Secretary of State Mary Herrera has been under a lot of scrutiny
lately for bungling the state's campaign-finance database and other IT issues. To counter her technologically unsavvy reputation, it seems that Herrera has launched a new electronic newsletter system. We received the first one today.
The only news: Herrera's done a lot the last few months, but very little of it has anything to do with her job.
Here's how the Secretary of State's Office explains its statutory and constitutional duties:
The Office of the Secretary of State performs a wide range of duties critical to the work of state government...
Duties, such as personnel matters, purchasing, legal counsel, media and public relations, and information systems contribute to the overall operation of the office; others, such as work pertaining to Elections, Ethics, Operations, and Information Systems (outlined below), affect New Mexicans statewide.
.... She is not only the principal administrator of her office, but also the authority behind oaths, registrations, filings and is the Chief Elections Officer for the state.
According to the state's constitution and statutes, here are a few of the Secretary of State's other duties:
- provides the depository for legislative journals and all bills passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor;
- records and files referendum petitions signed by qualified electors disapproving laws enacted during the last preceding legislative session;
- prior to an election, sees to it that proposed amendments to the New Mexico Constitution are published in at least one newspaper in every county in the state for four consecutive weeks, in English and Spanish (when newspapers in both languages are published in such counties);
- serves as statutory agent for service of process in cases where the designated agent of a domestic corporation or foreign corporation doing business in the state dies, resigns, leaves the state, or cannot be found.
Now, here are the points covered in her newsletter (download it as pdf here
- Herrera was elected president of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and honored by the League of United Latin American Citizens for "Excellence in Public Service" at the New Mexico state conference.
- Herrera celebrated Cinco de Mayo at the White House with Obama & family... though the event was actually held on May 4.
- Herrera's office participated in some unclear way in the American Legion's "Boys and Girls State" event.
- Herrera was in the Truth or Consequences Fiesta Parade and the Rio Rancho Memorial Day Parade.
- Herrera's office has completed 75 presentations at various schools in 12 New Mexico counties since March of 2009. It is unclear what the presentations were about.
So, what exactly has she done to fix the ES&S Voting Machine Debacle
? Where are we on the campaign reporting web site
? Is her office crafting any new rules for inspecting how candidates use public campaign dollars? Are all the new laws passed by legislature online?
What of the "wide range of duties critical to the work of state government" did she actually carry out?
Also, does anyone else find it a bit questionable that her "official capacity" parade float is indistinguishable from a campaign float?