It's a few days late, but the minority leader delivers
State Rep. Don Bratton last week sent a press release to one newspaper, saying he had an apology in hand from Raul Burciaga of the Legislative Council Service over a bungled bill.
Bratton chose the Carlsbad Current-Argus, hometown newspaper of Rep. Cathrynn Brown, in seeking placement of this Republican handout.
Brown, R-Carlsbad, was living in a pressure cooker because of her anti-abortion bill that, by our reading, would have required victims of rape and incest to carry pregnancies to term as a means of preserving evidence. Brown says her bill's focus was on perpetrators of sex crimes, not the victims.
Bratton, R-Hobbs, initially would not make public Burciaga's letter public, even after claiming in the press release that an apology had been made to Brown by the man in charge of bill drafters.
“There seems to have been a great deal of commotion about a non-issue, regarding the release of this letter,” Bratton said. “The true issue at hand is clearing the air on what happened with a piece of legislation.”
Really? How could you remove the fog, Mr. Minority Leader, without your supposed smoking gun -- the letter?
Here is the relevant section of Burciaga's letter, courtesy of Bratton:
Dear Representative Bratton:
I apologize for the miscommunication between our office and Representative Cathrynn N. Brown regarding House Bill 206.
We do our best to accurately and precisely capture a legislator's intent when we draft legislation, but, of course, we are not perfect. While I do not believe the legislation we drafted for Representative Brown has been accurately characterized, the bill that was provided to her did not clearly articulate the objective she has stated.
Now that all is said and done, Brown still bears responsibility for the bill. She sponsored it. She introduced it. The proposal carried her name. She could have rejected the council service draft and worked on the bill until she had it honed to her satisfaction.
At least two House Republicans said, not for attribution, that Brown's bill was a poor piece of legislation, no matter where the focus was supposed to be.