In 2007 I went to see Attorney General Gary King, State Auditor Hector Balderas, and Thomas Cole of the Albuquerque Journal. My mission was to get them to investigate the sweetheart deals being made by then State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons. None of the three did much of anything.
Now that Ray Powell has been in office he is starting to dribble out the horrible misdeeds of the Lyons administration. This was stuff that would not have been difficult to ferret out for the AG's Office or the Auditors Office. The Journal would have had to use some real man hours and they were to busy with other things to go after a republican office holder like Lyons. So the other shoe never dropped on the Land Office.
My question is why the AG and Auditor did so little. I know they were not getting along but I think they owe explanations as to why so little effort was made to watchdog the state's biggest single money maker, the Land Office. My next question is whether they will take any action now and if any civil or criminal charges should be filed against parties who may have conspired on getting imprudent deals made at the land office. Former Commissioner Lyons is now an elected member of the State Public Service Commission.
I think Ray Powell is doing a public service on exposing these deals. I hope he keeps it up. And I hope he will push back against the Governor's office of trying to scrap environmental protections in this state. Powell is the only Democrat in state office that could lead such an effort. Will he do so, or will he sit quietly? We will see.