Democrats in government are very compassionate; we know this because they tell us in their campaigns. Government compassion is a constant political theme. New Mexico, a good-sized Democratic state with a tiny population, is no exception, though it has presently a Republican Governor. It does this every once in a while, usually after a Democrat holds the office for a coupe of terms and leaves under investigation, as happened this time. New Mexico has lots of pretty empty space and lots of investigations of politicians. These may jail a few local officials and a Treasurer or two but the bigwigs generally survive provided their party stays in the White House.
But here, we’re interested in an Attorney General, one Garry King, Democrat. He wants to replace the Republican (and rather lonely in state government) Governor, so he’s doing things. One of those is, he’s sponsoring a task force to reduce animal cruelty. Lots of New Mexicans shudder at the thought of animals in pain as they consume their steaks, burgers and wings.
Some Republicans, hearing things about that task force, used New Mexico’s Public Records Law to request copies of A.G. King’s task force records. The A.G. stonewalled, so the request went to court, finally forcing King to cough up the records. Shortly thereafter, the Albuquerque Journal informed the natives of its Attorney General’s activities towards the suffering animals he worked so hard to protect. Chickens and horses were his intended beneficiaries, both common in rural New Mexico.
For the chickens, A.G. King set out to break up nefarious cockfighting rings. Some would have preferred his pursuing the state’s severe drug problem, but he preferred to hunt outlaw chickens. Pulling together armed SWAT teams with a helicopter, he raided ranches, killing chickens and destroying eggs wholesale in spectacular fashion. It isn’t clear that the cockfighting activities (if any) took a hit but lots of breakfasts and dinners certainly did. And whether the legal niceties were followed seems to be in dispute. There is no disagreement on the dead chickens, though. Obviously, A.G. King had to destroy them in order to save them.
His horse campaign relies on court action rather than SWAT execution team raids. New Mexico has a lot of feral horses on its less than richly grassed plains and they tend to starve to death a lot. Some enterprising folk decided to reopen a long closed horse slaughter business to produce horse meat for food, primarily for export. New Mexico’s horse lovers not only wouldn’t eat a horse; they won’t let you eat one either, if they can help it. Letting them starve however, is apparently ok, so long as the horses do it out of sight.
The compassionate Mr. King gathered the horse lovers and his task force; they organized demonstrations and lawsuits to prevent the meat packer’s opening. The state needs all the jobs it can find but clearly, Mr. King needs votes more. They lost the case; the judge ruled for the meat packer and the A.G. immediately pushed an appeal. This obviously saved some horses as the meat packer would have started killing horses while starving to death awaiting appeal is much slower.
All this is of interest for a couple of reasons. For one, it provides a pretty fair picture of a Democratic politician’s compassion. For another, it typifies the way government does things, something to consider when it is being offered as a solution to your problems. In addition to those, it’s a reasonable portrayal of life in today’s New Mexico…