(Sidebar)Today, the Albuquerque Journal fired what could only be called a devastating torpedo at an already sinking ship. The story (ABQ Journal - Subscription) linked Senator Carraro to a company called Real Turf. Apparently, Carraro was hired as a "business consultant" for a business that did work for state governments and relied upon state appropriations.
For any of you aspiring candidates, it's not a good sign when less than 20% of party activists vote for you in a two-way race. That coupled with relatively low name ID should have been an indication that it was time to look for a life raft not additional petition signatures. Determination can only carry so far... unless you can write million dollar checks to patch the holes in your campaign hull.
According to the story, Carraro had the sense to include contract language making it clear that there could never be a "real or perceived conflict of interest."
"There can never be a real or perceived conflict of interest regarding my positions as a state senator and president of Public Perceptions," he said, adding:We really don't know whether or not Senator Carraro used his position as a state senator to benefit Real Turf. In fact, we'd be hesitant to hire Carraro's company Public Perceptions, because Real Turf went bankrupt after using his consulting services. Our problem is that the senator knew that there could be a perceived conflict of interest as evidenced by the inclusion of the language in his company's contract but he went ahead anyway earning some $40,000 over an eight month period until Real Turf stopped paying him.
"Specifically, it should be noted that recommendations of your product to governmental entities given prior to this contract ... in no way bound you to the employment of Public Perceptions."
For a candidate running on a platform of "experience" this major screw-up shows an astonishing lack of understanding of politics and the media.
After twenty years serving as your State Senator, I bring experience and knowledge of issues to represent The People, not the special interests of political parties, government or big business.Regardless of whether the senator actually did anything wrong or not, the public perception is that he did because he was in a position to do so. By working for Real Turf Carraro managed to create the perception that he works for the very special interests that he claims not to represent and that he's for hire.
Folks, that's a very large political torpedo. For $40,000 he created a public perception that will take a million dollars and weeks of spending it to dispel - neither of which he has. After 20 years in office, Carraro should have known that and never signed a contract that created a perceived or real conflict of interest. Ironically, it was Carraro himself that created the torpedo that will finally sink his congressional ship.