Those who battled the summer doldrums and midday heat to attend New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics’ Saturday, July 20 General Meeting were in for a special treat. The panel discussion featuring NM Senators Peter Wirth and Nancy Rodriguez and NM House Reps Andrea Romero and Daymon Ely was nothing less than stirring and scintillating. And so was the Q & A session that followed.
Our state elected officials candidly shared with us their feeling of satisfaction over the success of the 2019 legislative session that was such a stark contrast with the immense frustration and disappointment that they had experienced in prior years. Freshman Rep. Andrea Romero expressed her exhilaration over being a contributor to the passage of 15 bills. The panelists talked about the journey through the legislature of Senator Wirth’s campaign finance disclosure bills that brought additional levels of transparency to the campaign process, the tremendous success of the National Popular Vote bill that Senator Rodriguez had co-sponsored, and the passage of the early voting and same-day voting bills that will make exercising the right to vote so much easier for more New Mexicans.
They also discussed some of the bills pertaining to other democracy reform issues that did not make it to the Governor’s desk. Sen. Ely mentioned that he was disappointed that the open primaries bill he sponsored didn’t pass but said he believed it could do so in the near future. Looking ahead to the 2020 and 2021 sessions, our panelists expressed hope for and confidence in the ability to secure adoption of legislation restricting the “revolving door” between the legislature and lobbying and increasing the reach of public campaign finance in the state to counter the effect of private large money donations.
Our panelists clearly enjoyed the opportunity to speak and exchange ideas with us constituents, and the audience was extremely appreciative for that opportunity. It was something that we can and must do again. I want to thank again our panelists and the people who came to attend the discussion for making it such a special event.
— John House, President