You won’t catch George Buffett and me sitting around a campfire singing “whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.” We’re never going to be close.
George is John Wayne right. I’m a middle-of-the-roader, although critics might suggest I am pinko left. When I called him last week, I was prepared to dislike George. He disappointed me by being a lively sparring partner, fun to talk with.
George Buffett served a quarter of a century in the New Mexico Legislature, but that is not his main claim to fame.
George Buffett makes heavenly candy, but that will not gain him a footnote in New Mexico history.
No, George Buffett’s legend will be his newsletter sent to as many as 9,000 patrons who either cheer or jeer Buffet’s Bullets that target liberals, most commonly, of late, one Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico and national media darling.
Buffet is convinced Richardson has New Mexico riding a high-speed train heading for a collision with financial ruin. Buffet’s Bullets most recently takes aim at the upcoming September election when the Richardson administration hopes to persuade New Mexico voters to increase the amount of money we take from the Permanent Fund.
Supporters say this will help us fund our schools and bring New Mexico education up to snuff. Buffett and others say it is a plot by Bill Richardson to make him look good, to buy votes, and to further his political career, to hell with any adverse effects on the state’s financial future.
George Buffett served 24 years as a Republican House member serving an Albuquerque northeast heights district. He answers criticism that he was not an active participant in debates by saying there is already too much noise in Santa Fe and you can learn a lot more by shutting up.
Is George Buffett to be taken seriously? Well, why not? I am especially impressed by a recent Buffett’s Bullets that takes on New Mexico lobbyists, naming names, both Democrat and Republican. His thesis: New Mexico is for sale.
Make no mistake, George Buffett is a right-wing ideologue. When you play his records you will hear pretty much the same tune, facts carefully chosen to support his tilt.
So, as in the case of the current Buffett’s Bullets, when you read that Bill Richardson has a $64,000 personal chef at taxpayer expense, your instincts tell you there is more to that story.
And so you place two calls to Billy Sparks, the governor’s press guy, to get more shading to the picture. But Billy ignores both calls, and why shouldn’t he? Billy is busy fielding calls from the likes of NBC and CNN and FOX and the New York Times. So why bother with a question from a small-time columnist who writes for New Mexicans?
The $64,000 chef remains a question. But not the most important question. The most important question is why anyone would want to give beer to his horses.
Ned Cantwell of Ruidoso is a retired newspaper publisher and member of the New Mexico Press Association Hall of Fame. E-mail him at email@example.com