The incumbent Governor seems poised to win a second term in spite of her repeated mis-steps, scandals and Tea Party backing. Her? Yes, since Pennsylvania’s race has been over for some time and since I’ve been in New Mexico for the last month we’re discussing The land of Enchantment and Susana Martinez.
Spoken about in GOP circles as a possible 2016 VP candidate it’s important for us to get to know who she is and why she’s cruising to re-election. Her Administration is under federal investigation for a Racino scandal which should derail any chance of federal office but as always in politics, timing is everything.
The First Husband of New Mexico is creating enough scandal for locals to (almost) forget the last man who resided in the Governor’s Mansion and kept getting in trouble (he has a serious zipper problem). Often traveling out of state Mr. Martinez keeps a large contingent of escorts along-State Police who stay with him in high end hotels at taxpayer expense. All this in one of the poorest states in America. From CREW:
the FBI appears to be examining whether the state improperly awarded a 25-year lease to the Downs at Albuquerque racino, a major donor to Gov. Martinez’s campaign and PAC, to continue operating the state fair despite past performance problems. Leaked emails revealed communications between the governor’s staff and lawyers for the Downs during the selection process.
She has also used private emails to conduct official business, an often used ploy to keep secret communications officials don’t want subject to public disclosure. The only reason to do so is to hide corruption. She also cut education and tried to make public the names and addresses of all of New Mexico’s public school teachers.
Susana then had the gall to complain about a former staffer “stealing” her emails. There is a serious pay to play aspect to this state’s governance under her leadership so I understand why she’s upset about this stuff getting out.
So why is she cruising to re-election? Democrats have been unable to mount an effective challenge, that’s why. Gary King is the unimpressive candidate running as her opposition. After a month in Santa Fe I can’t say I’ve seen him do anything except put up a couple billboards on I-25. Martinez is all over television lying about their records. King was able to get an article in The New Mexican telling voters she’s lying but how does that counter a commercial being run ad nauseum statewide?
Susana Martinez has enough baggage to mount a world vacation tour but New Mexico Democrats are either unable or unwilling to bury her with all of it. Not that statewide TV is terribly expensive here. The Albuquerque stations essentially broadcast statewide and their rates are nowhere near what Philadelphia’s are. Susana will cruise in November because the Democratic Party here couldn’t recruit a powerful candidate or raise the money to get their message to voters.