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Legislature battles Richardson

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By The Staff

Legislature battles Richardson As the legislative session ended Thursday, one could only wonder at the turn of events. What would have been unthinkable two years ago – and barely hinted at last year – occurred.The Legislature stood up to the governor. How the mighty has fallen.Once a political juggernaut, the governor could not even pull together a consensus within his own party to push through his legislative agenda. And remember, there is a huge Democratic majority in both Houses.So as lawmakers left town without giving Gov. Bill Richardson what he most wanted from them, the governor said a special session is in the wings.But we wonder why.The 30-day session was conducted on a rancorous note, with Richardson in the end calling it “mediocre, at best.”And the governor said he would call a special session devoted exclusively to health care.We fear that such a session will be much like one he called last year when the Senate came in, then adjourned and went home. Without some kind of consensus going in – which the governor did not have this time – what is the point of calling a session that will do little but spend our money?We don’t understand.While the governor is adamant that we “pass health care reform,” even his most powerful ally in the Legislature, House Speaker Ben Lujan, warned the governor “had better do some spadework before summoning lawmakers back to the Capitol.”“It would not be fruitful for ... the governor to call a special session if we haven’t come to any terms of agreement. I hope that doesn’t happen,” Lujan said.We agree and only wonder if the governor will see the light.Richardson has never been one to be ignored or – to a point – obeyed. So this session, coming on the heels of his rejection as a national political figure must be very galling.At the same time, those whom he has bent to his will in the past now see weakness – he is a lame duck and it is unclear where his future lies in New Mexico politics – and are going for the jugular.Unless the governor can come to grips with his new, diminished position in the state – something we doubt he can do – it is going to be a long and unhappy two years for him.There is no question he has done a lot for the state. We wish he could take a deep breath and just let it go  – and try to get done what is possible.But that, sadly, is not his character.