded to a cardiac arrest right down the street while this meeting was in progress, making a great response time and effectively saving that person’s life.
      The world is run by those who show up. We show up because this bill matters, but it would NEVER take precedence over the 17,000 calls per year that we respond to.

      1. This bill matters to you as individuals. Your uniform belongs to the citizens of Santa Fe. When you wear it you represent them. The people who pay your salary.

  4. It’s sad. Firemen just think they are above it all. Look, if you like a bill and want to support it do it on your own time. But you have no business wearing the uniform I pay for and representing the city that I support with my taxes. I do not support SB 72, but when you parade around in your fire uniform you make all the representatives think we support it also. Don’t mix your on duty time with your political personal lobbying. It’s not ethical.

  5. Those photographs of personnel you see there are not people on duty. Those are off-duty firefighters from all over the state, who came in on their day off to be involved.

  6. This is the most ludicrous “article” I’ve read in a while. This isn’t reporting and shouldn’t be read as a credible source of information. Those units are ready to respond to their respective district in SF. The members from surrounding fire departments aren’t “on duty” and are proud to wear their uniforms to show who they are. It is not ridiculous to think that firefighters are concerned about the health of their retirement. Your “anonymous tipster” should be more informed before accusing first responders of lobbying on duty and wasting tax payer money. Please don’t give this article attention.

  7. Firemen seem to think they can wear their uniform, which is owned by and represents the city, anywhere they want. Hmmm I wonder if they wear their fire uniform into strip clubs to show their support for pole dancing? Would that be OK? What if being pro life or pro abortion was individually important to these firemen? Would it be ok to prance around the Roundhouse and lobby for your abortion views? When does it end? Yes, I know, firemen are the most important people on the planet, no one else matters as much as them. The hero worship they have for themselves gets pretty old. Why don’t they rise above and just stop wearing their uniforms when lobbying for personal benefits? Doing the RIGHT thing, is easier than trying to defend the WRONG thing.

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