Friday, February 12, 2010

AG's funding cut; retaliation?

According to the Journal, no link, the Senate Finance Committee has cut the NMAG's budget by one third.

NMAG Gary King says the cuts are in retaliation for his several investigations of "politically well connected individuals" and their corruption in New Mexico.

claims his Office is "the best tool we have for fighting corruption" and will be "eliminated" as a tool for fighting public corruption.

Finance Committee Chair Senator John Arthur Smith argued that the AG's Office has a settlement fund that could be used to compensate for the budget cut.

Smith argued that "everyone needs to share the pain" during budget cutting.

His argument is specious. It has nothing to do with "sharing pain". It has to do with making tough decisions and protecting the interests of taxpayers. It might well be, the interests of taxpayers are best served by increasing funding for the NMAG and for the State Auditors Office.

No mention was made of funding cuts to the SAO, though if the "pain is going to be shared", it stands to reason that shared pain is in store for State Auditor Hector Balderas as well.

photo Mark Bralley

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