Legislature 2003: The Unexpected

April 7, 2003

"And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."
Matthew 10:36


Just after the session ended, someone working in the office of Senator Ramsay Gorham (possibly disgusted with what they themselves had been required to do throughout the preceding 60 days) decided to provide me with documents showing a great deal of activity in Mrs. Gorham's office---activity completely unrelated to anything to do with the legislature.

What was handed over to me was more than 300 pages of "research" conducted by the Legislative Council Service---apparently aimed at me. Understand this: it was not about working for constituents, or for New Mexico. Rather it was obviously a response to requests made to "dig up dirt" on Senator Rod Adair.

From the looks of the documents, they obviously could not find whatever they were hoping for. Who knows what that was? Keep in mind that the Legislative Council Service is a taxpayer-funded, non-partisan organization that performs the technical work of the legislature. (And I am in no way criticizing them. They are professionals who are bound by confidentiality concerning the work they do for legislators. They did not provide me with the documents. And they are not to blame for the "research"
they were forced to conduct on behalf of Senator Gorham.)

Also among the documents was a hand-written memo from one of the Legislative Council Service's highest ranking officials. It read:

"Senator Gorham:

Here's the committee reports for Judiciary, Conservation and Public Affairs---showing how committee
members voted. We're working on floor votes, but those may not be available until after the session."

(Question: what on earth did any of this have to do with legislative business?)

Among the documents:

numerous memos pointing out the votes of "Senator Adair," "Rod Adair," and "Adair."

In those documents, I was caught red-handed voting against trigger locks. Handwritten notes in Gorham's handwriting pointing out how I had voted "FOR" concealed carry. Where the council service had provided her own vote record "AGAINST" concealed carry, she had written "mistake" beside the vote record. (Note: She has maintained for some time that she was "confused" about the issue being voted on at that time. Now she always refers to the vote as a "mistake," which of course can be interpreted various ways.)

Also there were notes clearly indicating that the council service was supposed to find "bills passed" by Rod Adair, as well as bills sponsored. Senator Gorham, it should be noted, does not sit on Public Affairs. So all the research directed at that committee was aimed at me.

Also included in the "research" was some 75 pages of the Senate Journal covering 1999 and 2001, complete with copies of bills from those years. Handwritten notes in the margins also were found explaining her votes, or desperately searching for a "wrong" vote by Senator Adair.

And guess who paid for this research? You did. With tax dollars that were supposed to be used to research ways to reform education, protect innocent children, and cut taxes.

What is the point of all this, you may ask.

Well, two things. Number one: It shows misplaced priorities during the legislative session. While I came home on weekends, and did in fact comment about the state chairman's race from my home computer in Roswell, Senator Gorham was busy actively using the resources of the state of New Mexico (work paid for by you) to "work" on "issues" such as these---which were completely unrelated to official duties.

Second: While I commented about statistics, facts and figures which were simply wrongly reported, the reaction by the Gorham campaign was quite different in tone and direction. Instead of trying to argue against the evidence I had marshaled (they of course knew they could not do this), they immediately focused on trying to criticize me personally.

The orders given by Gorham to the Council Service, unknown to the professionals who work there, were for the purposes of "discrediting" Senator Adair, and not for researching facts to support the Gorham position. Of course they failed, but the greater point is that their goals and objectives are so incredibly misplaced and misguided.

The letter written on behalf of Dianna Duran was clearly a result of this "research." Part of the request to the council service was to show that Rod Adair has introduced very few bills and had none passed in 2003 to that point. This of course clearly ignored the fact that conservative Republicans do not make a high priority of "passing more laws" and "adding hundreds of new pages" to the New Mexico state statutes.

The bottom line is a disturbing one: If you debate with the Gorham's, if you engage in a discussion of their claims---which you can show to be factually false, then the response will not be counter-arguments or discussions of your points, but by rather the launching of an immediate "investigation" of you personally.

Of course this doesn't bother me personally----unlike Senator Gorham, I am proud of my voting record. But it bodes ill for those who don't like this kind of approach to government, or to life. None of this sends a good message about someone who wants to be chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico.

These are the same questionable activities Raymond Sanchez and his staff were caught at. We have come to expect this from Democrats, but not---at least till now----from Republicans. Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of a win by Gorham (they have sent message after message favoring her election throughout the session---as have the news media). Such an outcome would not only rid them of their chief critic and most effective opponent (Dendahl), but they are chomping at the bit to expose many Gorham scandals of which this is but a minor example.