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Governor's legacy: Progress or pals

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In June the New Mexico Film Museum closed after a short, unproductive life. It was a cost-cutting measure, said the Governor’s Office.
The museum rarely offered a program and had no operating budget. It did pay its directors, each one politically connected, rather well ($80,000 a year for the last two). There was a flap in 2007, when the governor attempted to appoint former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron as director, because she had no relevant experience. But none of the museum’s directors had any film experience.
And so it went.  
When Bill Richardson took office, it wasn’t just patronage as usual. Every governor has appointed some friends and cronies; Richardson reached deep into each bureaucratic warren with his appointments. The result was to politicize state government down to its toenails. In doing that, observed former Gov. Gary Johnson, we got people who were loyal to Richardson and not necessarily to the taxpayers.
For a surprisingly long time, nobody seemed to mind. The Albuquerque Journal published a long list of appointments and noted their political ties and/or contributions, and the revelations raised little dust.


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