Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Holguin 'surprised and disappointed' by senate confirmation vote

A day after New Mexico senators rejected Neri Holguin’s nomination to the state Environmental Improvement Board she says she’s “surprised and disappointed” by the 17 to 25 vote — especially since she’s been sitting on the board since last July.

And, at least three senators say the vote appears to be, at some level, political payback for Holguin’s campaign work in 2008.

She successfully managed victories for Eric Griego and Tim Keller, who defeated sitting senators Shannon Robinson and James Taylor in a hotly contested primary race.

The New Mexico Independent reports that during the senate debate Albuquerque Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, scolded his colleagues for objecting to Holguin’s appointment.

“Suddenly to develop scruples is disingenuous and incredibly hypocritical,” he said about concerns over possible conflicts of interest.

Sen. Eric Griego also used the confirmation vote to express his support for webcasting saying, ”people need to know what happens up here. I’m learning a lot more about this body the more time I spend here.”

But, Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, told The Independent he was “afraid of politicizing this extremely important board.”

Despite not being confirmed Holguin said she “will continue to advocate for the responsible stewardship of our natural resources and the public health, safety and welfare of New Mexicans.”

Holguin is currently managing Democrat Ray Powell’s campaign for commissioner of public lands. She is also consulting for Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins 2010 campaign.

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