For far too long, government officials have abused their office for personal or political gain. Politicians have regarded taxpayer money as their own and rewarded cronies, while workers, students and taxpayers are stuck with the bill. Decisions have been made to benefit the powerful and the connected, while New Mexico families pay the price.
It is time to restore the spirit of public service to government positions. I have proposed harsher penalties for public officials who break the law because restoring confidence and faith in elected and appointed office begins with ensuring that our public servants are the best possible stewards of taxpayer money.
My administration will lead by example. On my first day in office, I signed an executive order prohibiting all state agencies, departments and boards over which the Governor retains authority, from hiring or retaining lobbyists. I am also calling on the legislature to enact a law prohibiting anyone appointed to my administration, as well as elected officials, from working as lobbyists for two years after leaving government service. There should be no question that public officials are acting in the interest of the people they serve instead of positioning themselves for a big payday with a special interest group.
We must operate state government in an open and transparent manner. That is why I have opened up the books of state government by making it easier to access public information. My administration will not use executive privilege to unjustifiably block public access to the activities of state government, as has been done in the past. As public servants, we are accountable to New Mexicans and they should know exactly what their government is doing on their behalf.