The man who has dominated
“I said, ‘I do. I’ll be secretary,’”
Then Domenici asked
“Good public policy was made by someone who knew power, knew how to use it, but also cared deeply about the state,”
Domenici, during his own speech, gave a tart response, but did it with a chuckle.
“I wish he would use ‘proper power,’” Domenici said. “… Power is what
Chuckles and kind words characterized the event at which Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, all Democrats, also praised the Republican senator’s 36-year tenure — the longest of any
Bingaman said Domenici will be best known for his work in four areas — the federal budget, energy, nuclear issues and the national laboratories.
Several of the speakers referred to Domenici’s ability to relate to people and his desire to serve them. Denish commented on that in recalling that Domenici was first elected 36 years ago by beating her father.
“If I had to pick anybody other than my dad to fight on behalf of New Mexicans, serve six terms in the Senate… I would pick you, Sen. Domenici,” Denish said.
Miyagishima recalled that it was Domenici, when he was a child, who inspired him to get into politics.
“I hope that for every Democrat I inspired that there was at least a Republican,” Domenici said in response.
‘We have some extraordinary things to do’
Domenici had ominous words for those in attendance at the event.
“This great country of ours has some really big problems that might be tougher than at any time during my 36 years,” Domenici said. “Energy and the economy are tied in some kind of struggle that isn’t good for us.”
Domenici said the
“Clearly we have to do some extraordinary things in the next few years to lessen that demand. I wish I were there,” Domenici said.
He added that he hopes to do “something big” on the issue with Bingaman before he leaves office at the end of the year. Domenici is the ranking member on the energy committee, which Bingaman now chairs.
The NMSU conference, which will be an annual event, is designed to advance the issues on which the senator has focused his career. It’s part of The Pete V. Domenici Legacy, a statewide effort led by NMSU to honor the senator’s historic tenure. In addition to the conference, the effort includes planning and construction of a building on campus to honor the senator, the formation of the Domenici Institute at NMSU and publication of a book chronicling his service.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reported today that Domenici has opted to archive papers and memorabilia from his career at NMSU instead of the
“That was a better proposal and a better way of doing it than UNM,” the newspaper quoted Domenici as saying.