It's been a hectic 2012, with too many news developments to name at once. We thought we would sum up the year by honoring the people and things that make New Mexico the most unique state in the nation.
On Monday's Weekly Word podcast, SFR and New Mexico Telegram will name winners for the first annual Patrón Awards!
The awards are named after state's infamous Patrón System—the Good Ol' Boys network that makes so much of what New Mexico's politics are today. Some of the categories for each award are truly honorable; "Best Government Flack," for instance, will celebrate the state's government public relations professionals who best embody responsiveness and transparency to the public. Other categories, like "Dirtiest Political Advertisement," will honor the most dishonest and ridiculously misleading campaign ads that seed the average Joe's hatred of all things political.
We invite readers to submit ideas for winners but, just like the Patrón System ignores public input in favor of backroom deals, we'll probably ignore our readers' answers in lieu of own bottom line. Be sure to listen for the final winners on the next Weekly Word podcast, which will be available for download and streaming Monday morning.
Without further ado, here are the categories:
—Best Government Flack: A spokesperson who demonstrates transparency, responsiveness and honesty in the name of a public official or agency.
—Best Hero: Demonstrating courage in the face of political pushback.
—Best Villain: Demonstrating dishonest, unlawful and vile behavior.
—Best Quote: For capturing a situation, wittingly or unwittingly, in a brief quote published in the press.
—Best Scandal: The biggest headline-grabber of the year that came closest to confirming conspiracy theories.
—Dirtiest Political Advertisement: The most outlandishly misleading and sensationalistic campaign ad of the year.
—Best Entrance By A Political Newcomer: First impressions are sometimes the best impressions. This category will honor a new politician's best introduction of him- or herself to the public.
—The Open Government Award: The most prestigious of the awards, this one goes to the public official most dedicated to transparency in government.
—Whistleblower of the Year: To the person who best informed the public of wrongdoing in the face of strong personal repercussions.
—Best Conflict of Interest: A conflict that rises to the level of comedy and eye-rolling.
—The Closed Government Award: The least prestigious of the awards, this will go to the public official or agency least dedicated to transparency.
—Best Political Campaign: The most successful and honest (as far as politics can allow) campaign of the year.
—Worst Political Campaign: The least successful political campaign of the year. Honesty doesn't play much of a role here, since too much of it can kill a campaign.
—Biggest Mudslinger: Demonstrating a tendency to overdo criticism of political opponents to an annoying and unavoidable level.