Why Is the Governor Misleading the Voters About Amendent 1?

I received an email from the Governor, as did you in all likelihood. She encouraged me to vote to approve Amendment 1, but carefully did not tell me the truth about what Amendment 1 would do. Vote NO. Here’s what was wrong with her message.

Before offering verbatim what Governor Lujan Grisham said, a few things about what she did not tell you. She did not tell you that Amendment 1 would:

  • Eliminate voters’ right to choose PRC Commissioners;
  • Give the Governor the power to appoint Commissioners, not you;
  • Reduce the number of Commissioners from five to three;
  • Extend the length of the term of Commissioners from four years to six years.

What she does do in her email is frame Amendment 1 as being all about ensuring that experts make decisions about PRC issues, not politicians, and then she puts that in the context of Donald Trump, COVID, and all we have learned about having hacks make important decisions.

What she does not tell you in her email is that in 2017 the state paid for the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) to assess the current PRC and make recommendations as to how to improve its functioning. The NRRI is a national organization that routinely conducts this kind of assessment, in this instance, comparing PRC functioning with national best practices. They issued a report with six recommendations, specifically aimed at improving the degree to which the PRC has the expertise needed to make better decisions. None of those recommendations called for the Governor appointing Commissioners. All of them focused on ways to help the PRC secure the level of staff expertise to make better decisions.

What the Governor also fails to mention is that the PRC has been starved of resources since the Martinez administration, continuing through the current administration, and that as a result of this lack of resources the PRC currently has only one “expert” staff member for all five Commissioners, while best practices are to have one “expert” staff for every Commissioner. If the Governor wanted to improve the functioning of the PRC, maybe providing the budget necessary to hire experts would be a better idea.

To read more about why you should vote NO and to examine more closely the NRRI recommendations, click here to review Retake Our Democracy’s position on Amendment 1 and please share this post with others. To learn about the Governor’s misleading and self-serving reasons for giving her the right to appoint Commissioners, read on:

“Paul, there is a lot to vote for on the ballot this year – but one down-ballot issue needs your special consideration: Voting FOR Constitutional Amendment 1.

So what does voting “FOR” mean? Simply, it changes requirements so that qualified professionals, not politicians, run the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC), which regulates public utilities and other industries, to ensure fair and reasonable rates, and to assure reasonable and adequate services to the public.

New Mexico is one of just eleven states that has politicians oversee utilities instead of professionals. It’s time for the state to join the rest of the country and put professionals, not politicians, in charge. Amendment 1 will make that happen.

We’ve seen politicians like President Trump ignore experts dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, while states like New Mexico have followed the advice of public health experts. Qualified experts make a huge difference.

But Republicans like Steve Pearce are fighting to stop this commonsense amendment. They would rather have politicians with no guaranteed expertise calling the shots for the PRC.

That’s why I’m asking you to vote FOR on Constitutional Amendment 1 – so that qualified experts can regulate New Mexico’s complex and vital utility industries.

If you want to learn more about how voting “FOR” on Constitutional Amendment 1 will help New Mexico, please click here to read more from Yes on Amendment 1.

Thank you.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

When you get to the Governor’s page to read more, you get a high gloss ad with more of the same misleading rhetoric. If however, you click on the link to the actual amendment language you find something very, very different.

“PROPOSING TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW MEXICO TO PROVIDE THAT THE PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION CONSIST OF THREE MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR FROM A LIST OF PROFESSIONALLY QUALIFIED NOMINEES SUBMITTED TO THE GOVERNOR BY A NOMINATING COMMITTEE AS PROVIDED BY LAW AND THAT THE COMMISSION IS REQUIRED TO REGULATE PUBLIC UTILITIES AND MAY BE REQUIRED TO REGULATE OTHER PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANIES.”

Funny how the Governor failed to mention anything about the amendment allowing her to appoint commissioners; funny how she failed to mention the length of terms or the reduction of the number of commissioners. She could have. The actual amendment is but one sentence in length.

Vote NO on Amendment 1 and share this with friends.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne



Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation

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7 replies

  1. Hi Paul. MLG is fast on her way to becoming a one-term guv. She cannot successfully hide her corporate partisanship in most matters of state, while basking in the glow of corporate money.

    She enjoys lighting the candle at both ends, having her cake and eating it too, and talking out both sides of her mouth.

    Yet another sanctioned member of the political class of toadies faking it through life while collecting big paycheck. Her given middle name, often emitted from view, would spell Ambition.

    Mick Nickel

  2. We need to get the word out. Everyone’s getting slick mailers promoting amendment 1.

  3. As usual a great piece of writing Paul! I would just add that possibly the issue is broader and reflects not just the opinion of the Governor, but those still in charge of the Democratic Party in NM. Complacency and elitism has seeped into this Party Nationally and at the State level where Republicans have made the greatest headway and have thus been able to control federal as well as State politics and decision making. Grisham merely is a part of the broader entrenched democratic politicians ( as are the leaders in the Legislature) who still see politics as a vehicle rather than a responsibility! Subsequently, although not full of the hatred and fears of the Republican Party, they still behave as the opposition rather than as statesmen and women who know the future and will move aggressively to change the system to meet the needs of a changing world. This is the difference between the Progressives and the old line Democrats!

  4. It’s not just corporate monies which might influence her. My radar is on the military industrial complexes which are the real industry in this state. She holds blind loyalty to LANL, and often spews illogical science. Recall when she was telling everyone to stop using cash, only pay with credit cards because the virus lives on money? WTH? As though the virus doesn’t live on credit card machines. She was pushing cashless exchanges without empathy for the extreme poverty here. Many, especially on indigenous lands, don’t have credit cards let alone access to banks.

  5. It is beyond irony that we are reduced to rearranging the deck chairs for what was once universally-understood as a potential menace to our economic well-being and democracy itself. I speak of the corporate entity, of course, and how we seem to have so lost sight of the damage they do that we are reduced to quibbling about how they are (mythically) controlled. The only satisfactory solution is to reinstate our ultimate authority as citizens to define the conditions under which corporations are allowed to operate. Failure to comply equals the dissolution of the corporation. For a refresher, see Ted Nace’s Gangs of America. Powell’s has a hard back for only $6.95.

  6. New Mexican’s real estate section yesterday came out in favor of Amendment 1. They cite Chris Moore but he tells me he’s undecided at this time…

  7. Vote. yes. You blame this on the governor, but it was passed on a bipartisan basis in the legislature. Stop the stupidity.

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