Tag Archives: New Mexico

Governor Susana Martinez–the Quiet Reformer

by Whitney Pitcher

Among the several Republican governors who took office following the 2010 election, three have arguably stood out due to their battles against unions: Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina. There is one governor, though, who has quietly begun to  make noticeable reforms and implement conservative policy in her state–Susana Martinez of New Mexico.

Governor Martinez came into office on the heels of corruptocrat governor, former presidential candidate, and former Obama administration commerce secretary nominee, Bill Richardson. Richardson had been charged with pay-to-play schemes involving state bond deals, but those charges just so happened to be dropped by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice in August of 2009. Needless to say, New Mexico was in need of reform. As a four term district attorney, Martinez spent a good deal of her time prosecuting corruption cases, so she certainly has experience taking on corruption.

In a state that President Obama won by 15 points in 2008, Governor Martinez has managed to rack up a 50% approval rating through her first year in office–highest among newly elected Republican governors–and is doing well among independents and Democrats as well. Her gubernatorial priorities have been education, balancing the budget, ensuring transparency and ethics in government, and keeping New Mexicans safe. Sounds kind of familiar, huh?

During her first year in office, Governor Martinez has turned a $400 million budget deficit into an estimated $246 million surplus. Under her direction, her cabinets have made changes to their budgets to make roughly $70 million in cuts. She has also saved money for the state by doing simple things like reducing state office space and state employee cell phone use. and At the same time, New Mexico has become the 4th best state for job growth, and their unemployment rate had gone down two percentage points between October of 2010 and October 2011. She also fought against a $128 million tax increase for small business when she vetoed a portion of a bill proposed by her democratically controlled legislature. Unfortunately, the state’s supreme court overturned her veto when the legislature sued.

Governor Martinez has also made strides to make government more transparent and ethical.  On her first day in office, she signed an executive order that prohibited any part of the New Mexico state government from hiring or retaining lobbyists. She is also asking the legislature to pass a bill that would disallow anyone serving in public office working as a lobbyist for at least two years after their time in government. She has put the state checkbook online and displays the salaries of all state government employees. Governor Martinez has also sold the state’s executive jet, interestingly to a couple from Alaska, and has fired Governor Richardson’s cooks as well.

Her educational initiatives are aimed at “reform, not just money” and include ensuring teachers are properly evaluated and students are reading at their appropriate grade level. She is also urging the legislature to pass legislation overturning New Mexico’s policy that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licences. They are one of two states that allow such practices.  She argues that this policy allows illegal immigrants to get a licence and use that licence to get documentation in other states.She has also expressed pointed criticism against amnesty.

You know her conservative message has to be making an impact and getting under the skin of the Left, as scurrilous statements have been made about her family’s immigration status in order to try to undermine her plans to overturn New Mexico’s drivers’ license policy. Additionally, fellow minority, but liberal politicians  are using racial slurs against her . To be sure, Governor Martinez only has one year under her belt now and time will tell if she will continue to implement further reforms and have continued success in frugal budgeting, but she’s definitely off to quite a start. Besides, how can you not love someone who re-qualifies for her “conceal and carry” license like this?

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Sarah Palin Fights Corruption Again with Martinez Pick

(Susana Martinez, future Governor of New Mexico)

By Stacy Drake
Saturday, Governor Palin announced her support for Susana Martinez in the GOP primary race for New Mexico Governor. Heath Haussamen gives a little overview of the race:

Martinez is in a five-way Republican primary battle. Many analysts believe the race is down to Martinez and Allen Weh, who has been able to outspend Martinez nearly 3-1 because he’s pumped $1 million of his own money into his campaign. Martinez, however, has raised more money from individual donors than Weh or any other candidate in the race.

My mother lives in New Mexico and was very pleased when I talked to her about Governor Palin’s endorsement of Martinez. She, being a very big fan of Governor Palin and also currently supporting Susana Martinez, thought it was nice to see the two world’s collide. She also attended the rally at the Albuquerque Marriott on Sunday morning and enjoyed seeing the governor give a “great speech” yet again. My mother got to see Governor Palin during the 2008 Presidential Election when the McCain campaign stopped over in New Mexico. Living in San Diego, I still have yet to see her give a speech or attend a political event she is involved with.

Tip for SarahPAC: A rally for Carly Fiorina at the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater with Governor Palin would be a great event. It’s near Camp Pendleton (lots of Marines… Marines love the Guv.) and it’s located in North County which is the more Conservative area of the county. It is the site of the last Tea Party I attended. I’m just throwing that out there, and now I digress…

Anyway, I had a long conversation with my mother about why she was supporting Martinez. One of the biggest issues in New Mexico, as it was in Alaska, is political corruption. After Bill Richardson’s stint in that governor’s chair, New Mexico is in dire need of clean leadership. Their problems are rooted deep and seem to be widespread. They need someone that has a record as an anti-corruption crusader, as Susana Martinez has.

From the Martinez Campaign website:

Corruption

Public Officials Will Be Held to Account and Integrity in Government Restored

There will be no higher priority in a Martinez Administration than rooting out corruption in Santa Fe and instilling confidence on the part of the voter and taxpayer in their state government. The waste, fraud and abuse of public funds and taxpayer dollars will cease and those involved in exploiting New Mexico citizens will be confronted head on when I am governor.

Identifying and eliminating corruption will require real, substantive changes in the Roundhouse with the first being, Diane Denish no longer serving in state government. Recently and in response to news that the U.S. Department of Justice would not prosecute the Richardson Administration, Lieutenant Governor Denish responded, “It’s good news for New Mexico.” (Release, Diane Denish, 8/27/09)

Denish’s comment was especially troubling because the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico believed “pressure from the governor’s office resulted in the corruption of the procurement process” and pointed out that the lack of indictments “should not be interpreted as exoneration of any party’s conduct in that matter.” (NM Independent, 8/31/09)

The truth is that “pay to play” has become commonplace and part of everyday business in Santa Fe under Diane Denish’s watch and no one believes that “it’s good news for New Mexico.”

A powerful government without checks and balances is ripe for corruption. That’s why I believe we need a smaller government that is open and transparent. As governor, I will support opening conference committees to the public and will use my prosecutorial experience to end “pay to play” in state government.

Here is a clip of Susana Martinez answering a question from a listener to a New Mexico talk show on the topic:

I can see why Governor Palin chose to endorse this candidacy. She, herself having such a strong record of cleaning up corruption and taking on the crooked establishment. Susana Martinez is also pro-life and a very strong advocate of the second amendment, but I think her record as a corruption fighter probably won over Governor Palin the most. The governor’s Facebook statement indicates as much:

“I’m proud to endorse Susana Martinez for governor of New Mexico. Susana is a strong pro-family, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-development fiscal conservative who’s going to fight the corruption that’s plagued her state and bring transparency, accountability, and renewed fiscal vitality to New Mexico.

As a tough district attorney, Susana fights for justice everyday in this promising, beautiful state. Her unwavering commitment to bring justice speaks to her determination and strength of character.

As governor, Susana will lead New Mexico to a new economic vitality based on free market reform that cuts out the cronyism, invites competition, reduces taxes, cuts waste, and creates jobs – all while identifying and rooting out the corruption that has taken hold for too long in this state which deserves so much better!”

Another stellar pick from Governor Palin for this primary season. I sincerely hope this puts Susana Martinez over her competitor. No offense to him, considering I don’t know much about the guy, but I understand the need for a strong, anti-corruption, Conservative for the job. Susana Martinez is the person for the job.

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