If Gov. Bill Richardson made a mistake in his interview with Fox News on Thursday, it was a brilliant one.
For a day at least, the governor was the Democrat who had people wondering if he really will run for president. And the interview - the one that his campaign staff says was "taken out of context" - came the same day he was already parading across the national stage.
By 4 p.m., when Fox's "breaking news" ticker scrolled across its Web site saying Richardson had said he was running for president, the Governor's Office in Santa Fe was in a tizzy, with phones ringing like a hurricane command center.
Taken out of context? Maybe. Or did he simply misspeak? Could be.
Regardless, Richardson created such a buzz that the real question soon will be not whether he's running but why is he bothering to continue the charade.
But Richardson still called on Congress not to build the 700 miles of fence on the U.S. Mexico border. Well, he does want to build a fence...to protect livestock in his state of emergency Executive Order last year.
State of New Mexico Office of the
Governor Bill Richardson
Governor Makes $1.75 million available to assist state and local law enforcement in border communities For Immediate Release Contact: Pahl Shipley August 12, 2005 (505) 476-2202
COLUMBUS, NM- Governor Bill Richardson today issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency along the New Mexico-Mexico border, specifically in Doña Ana, Luna, Grant, and Hidalgo counties. The Governor made the announcement following a helicopter and ground tour of the border near Columbus, New Mexico.
“As Governor I have a responsibility to protect our citizens, property, and communities,” said Governor Richardson. “Recent developments have convinced me this action is necessary- including violence directed at law enforcement, damage to property and livestock, increased evidence of drug smuggling, and an increase in the number of undocumented immigrants.”
Governor Richardson’s declaration makes $750,000 in state emergency funding immediately available to the affected counties. The Governor pledged an additional $1 million in assistance for the area. The funds will be used to support state and local law enforcement efforts, create and fund a field office for the New Mexico Office of Homeland Security to coordinate assistance to the area, and help build a fence to protect a livestock yard near Columbus, along a favorite path for illegal immigration where a number of livestock have been stolen and killed.
The Governor also called on Mexico to bulldoze the abandoned town of Las Chepas, which is directly over the border from Columbus. Las Chepas is a notorious staging and resting area for those who smuggle drugs and immigrants into the United States.
“I’m taking these serious steps because of the urgency of the situation and, unfortunately, because of the total inaction and lack of resources from the federal government and Congress,” added the Governor. “We will continue to work with the federal government in an attempt to get their assistance, but something had to be done immediately. I want the people of Doña Ana, Luna, Hidalgo, and Grant counties to know my administration is doing everything it can to protect them.”
The Governor also directed the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to work with the New Mexico Livestock Board to assess the security and safety of livestock in this border region. Governor Richardson also received support today from the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
The Chihuahua Secretary of Industrial Development, Alejandro Cano, says Chihuahua will fully support the Governor in dealing with the situation along the border.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2005-040 DECLARING A DISASTER IN HIDALGO, LUNA, DONA ANA, AND GRANT COUNTIES DUE TO BORDER SECURITY CONCERNS
WHEREAS, the Southern border of New Mexico has been devastated by the ravages and terror of human smuggling, drug smuggling, kidnapping, murder, destruction of property and the death of livestock;
WHEREAS, the border separating the State of New Mexico and the Country of Mexico is in an extreme state of disrepair and is inadequately funded or safeguarded to protect the lives and property of New Mexican citizens;
WHEREAS, State and local law enforcement officials have utilized all available resources to combat border security concerns, but these efforts have not alleviated this emergency or prevented the loss of life or destruction of property;
WHEREAS, this situation constitutes an emergency condition with potentially catastrophic consequences.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bill Richardson, Governor of the State of New Mexico, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of New Mexico do hereby declare an emergency condition exists in the counties of Hidalgo, Luna, Dona Ana, and Grant due to a lack of security on New Mexico's Southern border with the Country of Mexico.
I FURTHER DIRECT the Department of Finance and Administration to provide emergency financial resources in the amount of $750,000 to the Department of Public Safety, under the direction of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and the Governor's authorized representative. The Department of Public Safety is directed to coordinate all requests for assistance and responses to such requests under the authority of and as determined by the Governor or his Authorized Representative pursuant to and in accordance with Sections 6-7-1 through 6-7-3 NMSA 1978.
I FURTHER DIRECT all Cabinet Departments and agencies of the State of New Mexico to provide any assistance that may be requested by the Department of Public Safety or the Governor's Office of Homeland Security subject to approval by the Governor’s Authorized Representative.
Maybe we should be thankful that Bill is serious about building a better fence to protect livestock on U.S. soil? I'm sure Islamofascists will like hearing this one.