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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Reports of local representative’s demise greatly exaggerated

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By Jim Townsend- State Representative District 54

Recently I received a phone call from a friend early one morning and the first thing she said when I answered my phone was “Thank God you answered your phone!”

I laughed and asked why wouldn’t I?

Then, she went on to tell me that a Twitter account had reported I had died. I quipped that I remembered, which I didn’t correctly remember, which isn’t that unusual, that Groucho Marx had once stated that an erroneous report of his death was greatly exaggerated ……actually it was Mark Twain but with that said I wondered what a fellow that some might consider himself a “politician” what he might see from a quick trip to Heaven. What might he hear from God?

So I put my pen to paper on the subject.

I wonder if God would be proud of our work of the New Mexico Legislature? Would he be pleased with the debt we have put on the backs of the poor and underprivileged? Would He be pleased with our education system? Would He appreciate that his name was never mentioned or rarely mentioned in public schools? Would He say that’s ok, I don’t mind? What would he say to me, when I learned of the liars that reported my demise? Or would he worry about that at all? Oh .I think my God is much bigger than that and he expects us to be bigger, more gracious and civil as we try to represent our constituents.

I believe He thinks on a scale much different than we comprehend today. Thank GOD!

I wonder if God gets tired of politics? Or did he create this process so we can have a glimpse at our demise? Does he see value in what we do in Santa Fe? Does he believe the heavenly affirmation of gender should be challenged? Do we really see ourselves in a position to question his work?

How similar is Santa Fe to the Tower of Babel? Or how far is Santa Fe from Gomorrah? Or more importantly, how different do we see ourselves from those that we have read about? Or do we? Oh, how I hope he has a sense of humor mixed with his ability to forget when he considers our fate: when we finally realize how wrong we have been!. No doubt he must be amazed at times of our efforts or the lack thereof.

I wondered if a politician, such as me, would have the chance to look upon our work from a heavenly perspective. Would God throw his hands in the air and say what in the world were you thinking? Would he say, “didn’t I mention that and here you go again! “ Would God say great piece of work on HB 7 you guys, boy did I ever make a mistake there! That piece of Legislation will surely put my families on a path to flourish! Or would he then think of the Energy Transition Act and say I knew you guys would figure it out; I had no clue that could be done. Would God look down and say, Thank Goodness you passed HB 207 last year…..that is going really help!

All joking aside, for this is not a joking matter. ,I know God must be really frustrated with us at times, especially with politics. How could he not ?

So I guess like those stories of Michael Jordan and a few others rumored to have departed the reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated and I hope that someday the grownups will come into the committee rooms, of both parties, in Santa Fe and do what needs to be done to protect our families, provide for our children and provide peace and stability to our communities.

It is time we stop the pettiness. My constituents expect me to help provide jobs and careers, better education outcomes, reduce our debt, lower taxes and bring civility and honor back into the world of politics.

Last time I checked I need have both feet on the ground, not in the ground for this work.

Footnote: HB 7 is the Bill passed in the 2023 NM Legislature known as the Gender affirming Health Care Act. It is an Act that limits/prohibits a parents rights to gender affirming processes including surgery and medications changing a child’s sex.

HB 207 is a Act passed by the NM Legislature that would allow boys to participate in girls sports, among other things.

The Energy Transition Act, SB 489 passed by the NM Legislature in 2019 is an Act that requires only New Mexico electric utilities to be carbon neutral by 2050. It has caused the loss of hundreds of jobs in northern NM and has caused electricity rates to rise in NM without any calculable impact on global warming only increasing the cost of living for those living in New Mexico.

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