Shutdown parts sheets of some political bedfellows

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By Sherry Robinson

In New Mexico, we can count our small herd of cash cows on one hand, and each one is caught in the government shutdown just as the state was beginning to stagger out of the recession.
Washington’s stalemate finally ended late Wednesday night, but the rhetoric at home has fired up some political campaigns. The oddest may be Democrat John Wortheim’s campaign for state treasurer.
Wortheim, a former state party chairman who comes from an old New Mexico business-banking-ranching family, has tangled with the New Mexico Business Coalition. He accused the coalition of having ties to Charles and David Koch, saying “the Republican billionaires who have attacked our progressive values are the modern day architects for the government shutdown.”
The coalition counters: “Can you imagine what a disaster it would be to elect a state treasurer who openly states his desire to bring ‘progressive values’ to the treasurer’s office?” The group denies having ties to the Koch brothers, but explained that a recent event had one Koch-supported sponsor.
Wortheim supports a constitutional amendment to use state permanent funds to improve education. (That’s a whole ‘nother column.)

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