Monday, May 05, 2008

Constitutional Questions

I have been paying a few compliments to the Albuquerque Journal recently. Today I am perplexed by them, especially with their Editorial on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. It seems they are buying into the myth that there are environmentally safe ways to do this with new technology. What that myth really means is that the amount of damage that occurs to wildlife, landscapes and water will not be as bad. But, be assured it will still be horrendous, on a slightly smaller scale.

I also had to wonder about the headline story in the Sunday Journal making a big deal about the Governor being out of state and the Lt. Governor not knowing about it. The story does point to an obvious issue however, and that is the outdated New Mexico Constitution. It was written in the 1910/1912 years. It was adopted upon statehood. It never envisioned cell phones, satellite phones, computer networks, the Internet, modern highways, and jet air travel. It was so concerned about timely communication back then that all statewide elected officials were required to live in Santa Fe so they would be close by. It may be the only statewide elected official who does live in Santa Fe is the Governor. The rest of them just can't afford a home in Santa Fe. Yet reason dictates that although all of the officials are required by the constitution to still live in Santa Fe, there really is no problem in them living elsewhere because of modern communications. Certainly, the Governor was only seconds away from communication at all time while he was out of state.

It really begs the question of holding a Constitutional Convention in the next few years to update and modernize our Constitution. The last time it was attempted was in 1970. That attempt failed because they Game and Fish commission didn't like the document and they scared sportsmen into voting against it.

We need some brave young politico to start pushing for such a Convention. Maybe some one like State Auditor Hector Balderas could take that on. I saw him at Starbucks this weekend. He now lives in Albuquerque and commutes to Santa Fe like the many of the elected officials.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Think Hector as a Lt. Gov candidate.