Senator Tim Jennings, President Pro-Tem of the NM Senate

Air Dates: December 22-24, 2012

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“A word about Tim Jennings: …A 32-year run, a 34 year senate veteran, he is one of a kind. He loved the senate dearly and brought a country charm that may be the last of its kind. Who else would bring live chickens onto the floor and complain that with the passage of the cockfighting ban in 2007 they were facing massive layoffs....or would bring two tin cans with strings attached to emphasize how easy it would be for the governor to communicate directly with the senate?” -- Senator Dede Feldman, on Senator Jennings As Senator Tim Jennings, President Pro-Tem of the State Senate, prepares to leave his post, host Lorene Mills talks with him about his long career as a public servant. They discuss the triumphs in healthcare accessibility championed by Tim and his wife Patty that led to the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool, as well as partisanship, and how under Tim's leadership the senate functioned and thrived across party lines. The Senator also speaks about the recent and controversial election. Senator Jennings was first elected to the New Mexico Senate in 1978 and has served in almost every legislative leadership post in the Senate: Minority Whip, Majority Whip, Minority Leader, Majority Leader, all the way up to President Pro-Tempore. Using his unique style and “country charm” Jennings guided the senate to great productivity through very partisan times. Jennings reflects on how politics has changed in the 34 years he is been in the Senate, and how elections and campaigning also have changed. --- QUOTES: “Now we have all these outside groups that come in, that spend ungodly amounts of money spewing nothing but hate. A democracy can’t survive in hate and I refuse to participate in that.” “You know, my own race all by itself, I didn’t really lose. It was stolen from me by outsiders and I am sure the governor doesn’t feel that way, but you know there is life beyond this thing. You know a prosecutor’s theory is always as long you can get a conviction it is okay... I don’t think anyone can ever accuse me of not working for the best interest of the state.” “It has been a wonderful ride… because we have done it together as friends… That’s the way I believe democracy was when it started.”