Thursday, January 17, 2008

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: TO BOLDLY GO

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 17, 2008


You must be bold to throw the word bold around as much as Bill Richardson does. He has used it liberally both at home and on the campaign trail during his recently concluded presidential run.
RICHARDSON IN CONCORD
In his State of the State address on Tuesday, he used it five times.

“In this budget session, my agenda is focused and bold.”

“It’s been said that the future doesn’t belong to the faint of heart. It belongs to the brave and it belongs to the bold.”

“No one can question we’ve taken bold initiatives.”

“My agenda is bold and focused.”

“Now is no time to retreat from bold action.”

No question. The governor is focused on being known for being bold.

Bold Web site: Though Richardson dropped his presidential quest and returned to the best job in the world, he’s not officially seeking the vice presidency, but not ruling it out, if anyone invites him to that dance.

However, a Washington state Democratic activist and Richardson supporter has taken it upon himself to push for such an invitation.

Ken Camp, who helped run an independent “Washington for Richardson” blog (not affiliated to the campaign), last week started a “draft Richardson” blog.

“I whole-heartedly support Governor Bill Richardson, but I will delete this blog and the corresponding petition if asked to by Governor Richardson or any of his senior staff,” Camp wrote in his initial post. “I know the Governor has said he isn’t interested in being Vice-President, and if asked to cease my activities, I will.”

However, on Wednesday Camp said he hadn’t heard from Richardson or any of his staff so far, despite some buzz about his project in New Mexico blogdom.

There’s a link on the blog to an online petition Camp started. It touts Richardson’s experience and says: “We call on the Democratic nominee for President to make Bill Richardson his or her Vice-President.”

Camp said he’d collected “42 signatures as of a minute ago. Many of them are names I recognize as grass-roots supporters of Governor Richardson.”

Former Richardson campaign manager Dave Contarino, asked Wednesday about Camp’s Web said, “You can’t stop the people.”

Adair vindicated: The American Civil Liberties Union has dropped a lawsuit against state Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell.

Last year, the ACLU filed the suit on behalf of Virgil Beagles — a Roswell man who has written letters to newspapers criticizing Adair — who claimed he was barred from a legislative committee meeting last year. (Click HERE and scroll down for my original report on the lawsuit.)

As part of the settlement, the ACLU released a statement saying, “The parties acknowledge each other’s First Amendment Rights, including the right to comment upon the lawsuit and settlement. The ACLU of New Mexico acknowledges that Senator Rod Adair is a strong supporter of the U.S. and N.M. Constitutions. The parties mutually release each other from any and all claims arising from lawsuit.”

Adair reacted with typical humility (and perhaps slightly tongue-in-cheek), issuing a news release reporting he’d “won a historic victory.”

The release stated: “Adair acknowledged the clear and total victory in the case. ‘The statement they released concerning my well-known commitment to civil rights for everyone contradicts, word-for-word, the frivolous complaint they had filed,’ he said. ‘I cannot imagine a more complete surrender by anyone in any case in New Mexico history.’ ”

Adair’s original settlement offer demanded the ACLU donate $10,000 to the Boy Scouts in Roswell, but that didn’t happen.

“They clearly indicated that would be a humiliation that would embarrass them nationally,” Adair wrote. “Observers believed that given the ACLU’s fanatical opposition to the Boy Scouts, they would bring in perhaps up to a dozen more lawyers from around the country to fight that provision of the settlement. ‘My counsel indicated that it might be best for the taxpayers in the long run to accept the ACLU’s offer of unconditional surrender as it was.’ "

The ACLU has opposed government funding for the Boy Scouts because the organization does not allow gays.

State ACLU spokeswoman Whitney Porter, asked to comment on the Adair statement, said, “The ACLU feels the point was made that all citizens have the right under the First Amendment to access the legislative process.”

UPDATE: (Friday, Jan. 18, 2008) I changed the Richardson petition link, which, as Ken Camp informed me, has been combined with two other independent "draft Richardson" petitions that sprang up last week.

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