Open gov’t watchdog group blasts Dems’ partisan closed-door special session

In a Sunday letter to the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican, Melanie J. Majors, the executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG), decried Democrats’ closed-door special session for redistricting, which largely kept the public out of the process. 

She wrote, “The New Mexico Legislature’s actions during this past special session show it does not share this value. For months this summer, the Legislature-mandated Citizen Redistricting Committee held public meetings and gathered public comment to create fair, equitable maps outlining congressional, state Senate and state representative districts. It seems much of the committee’s work has been done in vain.” 

Majors blasted Democrats’ “partisan enclaves” that eliminated the public’s participation, while many meetings were announced minutes before they started, giving the regular citizen little to no way to participate.

“FOG believes the public’s business should be conducted in full public view, the actions of the public bodies should be taken openly and all deliberations be made open to the public, yet the Legislature has conducted meetings about redistricting behind closed doors, in partisan enclaves, eliminating any public access to the proceedings — access that is an essential element of a properly functioning democracy,” she wrote.

“Voters in New Mexico deserve better. They want to see transparency in the redistricting process and the new districts. A fair process begins with genuine openness and transparency. The public hearings held across the state were an important blueprint for lawmakers. We request all negotiations and deliberations regarding redistricting be conducted in an open and transparent manner that is accessible to the public.” 

During the special session, late-night deliberations were common with caucuses in between meetings, and only after angry pleas from New Mexicans were they reluctantly allowed to testify in committee hearings, especially if they were in attendance via Zoom. 

FOG’s apparent anger over the process shows that Democrats’ closed-door special session was not only decried by many in the public but even by open government watchdogs.  

5 thoughts on “Open gov’t watchdog group blasts Dems’ partisan closed-door special session”

  1. This is the most insanely corrupt State government I’ve ever witnessed. New Mexico government bodies are the greatest hindrance to NM ever getting out of complete despair and poverty. They are parasites who enrich themselves and destroy every chance of the economy ever getting off the ground. They fleece us, waste all our tax dollars, destroy businesses, and then gaslight and oppress the New Mexican people so that our voice is never heard.

    What a disgusting government!!! Santa Fe is a capitol of evil. Richardson and Lujan are both corrupt criminals. Martinez was a joke. We haven’t had a real leader since Johnson.

  2. Covid is the perfect excuse for democrats to take away the people’s voice and oversight. Expect more restrictions to your rights to attend legislative sessions and have your voice heard. Throw them all out.

    1. Absolutely correct. The Rio Rancho Public School Board is still using the same excuse to limit or eliminate public meetings. Zoom is a joke!

  3. So much for the Democrats representing the little guy. Do you remember how rural kids had virtually no access to internet learning during the pandemic because there was so little broadband access in the rural areas of our state? Well the Dems, with all their compassion, just cut funding for increased broadband access in our state completely out of the budget just passed. What a completely corrupt state legislature.

  4. Well, it’s illegal to hang them. But we might have a chance to vote them out – assuming the election isn’t a done deal today.
    The Santa Fe Ring has been the reality of New Mexico politics since New Mexico was a Spanish colony
    Citizens are denied our right to the soap box, the jury box and the ballot box.
    That only leaves a Citizens recourse to the cartridge box and rough justice

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