Dems want to spend thousands on new furniture

Posted at: 02/28/2013 6:30 PM
Updated at: 02/28/2013 6:36 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexico Democratic party activists may have a little egg on their face after ripping into Republican Gov. Susana Martinez for a high-priced kitchen renovation at the Governor's Mansion. Turns out Democratic lawmakers want to do some expensive redecoration of their own.

It was a $100,000-plus remodelling job for the kitchen and a laundry room and a wet bar. Floor, commercial ranges, refrigerators, cabinets, granite counter tops, the works. But this is the public part of the building where nonprofit community groups hold banquets and receptions.

The Governor has her own much smaller kitchen in the residential part of the building.

We asked New Mexico taxpayers what they thought about it.

"It's being used for nonpprofits and if it's going to be used for the community I'm all for it, no problem," said Joe Hempfling outside the Capitol building. " The Governor deserves a good cup of coffee as well."

But how about new chairs for the members of the House of Representatives at $2,500 each?

There is legislation in the House this session to spend up to $200,000 on 70 new chairs for the members, and that legislation is a Democrat bill, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup.

"Well, that's too much to pay for a chair," said taxpayer Darryl Wellington. "That's kind of silly. I'll sell you a chair for a lot less than that."

We asked Wellington if it might be a waste of taxpayer money, and he laughed out loud.

"I would say that," Wellington said. "Not a might be - it definitely is - yeah!"

The chairs would be pretty swanky, each one with a silk-screened official seal of the state of New Mexico - so the lawmakers don't forget where they come from - maybe.