Episode 918 | Reaction To Duran Resignation

Updated : Sep 14, 2019 in Articles

Episode 918 | Reaction To Duran Resignation


>>AFTER WE TAPED THE LINE
LAST WEEK, DIANNA DURAN RESIGNED AND PLED GUILTY TO
SEVERAL OF THE COUNTS SHE FACED RELATED TO THE MISUSE
OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS AT CASINOS AROUND THE STATE.
NOW, MS. DURAN HAS A PLEA DEAL THAT WILL LET HER KEEP
HER STATE PENSION. SHE SERVED AS AN ELECTED
OFFICIAL, OF COURSE, FOR DECADES.
SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MS. DURAN’S PLEA DEAL?
YOU CAN TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ON OUR WEBSITE,
NewMexicoInFocus.org, OR CONNECT WITH US
THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA. WE’RE ON FACEBOOK AND
TWITTER. I’D LIKE TO WELCOME THIS
WEEK’S LINE PANELISTS. DANIEL FOLEY IS FORMER HOUSE
MINORITY WHIP AND A REGULAR HERE ON THE LINE.
RUSSELL CONTRERAS IS BACK. HE’S A REPORTER WITH THE
ASSOCIATED PRESS. WELCOME BACK TO HIM.
DOUBLE FIST PUMPS, NICE. MARISA DEMARCO IS A PUBLIC
HEALTH REPORTER FOR KUNM. SHE HASN’T BEEN HERE FOR A
WHILE. GLAD TO HAVE HER BACK.
AND SOPHIE MARTIN, A REGULAR, IS AN ATTORNEY AND
EDITOR OF DukeCityFix.com. SOPHIE, REPORTER MILAN
SIMONICH HAD AN INTERESTING COLUMN REGARDING THE
RESIGNATION, SAYING THIS IS REALLY JUST BUSINESS AS
USUAL. MY FIRST QUESTION TO ALL OF
YOU GUYS IS, DOES THIS DEAL NOT MAKE A MOCKERY OF THE
LAW THAT WAS PASSED UNANIMOUSLY IN OUR
LEGISLATURE ON BOTH SIDES?>>THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION.
I DON’T THINK THAT IT MAKES A MOCKERY OF THAT LAW, BUT I
THINK THAT IT EXPOSES SOME OF THE WEAKNESSES IN IT.
YOU KNOW, THIS IS AN ONGOING DISCUSSION AT THIS TABLE AND
IN THIS STATE ABOUT HOW DO WE CRAFT ETHICS REGULATIONS
THAT HAVE REAL TEETH, THAT HAVE THE ABILITY TO KIND OF
MOVE US ALONG, AND WHAT WE’RE SEEING HERE, IT SEEMS
TO ME, THIS IS A GOOD EFFORT, BUT THERE ARE STILL
SOME GAPS IN IT. THE ARGUMENTS THAT WE’RE
HEARING RIGHT NOW ABOUT, WELL, YOU KNOW, MS. DURAN
DIDN’T DO THESE THINGS AS SECRETARY OF STATE, SHE DID
THEM AS A CANDIDATE, MAYBE THAT’S A LOOPHOLE THAT NEEDS
TO BE ADDRESSED. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, I
THINK WHAT WE ALSO SEE IS THE REAL DESIRE ON THE PART
OF FOLKS IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, OUR ATTORNEY
GENERAL, ATTORNEYS, ETC., TO CRAFT DEALS AND NOT TAKE
THESE THINGS TO TRIAL, AND THAT REALLY IS AT THE HEART
OF A LOT OF WHAT WE SEE IN THE COURTS.
>>WOULD THAT NATURAL INTEREST, THE PUBLIC’S
EXPECTATION, WHEN THEY HEAR — I MEAN, THERE’S A
LOT OF CHEST POUNDING. WHEN SOMEBODY DOES SOMETHING
WRONG, THAT’S GOING TO BE IT, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET
REWARDED WITH A PENSION, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET ALL
THIS OTHER STUFF, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU HAVE THIS OTHER
TURNAROUND. WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO
BELIEVE HERE?>>I KNOW, AND THEN SHE WAS
ALSO DEFIANT. AFTER SHE PLED GUILTY, SHE
COMES OUT AND SAYS, I DID NOT ENDANGER PUBLIC TAXPAYER
MONEY.>>I WAS A GREAT PUBLIC
SERVANT.>>YEAH, I WAS A GREAT
PUBLIC SERVANT. WELL, SHE DID, BECAUSE THEY
HAD TO START AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL.
THEY HAD TO START THIS PROCEEDING, THERE WAS
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS DEDICATED, $200,000, SO YOU
WERE. AND BECAUSE SHE WAS SO
DEFIANT AND REFUSED TO RESIGN, EVEN AFTER EVERYBODY
SAID, LOOK, YOU’VE GOT NO WAY OUT, JUST RESIGN,
BECAUSE SHE WAITED SO LONG, YOU DID COST TAXPAYERS
MONEY, AND I THINK THAT RESONATED WITH A LOT OF
FOLKS.>>THAT’S RIGHT.
DANIEL, THE IDEA OF LAWS TO BE A DETERRENT, IS ANYONE
DETERRED HERE FROM DOING ANYTHING?
CAN YOU EXPECT ANYBODY NOT TO GET THEIR PENSION EVER?
>>LET ME SAY ONE THING THE DETERRENT PART.
I DON’T THINK LAWS DETER CRIMINALS FROM COMMITTING
CRIMES. LAWS ARE THERE TO HOLD
PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT THEY DO.
I DON’T THINK ANYBODY SAYS, HEY, IF I HAD ONE MORE LAW,
I WOULDN’T COMMIT THE CRIME. I THINK THE PROBLEM IS IN
THIS AREA THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW, AS AN
ELECTED OFFICIAL THAT WAS THERE WHEN WE STARTED
TALKING ABOUT THIS STUFF, I DON’T THINK THE THOUGHT
PROCESS BEHIND THE LEGISLATURE WAS, WHAT ARE WE
GOING TO DO ABOUT AN ELECTED OFFICIAL THAT TAKES PRIVATE
MONEY FOR A CAMPAIGN AND DOES THIS.
IT WAS MORE ABOUT, WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE ELECTED
OFFICIAL THAT TAKES THE TAYPAYERS’ MONEY, THAT IN
THEIR POSITION AS AN OFFICE HOLDER EITHER ABUSES THAT
POSITION OR TAKES THE MONEY, WHETHER IT’S THROUGH A
CAPITAL OUTLAY PROJECT, OR USES THEIR POSITION TO GRANT
CONTRACTS. SO THIS IS KIND OF, AS
EVERYTHING IS, A MACHINATION OF THE PROCESS THAT NOW WE
HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL THAT, ALL RIGHT, THEY DIDN’T STEAL THE
TAX DOLLARS, THEY DIDN’T STEAL THE GENERAL FUND
MONEY, THEY STOLE OR MISUSED, WHATEVER TERM YOU
WANT TO USE, THE PRIVATE MONEY THAT WAS GIVEN TO THEM
FOR THEIR CAMPAIGN. SO I’M NOT SURE THE OUTCRY
FROM THE — I’M SURE THAT THE CHEST POUNDING BY THE
POLITICIANS AND US SAYING THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY
THEY’RE FAILING US, I’M NOT SURE IS RIGHT.
I THINK THEIR GOAL WAS TO GO AFTER PROTECTING THE TAX
DOLLARS. I UNDERSTAND THE ARGUMENT
ABOUT PUTTING THE IMPEACHMENT COMMITTEE
TOGETHER, I THINK OBVIOUSLY THERE’LL BE SOME DISCUSSION
NOW ABOUT, OKAY, DO WE BROADEN THIS TO SAY, IF YOU
MISUSE CAMPAIGN MONIES, BUT I WOULDN’T BE HOLDING MY
BREATH WAITING FOR THAT TO COME BECAUSE THE SYSTEM
ITSELF IS FLAWED IN NEW MEXICO, THE REPORTING IS
FLAWED IN NEW MEXICO, AND DECIDING WHAT LEVEL, WHETHER
SOMEONE USES IT TO BUY ICE CREAM SOCIALS, OR PAYS THEIR
MORTGAGE WITH IT, IT’S GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF WORK TO BE
DONE.>>THERE’S A LOT OF
LOOPHOLES IN THIS, AS SOPHIE MENTIONED.
I SHOULDN’T SAY A LOT, BUT A COUPLE OF LOOPHOLES, IT
SEEMS TO ME, AND ONE OF THEM, MARISA DEMARCO, IS THE
IDEA THAT SHE DID NOT GO TO TRIAL, SO THEREFORE THE
STATUTE DOES NOT NECESSARILY FIT A NARROW CHANNEL OF
APPLICATION. AND I’VE GOT TO THINK THE
LEGISLATURE, LIKE DAN MENTIONED, IS GOING TO HAVE
TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT THIS. WELL, IF THEY RESIGNED,
ISN’T THAT THE SAME THING AS BEING FOUND GUILTY?
YOU’RE OUT OF OFFICE ANYWAY, WHY SHOULDN’T YOU LOSE YOUR
PENSION. WOULD YOU ANTICIPATE PEOPLE
TAKING ANOTHER LOOK AT THIS BECAUSE OF THINGS LIKE THIS?
>>YEAH. I THINK THE LEGISLATURE WILL
HAVE TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT THE LAW, AND I THINK WE’VE
SEEN ALL KINDS OF MEASURES TO HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE
GO THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE, AND WHETHER THEY MAKE IT OUT
ON THE OTHER SIDE WITH ANY TEETH OR WITH ANY GUTS IS
ANOTHER QUESTION. AND THAT’S REALLY, I THINK,
KIND OF THE ISSUE, IS THAT I THINK AMONG READERS AND
AUDIENCE AND CITIZENS, THAT THERE’S A LOT OF FATIGUE
ABOUT THESE KIND OF THINGS. PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF HEARING
ABOUT CORRUPTION AT THIS LEVEL, AND IT MAKES PEOPLE
DISINTERESTED IN STATE POLITICS.
>>AND THE IDEA OF ACCOUNTABILITY, YOU KNOW,
NOBODY WANTS ANYBODY TO BE BROKEN, IMPOVERISHED IN OUR
LIVES, BUT AT SOME POINT THERE HAS TO BE
ACCOUNTABILITY, SO WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
UP NEXT, THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE AGREED ONE YEAR
AGO TO MAKE CHANGES TO POLICIES AND PRACTICES AT
APD. ARE THOSE CHANGES HAPPENING?

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