Letter to the Editor
Sapien embodies America's two-party system
Senator John Sapien will not run again in Sandoval County (Bernallilo, Corrales, and Placitas).
He is a moderate Democrat who is electable and is of the stuff that made the two-party American government system historically far better than European and other variations. It is a “secret” that made America great.
The New Mexican Senate is where he enabled it to sustain results for a stable and yet changing state government. He was a leading part of a consensual recognition that individual elected party members carry out their Senate work as a collaborative activity, institutional-driven bipartisanship, if you will.
I am reminded of the Senators Dominici and Bingaman in Washington in the interest of New Mexico and its natural resources and energy.
Senator Sapien, as Chairman of the Education Committee, asked me to testify on the price of oil as OPEC drove prices down in 2014 and threatened New Mexico shale oil. The responsive official state forecast, which influenced the budget, was slightly lower than 2014's $100 per barrel. I challenged that and warned of a deficit that would impact revenue for education. My forecast was $23-$26 per barrel, which took place in the first months of 2016. The hearing changed the accuracy and realism of the state economists.
Senator Sapien contributed to the Four Corners effort to build a freight railroad with the Navajo Nation for economic development. He was 160 miles outside his District but demonstrated state welfare policy concerns. There were no votes for him from Farmington. I was part of the railroad effort which is ongoing today.
Senator Sapien represents the traditional New Mexican moderate Democratic Party and people, and now departs from the Senate as such.