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How do we root out corruption?

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By Sherry Robinson

Harvey Yates Jr. recently floated the idea of a standing legislative committee with subpoena power “to investigate alleged bad acts within New Mexico government.”
The former state chairman of the Republican Party had in mind former Gov. Bill Richardson, but also acknowledged that the current administration has problems beyond coffee pots and alligators. He wants a legislative committee because he has no confidence in Attorney General Gary King; it’s getting hard to find anybody with confidence in King.
Yates asks: “How do we root out corruption in this state?”
For more than two decades, lawmakers have debated ethics bills, which mostly go nowhere. The arguments, both flimsy and substantial, are the same year after year.
In her memoir, “A Woman in Both Houses,” former senator and representative Pauline Eisenstadt describes her own crusade. She believes most elected officials serve honorably, but couldn’t ignore reports of sleazy practices in the Legislature, including lobbyists told to make political donations if they wanted their bills to be heard in committee.


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