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Beulah the buzzer

—July 28, 2021

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Daily, we see the Santa Fe New Mexican online.

Milan Simonich suggested our legislators should get salaries: these days, they don’t. He said salaries would motivate their involvement. “With rare exceptions, the part-time nonsalaried Legislature knows little compared to the staff employees and well-payed advocates working to influence the lawmakers.”

I hear Beulah.

Who gets salaries? Well-payed advocates and lobbyists work to influence lawmakers—salaried or not—beginning in their campaigns and throughout their terms. Think of the ways. They invest time and get special time in return.

The lawmakers’ staff runs the government. No lawmaker has time or stamina to read and understand all the complex documents that come by. When it comes time, a salaried aide may hint the legislator, “Psst! This.”

Write a letter to a legislator: none has time or stamina to read stacks of letters. An aide may send a form letter reply, maybe even somewhat related to your concern, and proud of the lawmaker’s achievements in that arena. You’ll be on a mailing list. Enjoy.


Meanwhile, there’s another New Mexico arena: Avangrid. PNM and Avangrid have taken out many full-page ads to tout the well-meaning merger. Avangrid is one of the world’s most ethical companies. They’re a leading sustainable energy concern. They’ll bring jobs.

I hear Beulah.

Of its “forward-looking statements generally…regarding the potential transaction between AVANGRID and PNM Resources,” Avangrid warns readers “not to place undue reliance on these statements.” Their warning might reflect Avangrid lawsuits elsewhere.

PNM, which has in the past raised our rates to pay for plants in various places, now will raise our rates to tear them down (environmentally sound). NM may gain jobs during the tear-down? Oh, and, raise the fans. Truck’em in. Up and down: somebody’s gotta pay.

NM’s Attorney General Hector Balderas supports PNM’s merger with Avangrid. He’s also accused of conflicts of interest. Iberdola, the Spanish company that owns Avangrid, hired the AG’s friend, attorney Marcus Rael. Balderas outsources a lot of AG legal work to Rael, too. Well-payed advocates and lobbyists, indeed.

The huge Iberdola/Avangrid/PNM complex won’t have the time or stamina to see a few New Mexican letters among a vast stack. Send a message and get a response like, “Thanks for your input. We value your concern. Have a nice day.”

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