More Buy Local & Those Pesky Lawsuits!


I have a habit of not wanting to read what I write. It is not because I don’t care – if I didn’t care I wouldn’t write it in the first place.

Case in point – I had another Op Ed column published in the
Santa Fe New Mexican, Saturday, February 11, 2017 — just yesterday, as I write this. I didn’t know it had been published until people started contacting me saying they had read it. It was about buying local and how our New Mexico government and the Governor tout it to anyone who will listen, but they don’t do it. At least they don’t buy local when it comes to the Governor’s First Grade Reading Initiative. See the Letter at the end of this. It explains a lot.

There are two reasons why I wrote an Op Ed column — to educate people that buying local books is a myth and to piss off the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED). The first reason is easy. While the New Mexico Legislature is in session and deciding on budgets with money we don’t have, I want people to know that NMPED wastes money out of state and is clueless. As the saying goes, NMPED can’t manage a free lunch.

The second reason is so me. I want to piss off NMPED because they don’t want anyone to know what they are doing with large amounts of New Mexico tax money. The timing couldn’t be better. Thursday we had a five-minute, basically housekeeping hearing, in Albuquerque District Court. It went a lot longer than five minutes. The Judge basically said she had not seen a bunch of NMPED’s motions and therefore they did not exist. That was BIG – HUGE! It means the little, old non-lawyer is hanging in there.

The judge also ordered both parties back to mediation ASAP. So as agreed, I contacted the mediator who is totally excellent, and gave him the poop. To date, NMPED has not gotten back to him. This is not the first time NMPED has dragged their feet, kicking and screaming to a court-ordered event. They don’t want to settle but they need to show up!

The suit is about violations of the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) and I contend that NMPED just can not comply with the Law. I have a HUGE binder filled with other people’s requests from last year demonstrating that NMPED has used the wrong wording of the Law. Some may ask why that is so bad; first, IPRA is a law and, second, both the Attorney General and the Law have mandated that certain wording be used. All those people, lawyers, and media have no idea that NMPED does not understand the law. I take that back – NMPED changed the wording to be illegal in March, 2016, thinking no one would notice and, when I did, NMPED changed it back in October, 2016. But the damage was done. That binder of goodies I haven’t even used yet – but I will!

So decide for yourself if you have gotten educated and if you too are pissed off. I am!

Reader View: Buy local? Not this government - The Santa Fe New Mexican: My View.pdf

Barbe Awalt