Let the Sun Shine In:
March 15 marks the first day of Sunshine Week, the annual open-government event led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Last year, SFR debuted “The Citizen Muckraker’s Guide to New Mexico,", a comprehensive database of links to databases, searches and directories—everything you need to dig up information on any person, corporation or branch of government.
Change comes quickly to the Web and many of last year’s links are obsolete, while new ones pop up every other day. Over the course of Sunshine Week, SFR will update muckrakersguide.com, but we need your help and participation.
Nothing helps us discover new resources better than a few small missions to accomplish. Please send your information requests (eg, “How does my legislator make his money?” “Who’s making the most off federal contracts?”) to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Then tune in to SFReeper.com to see if they get answered.
Q: What’s the difference between New Mexico’s “moderate” Senate Democrats and a den full of vampires?
A: Vampires shun sunlight and suck blood. The Senate Dems shun sunlight and sometimes just suck.
If Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, R-Bernalillo, earned the title “Lady Sunlight” this session by webcasting committee hearings from her laptop, then Sen. John Sapien, D-Sandoval, established himself as the “Prince of Darkness.”
Dedicated proponents of legislative webcasting followed along with SFR’s live blog on Saturday, March 7 during the Senate’s 10-hour floor session. The bill by Sen. Mark Boitano, R-Bernalillo, was held till last and was quickly sabotaged by Sapien.
At the Legislature, a “poison pill” means language added to a bill to impede its passage. Sapien gave Boitano’s two such doses in forms of amendments, therefore the rule requires a 2/3 supermajority rather than a simple majority to pass.
The first amendment would create a webcam oversight body, but the other amendment would limit the webcamera to a single view from the rear of the building: all the backs and bald spots, but none of the action and expression.
Senate sunshine heroes who voted against Sapien’s amendments: Rod Adair, Mark Boitano, Dianna Duran, Tim Eichenberg, Dede Feldman, Stephen Fischmann, Eric Griego, Timothy Keller, Lynda Lovejoy, Cynthia Nava, Steven Neville, Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Sander Rue, William Sharer and Peter Wirth.