Last night Representative Andy Nuñez tried to put a controversial bill up for a vote on the House floor and Speaker Lujan swept it out the door. The Santa Fe New Mexican has the story. Reporters expected it and the Governor's staffperson had been waiting to film the stunt all day. Watch dizzycam here. It captures all the R's gesturing at the press after the Speaker left the chambers. They're all looking up and saying, "Did you see that Trip?" He did.
Before this staged drama came the long contentious debate about the film bills. And before that came the long contentious debate about the budget. And before that came a lot of tedious talk about cowboys. I can boldly speak for cowpeople everywhere when I say no one really wanted to stay in that room a second longer. No one but those itching for the Nuñez drama.
Earlier in the afternoon Representative Thomas Garcia had taken obvious pleasure in hours of verbal evisceration on budget amendments. He grilled until well-done and the time limit was up. This limit is called "Rule 20" I understand. If they debate any longer, unicorns start dying.
Garcia's humorless rapid-fire questioning of two freshmen Republicans that carried the ill-fated budget amendments was painful. I almost felt sorry for Representative Herrell who couldn't withstand his badgering for long and withdrew her amendment to defund the Commission on the Status of Women. I said almost. Representative Smith was similarly pelted but endured the tirade for much longer.
They passed the budget but that got lost in the noise of the subsequent film bill debate.
Representative Stewart made strong points about how the budget discussion has been framed narrowly around the film credits and budget cuts. Representative Egolf attempted to cap oil and gas industry credits at the same $45 million limit as the film bill to make a similar point but that was shot down.
After the controversial recess the Governor issued a press release stirring a pot of fear about immigrants with driver's licenses and sounding like she's headed for a Tombstone gunfight. More cowboy talk.
Come tomorrow morning, every House member will make a choice – either stand with Speaker Lujan and support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, or stand with New Mexicans to overturn this dangerous law.
Insert western soundtrack here.