As reported by Tom Cole in this morning’s Albuquerque Journal (Oct. 13), Gov. Bill Richardson has appropriated $1.75 million in stimulus funds for renovations to Los Luceros, the state-owned ranch that is headquarters for a film institute run in collaboration with Robert Redford.
With state government running at least a $250 million deficit, needless to say the legislature’s most well-known fiscal hawk — state Sen. John Arthur Smith (D-Deming) — is giving two big thumbs down to this effort:
Redford — who directed “The Milagro Beanfield War” in New Mexico — teamed up with the state last year to create ”Sundance in New Mexico,” an initiative in which the Department of Cultural Affairs and the New Mexico Film Office work with Redford’s people to create and expand training programs in film, arts, and the environment, specifically for New Mexico’s Native American and Hispanic filmmakers.
According to the Journal article, the $1.75 million renovation includes expanding sleeping quarters and a kitchen, constructing a multipurpose room and a bathhouse and redesigning outdoor space.
This is the second time Richardson has received criticism for his allocation of stimulus money. Last month, he announced spending $2.8 million for a wildhorse refuge.