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When will our state ever learn?

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By Ralph Damiani

First, you create a state agency that has a very unclear duty, give it no budget and then continue to name controversial people to head it.

Welcome to the New Mexico Film Museum.

First, Gov. Richardson appointed former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron to the post at a salary of more than $85,000-per-year. You know her, the person being investigated by the federal government for misusing election funds.

Not only that, she was to earn about $8,000 more than the last director. This despite the fact the museum has no budget, archives, collections or an office.

But the outcry over this appointment last year forced the governor to withdraw the nomination.

Lesson learned? Apparently not.

Last week, the governor named Sharon D. Maloof, who is currently assistant secretary for the Department of Tourism, to replace India Hatch, who served as director of the Film Museum since 2006.

The appointment was made – according to the governor – to “use Sharon’s expertise in tourism to promote a further enhancement of the film industry and promote the state as a film tourism destination, which includes coming to see the sites (in New Mexico) where films were made.”

However, the museum, created in 2003, still doesn’t have an operating budget.


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