Monday, February 2, 2009

Is Legislative webcasting too costly? Let's help

please read & heed this message from Edwina (George) Hewett

Hey Everyone:
If I have already sent this message to you, please, accept my apologize - I have been working this idea for the last 4 days. For those of you who have not seen this yet here goes. The New Mexico Legislature has tabled the funding for live streaming web casts of their activities. The excuses were ridiculous at best and they finally settled on one that sounded really good, the cost of web casting is "excessive".
The Legislature has already spent $30,000.00 on set up: additional funds would be required to remove the cameras. According to several different articles, a mere $7,000.00 more dollars would get the project operational. The Legislature's refusal to complete the web casting project is a direct slap in the face of every citizen in New Mexico, continuing the long tradition of our elected officials' closed session meetings and back door dealings. That is why I have started a statement donation campaign to shame the New Mexico Legislature to begin live web casts of their activities so that the citizens of New Mexico can realize more transparency in state government.

If the New Mexico Legislature, under the guise of "budget crunch", claims that a mere $7,000.00 from their massive operating budget is what is holding them back, then I, as a private citizen, am willing to help my legislature by sending a donation for web casting.

In an effort to shame the New Mexico Legislature into web casting, I would like to suggest what I call "statement donations" be made to the New Mexico Legislature to aid them in getting web casting up and running.

A suggested minimum $5.00 donation is small enough to not be burdensome and more cost effective than taking a day off work plus travel costs for a trip to Santa Fe. For the statement donations to have an impact, volume is the key. Volume will help our legislature take notice not only financially but in considering potential future votes.

I have already spoken with Representative Janice E Arnold Jones (the legislator who has been web casting her meetings much to the discomfort of the rest of the legislature) regarding statement donations, and she thought this was a great idea. I have cut and pasted her response from my email activity with her (in blue below);
Listening to our citizens is our job. Speaking with your check book is mighty powerful! Thank you so much for your interest and support. Go for it.
How to send a statement donation:
Make Checks to: NM Legislative Council Service
Memo: For Legislative WebCams/WebCasting
Mail To: NM Legislative Web Cam Fund
State Capitol
Legislative Council
Service Room 411
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
When asked what would happen to the statement donations should web casting be put into place or denied, Representative Arnold Jones said:
If the money could not be applied it would be returned to the donor by the Legislative Council Service. I also checked to make sure there would be enough postage available to return the checks if necessary. If money truly is the issue, and the cameras are approved, I believe the donations can be applied to providing webcasting. After we are up and running, I would ask for a credit to be listed such as:

"Webcasting brought to you by the taxpayers of NM and the 5321 citizens of NM who provided individual contributions to this project".
I have already sent this idea to several internet blog sites, radio stations, news papers, and would like to forward on to who ever else can help spread the word. If you think this idea has any merit, please make a donation and pass the idea along.

Submitted by:
Edwina R. Hewett (George)
Mountainair, NM 87036-0125
Office: 505-847-2300 Home 505-847-2220
Cell: 505-705-0732 Email:


  1. good idea. count me in. now why not work for the same transparency in town govt?

  2. There's an idea. Do you think transparency would increase interest and participation? How would you do it? Do bear in mind that agenda and minutes are now being posted on the Town dot gov site,


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