Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Business group praises Clovis lawmakers

David Arkin's Political Notebook: CNJ correspondent

Two Clovis lawmakers got perfect marks this week from a statewide business group.

The Association of Commerce and Industry released their annual report card of state representatives, senators and the governor this week.

House and Senate members were scored for their votes on pro-business legislation and constitutional amendments in 2003-04.

For Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, and Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, the report cards brought cheers.

All three lawmakers received 100 percent marks. Seven House members and nine Senate members got perfect scores.

Scores ranged from 100 to 57. The association also released score averages for lawmakers from 1991-2004, even though many, like Harden, haven’t been serving that long. Harden got a 100 percent mark in that category, Crook received a 97 percent mark and Kernan got a 100 percent mark.

“I am happy with that report card and not really surprised,” said Harden, who was spending Thursday in Moriarty. “I’m very much interested in legislation that advances the interest of economic development and the recruitment of businesses in this state.”

Harden said he thought he was a business-friendly lawmaker.

“I think a state’s economic health depends on a business-friendly environment,” he said. “We need to allow businesses to grow and expand.”

Crook, who has been involved with small businesses for a good portion of her life, said she was pleased to receive a good grade this year.

“The report card isn’t something that I really have a lot of trouble with,” she said. “Being involved with small businesses for many years I feel like I know some of the things that concern and affect small business owners. It’s not real hard for me to vote on pro-business issues.”

Gov. Bill Richardson was rated at 80 percent for his support of pro-business legislation this year. Last year, he got a 92 percent rating.

Wrapping it up

Kernan, who is facing William Palmer for the Republican nod for Senate District 42, said she is busy getting last-minute fliers to voters in her district.

She spent a good portion of last week in the Clovis area knocking on doors, she said.

“I have been traveling through my district trying to talk to as many people as I can,” she said. “We have been working really hard and I’m looking forward to this being over.”

Kernan and her opponent attended a radio debate in Clovis earlier in the week. Kernan said she was interested to learn of the heated races occurring in Clovis.

“The debate was real interesting,” she said. “There are some good races that are occurring in the eastern part of the state.”

On Thursday, she spoke to the Republican Women of Lea County.

Getting along

While William Palmer said both him and his opponent, Kernan, get along, their supporters are creating issues between the two camps.

“I think our respected supporters have gotten pretty ugly at times, but between Gay and myself I think this has been an extremely clean campaign,” Palmer said. “I’m proud that we have both led clean campaigns.”

Palmer said he spent about the last two weeks in the Clovis area visiting with voters.

“I feel real positive about the people that I have been meeting,” he said.

Signing up voters

Officials with a statewide voter registration group said it has just finished signing up about 1,200 students from high schools in New Mexico to vote in the upcoming primary and general election.

James Moore of the New Voters Project, a group that is hoping to get thousands of young people registered to vote for the November general election, said his group signed up about 100 students at high schools in Roswell last week.

The group will continue through November to hold voting drives. Several will be scheduled in both Clovis and Portales in the fall.