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Newspapers are fond of offering you the quote of the day. Before returning, in coming weeks, to commentary on the legislative session’s big issues, I give you Quotes of the Session:
Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque: “Unlike the Senate, we move quicker. They take a lot longer, and they don’t meet as often.” Comment during a meeting of the House Health and Government Affairs Committee, which Stewart chairs.
Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup: “The House passes all these bills, and the Senate has to clean ‘em up.”
Sen. Lynda Lovejoy, D-Crownpoint, responding to a comment by Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, that this was a do-nothing session: “If it’s a do-nothing session, he probably did very little. Those of us who put energy and commitment into getting bills passed, many times we burned the midnight oil, and it was well worth it.”
Minority Floor Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales: “A memorial is a lot like kissing your sister – it ain’t bad, but it doesn’t do much.” A memorial signals the intent of the body, but it’s often used to honor a person or occasion. Observing their peculiar proliferation this year, Rep. Don Bratton, R-Hobbs, introduced a memorial to proclaim this “The Memorial Session.”
Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Texico: “There’s not a pot of gold in Santa Fe that we hand out.” Comment made during his filibuster of a capital outlay bill.
Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque: “Believe it or not, we do read up here.” Comment made during a confirmation hearing during questioning about race track issues.
Sen. Rod Adair: “It’s not our job to pick winners and losers. Everybody should play on the same field.” Comment made during a committee discussion of offering the same tax breaks to two railroads.
Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen: “There is a difference between the executive and this body, and I will adhere to that as long as I’m here.” Legislators want the governor to know she’s not the boss of them.
After the House Speaker introduced a group of former representatives, Majority Floor Leader Ken Martinez, D-Grants, said, “They all look rested and younger and happy and relaxed.” (The silver-haired Martinez looked anything but.) Added House Minority Leader Tom Taylor, R-Farmington, “It’s always good to know there is a life after the Legislature.”
Former Rep. Brad Cates: “Each election is the end of an era and the beginning of the next. You all have convictions, but we all have to compromise because none of us is as smart as we think we are.”
Former House Speaker Raymond Sanchez: “(Long-time conservative) George Buffett said to me one time, ‘I bet we don’t vote together 25 percent of the time,’ so we made a $100 bet. I asked Paula Tackett (in the Legislative Council Service) to check. She said we voted together 87 percent of the time.”
Rep. Debbie Rodella, D-Española: “The best chile, as we all know, comes from Chimayo.” Comment made after Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, said the best chile comes from southern New Mexico. It’s a yearly match between the two. Statesmanlike, Cervantes did agree, “There’s nothing that isn’t better with red chile on it.”
Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell: “We are our brother’s keeper, and we can never forget that.”
The best of the best quotes were by or about retiring House Speaker Ben Lujan.
Sen. Mark Boitano, R-Albuquerque: “You and I have butted heads, but I’ve always respected your gentlemanly behavior. We’re in a body with a lot of people with big egos, and I respect your humility.”
Lujan, at the session’s end: “I leave you as you begin your journey to the next 100 years. I trust you to be great stewards of this land of enchantment. It’s truly a remarkable participatory process.”
New Mexico News Service