Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Stink About the "Lovefest"

O.K., I'm used to having my stories and quotes from my stories used in political mailings, ads, whatever. But one recent example, coming from the first day of the Legislature has been completely misinterpreted, and I fear, has started to go viral.

After the vote on the Speaker of the House a week ago, I and other reporters asked House Republican Leader Tom Taylor what had happened to make the Joe Cervantes challenge fizzle.

Taylor underplayed the importance of the tea parties opposition to the proposed coalition of Republicans and southern Democrats.

... Taylor, who acknowledged he had been leaning toward supporting Cervantes, said the main reason for coming up with enough votes was that more Republicans were thinking of the political advantage of keeping Luján in the position rather than the "policy" advantages.

"He's the status quo," Taylor said of Luján. "There was a risk with Cervantes that we could have passed some great legislation and there'd be a love fest in the Legislature. ... It would be harder to run a negative campaign."

New House Republican Don Bratton agreed with Taylor's analysis. "I look at things from a policy standpoint," he said

I thought I made it clear that Taylor and Bratton were not advocating the political point of view. As Taylor said, he was leaning toward supporting the coalition and was in favor of passing "great legislation." He was bemoaning the "political" point of view that led to the failure of the coalition.

Dan Boyd of the Albuquerque Journal used that same basic quote in a Saturday story. I thought it was clear from his story also that Taylor wasn't endorsing the viewpoint of keeping Lujan around for the sake of negative ads.

But yesterday the state Democratic Party sent out a fundraising email using the quote to castigate Taylor. Theyt even evoke the tragedy in Tucson to make a point.

I know a lot of us hoped that after the tragedy in Tucson we would try to move our country forward in a more bi-partisan fashion. Clearly, Rep. Taylor is focused on seeking partisan advantage rather than moving the state forward.

And some blogger in Albuquerque picked up on that and engaged in a little finger-wagging.

Taylor can think that but it was not his role to say it out loud. He's not a political consultant. He's supposed to be talking about bipartisanship and passing "great" legislation to move the state forward, not blocking bills purely for political advantage.
Oh well. Nobody promised a lovefest.