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Visiting with elected officials is not lobbying

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By Harold Morgon

In defense of lobbyists, almost all of them anyway, I respond to a story at NMpolitics.net about the Republican candidates in the new state Senate District 7, which includes Clovis on the south and all of Union County to the north.
One candidate, Angie Spears, is backed by Gov. Susana Martinez. The other, Pat Woods, has given money to—gasp—Democrats and has made some bumbling comments linking the money and “lobbying.” Woods has his own endorsements, including that of former long-time state Rep. Hoyt Pattison.
In the story, Heath Haussamen of NMpolitics.net says, “Pat Woods’ statements about campaign contributions and lobbying raise ethical questions about his prior activities in Santa Fe.”
While I regard Haussaman as one of the top three political writers in New Mexico, I disagree with him on this one.
There is being a registered lobbyist and there is lobbying.
My view — I haven’t talked to Woods — is that with sloppy language (the linking of “lobbying” and donations), Woods snared himself in the slash and burn of politics, the unrelenting and impossible media-driven quest for political financial purity and lack of appreciation of rural communities, where everyone knows everyone and everyone does business with everyone, party affiliation notwithstanding.


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