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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NM Governor & Staff Trying to Change Story

NM Governor & Staff Trying to Change Story

With the famous NM political blogs still humming along (see Joe Mohahan and Heath Hausseamen ), another “on-line magazine” has been introduced by long time NM journalist Jack Swickard called 575 Magazine The feature opinion article that Jack and his staff rolled out over the weekend involved the “boating accident” that Governor Richardson and his senior staff were involved in at Elephant Butte reservoir, in southern New Mexico. It has all the classic elements of political intrigue and being above the law that seems to follow Governor Richardson where ever he goes.

A quote from Michael Swickard, opinion writer for 575 Magazine:
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson achieved a zero point zero rating for style points this week. A large houseboat with him, some of his staff and security detail was docking at an Elephant Butte marina September 5th when it ran expensively into some other boats and the dock which certainly is not the textbook way of docking and sure to attract attention. You might ask, “How did a simple incident get such media legs?”Any story including the governor automatically has legs and while the press knew something happened involving the governor it was several days until a press report. Several statements in the report raised media eyebrows. Richardson’s Chief of Staff was listed as the co-driver of the boat when it hit the dock along with the owner of the boat who had just grabbed the controls. The Chief of Staff was cited for the accident alone. What should the real driver have done after doing $15,000 of damage? You or me would have stood and taken the scolding.The media erupted when they learned that despite the crash Governor Richardson, members of his staff included the Chief of Staff and Richardson’s security detail were gone in seconds. The unfortunate boat owner stayed for the unpleasant conversations to follow.The authorities arrived in minutes. It was noted that there were people unavailable at the time of the investigation. Two days later, after time to “freshen up” the governor’s party contacted the authorities. Shuckins, too late for a breathalyzer test. I’m not saying there was drinking happening on the boat - just noting a convenient fact.

NM (see above) also carried the Michael Swickard post in the upper right hand column of their home page. The New Mexico Independent carried the story, along with many media outlets in New Mexico. Other nationally know web sites posted the Governor’s mishap (and fleeing from the scene) as well: (see Richardson post) and Stateline.Org, a web site focused on state by state politics & policy

With these NM Political blogs, the national blogs that cover New Mexico, plus some Google word and phrase searches (“Google” Governor Richardson boating accident) will yield plenty of traditional and on-line press reports, opinion pieces and blogging articles. Certainly, the NM Governor is getting much more press, media and web coverage that his press secretary and senior staff wanted on his “boating accident”. Don’t we live in a great country, as the world of reporting, observation, news and opinion goes online? And a simple word search can bring a focused perspective to the news, as you choose the details.

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

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