Speaker or Corrupter of the House?

Posted by puguh on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Speaker or Corrupter of the House? . On January 18 the New Mexico State Legislature met for its first session of 2011. At that session an important election took place: the election of the Speaker of the House.

Democrat Ben Lujan was the sitting Speaker. He had been speaker for a number of years. He had become increasingly authoritarian, deferring Legislators' concerns and stating repeatedly that whatever they said "was not germane." He had gone so far as to break and/or to ignore House Rules. Finally, the Legislators en masse threw down on the floor their copies of the Rules in protest.

The November 2 election increased Republican numbers in the House to considerable strength, but not to majority. They wanted Ben Lujan voted out as Speaker but knew they did not have enough votes to nominate a man of their own.

Enter conservative Democrat Joseph Cervantes who wanted the Speaker seat for himself and offered the Republicans a deal.

It is this deal and the New Mexican Tea Parties organizers rejection of it that caused a stir on line and in the media to the extent that the Tea Parties were roundly criticized by pundits and even by their own supporters for not taking the deal and getting rid of Ben Lujan. Even I, who am no longer affiliated with any one particular Tea Party, came under strong attack for taking the Tea Parties' side.

In response to an article in which I suggested that the State Legislature should change their rules, one of my readers asked a good question. The following is in answer to that question and a discussion of why the Tea Party was right to reject the deal.

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