Friday, September 16, 2011

Guv's Undocumented Granddad Had Deep El Paso Roots, Plus: Susana's Charm Offensive; Taking Meetings With Nearly All Lawmakers 

Gov. & granddad obit (click to enlarge)
Interest in Governor Martinez's background went off the charts when she confirmed that her grandparents on her father's side entered the USA illegally. The revelation came in the midst of the heated debate over Martinez's continuing push to have the state law repealed that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. Now we have new info....

Martinez said that her grandfather, Adolfo Martinez, "abandoned" the family when the Governor's father, Jake, was five years old. But one of our blog readers digs up records that shows the Governor's grandfather did not simply disappear from the El Paso area which he entered illegally. That reader provides us with the obituary of Adolfo Martinez that ran in the El Paso Herald Post. It reveals that grandfather Martinez had set down deep roots in El Paso. Our reader writes:

I found Adolfo Martinez's obit in the El Paso Herald Post archives. Whoever submitted it seemed to know the names of all his children and where they lived, as well as how many children and great-grandchildren he had. This would suggest there was some direct contact with his family. He fought in the Mexican Revolutionary War with Carranza.

And the obit:

Adolofo Martinez, 82,...resident of El Paso 60 years. Member of Cristo Rey Catholic Church. A cab driver for 50 years prior to his retirement and an ex-Mexican Revolutionary Veteran Fighter with General Carranza,

Survived by four sons: Oscar, Jake and Victor Martinez all of El Paso. Adolfo Martinez, Jr. of Los Angeles; two daughters, Mrs. Yolanda Sanchez of Calif. and Mrs. Carolina Figueroa of El Paso, brother, Luis Martinez of Calif.; 22 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren....

The Governor's statement seemed to infer that her grandfather disappeared from the scene after he entered the USA illegally. But for decades Adolfo Martinez was a highly visible presence in El Paso and a father six times over. His obit says he was a working man for 50 years. He came searching for a better life than he had in Mexico and appears to have found it. In the process he made possible the first Hispanic female Governor in the United States.


The Guv had a chance to cut a deal on shoring up the state's unemployment fund that could have generated some bipartisan support and shown a hint of compromise that analysts of the legislative-Guv relationship have been looking for. But it is not in the cards:

The Governor’s Office signaled that Martinez would oppose the plan because of its impact on businesses.“The governor does not believe politicians should arbitrarily increase tax rates on New Mexico businesses,” a Martinez spokesman said.

Conservative Dem Senator John Arthur Smith offered the compromise deal. The Guv's rejection of it signals anew the trouble her agenda is having.


She may still not be in a compromising mood, but the Guv is making the right move by scheduling meetings with nearly all the 112 Senators and Representatives. Maybe we'll even get some pictures of some of them with the Guv. We noted this week there haven't been any in the papers or on TV in her first nine months. Thursday she met with the most liberal member of the Senate--Jerry Ortiz y Pino--who said it was a good step forward. The Senate leadership will now have to be hawk-eyed to see if the Guv is successful in twisting some arms for her stalled agenda--including those hyper-controversial driver's licenses.

Who knows if the charm offensive will work, but shaking hands is usually more productive than digging in your heels.

By Monday, the governor's spokesman said Martinez will have met with 90 percent of all representatives and 81 percent of all senators.

That translates into the Guv meeting with 63 of the 70 members of the House and 34 members of the 42 member Senate. Are we seeing a gubernatorial growth spurt here?


Reader Joan Fenicle writes:

Why is it everyone knows what a great place this is, especially for creative people, except our elected officials? This little film is a great testimonial and should be required viewing about what is so special about this place. Note--it's about our natural beauty, the arts, opportunities in the film industry, the friendly people, the clean air....

This is indeed a special place, Joan. That can be forgotten when the focus is on the zany politics.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping in.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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