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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rubio And Martinez: Now Both GOP Hispanic Stars Have Immigration Baggage, Plus: Capital Outlay Debate; Susana Gets Both Blame And Credit 

Rubio & Martinez
Governor Martinez and Florida US Senator Marc Rubio have more in common than both being mentioned as possible 2012 GOP VP nominees. They now both have immigration baggage in their political backgrounds going public.

Martinez, who has hammered away at the NM law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses, hit choppy waters when it was revealed this year that her grandparents on her father's side entered the USA illegally from Mexico. That was not information she volunteered on the campaign trail, despite being implored to do so by the Alligators. Now rising star Rubio, 40, joins Susana in taking a credibility hit. From the WaPo:

During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marc Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power. But a review of documents---including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than two-and-a-half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.

Some day there will be a GOP Hispanic VP candidate. The odds that it will be Martinez are probably more than 50 to one and the previously much better odds for Rubio just took a dive. The lesson being that candidates toying with hot button issues like immigration need to clean out their own closets before they start firing on all cylinders.

DON'T GIVE HER CREDIT?

We are wrong to continue to give credit to the Guv for pushing for a larger capital outlay bill--$212 million--rather than the $86 million approved by the recent special session of the Legislature. So say several correspondents, including this tapped in Alligator in Santa Fe:

You are wrong on the capital outlay. If it were not for Martinez' insistence that the capital outlay bill in the January legislative session be filibustered (and GOP Senator John Ryan's willingness to do so) there would have been $200 million plus circulating in the public infrastructure jobs market since July 1. She sacrificed jobs for an attempt to get her illegal driver's rivers license bill to a vote. Then, Martinez tried to correct this jobs killing mistake during the recent special session. State income projections started to slide and with it the amount of capital outlay legislators were comfortable with approving. Senator Ryan and the Governor) bear the burden of having sacrificed jobs with a failed political strategy in the 60 day session.

It's true that hard-right tactics from the Guv killed the capital outlay back in January and just about every other major measure. But doesn't she get credit for being more aggressive than those Senate Dems (the party of the working class?) for coming back with a beefy capital outlay bill that would put many more unemployed New Mexicans to work? She does. It was the coterie of Senators aligned with Dem Senator John Arthur Smith that killed the larger figure and gave Martinez what we see as a political victory.

It's true that Martinez screwed up in January, but it was the conservative Senate Dems (the party of the working classes?) who dropped the ball for the thousands of jobless during the special session. Their excuse that state income projections are faltering is weak. But more than that, what about the $400 million in unspent capital outlay that is just sitting there in Santa Fe---year after year? Whey couldn't the Senate Dems tap into that to make up the difference between the $212 million the Guv wanted and the $86 million we had to settle for? Good question, huh?

LAYING THEM OFF

With the state economy still mostly at a standstill, can Martinez cool is with the layoffs in state government? At the start of the year, she said there would be none, but then announced them for the tourism and public education departments.

The state has reduced its work force by over 15% since the end of the bull market. At this point, layoffs are destructive to private businesses, many of which are struggling mightily. They are losing customers. If necessary, Santa Fe can continue to trim the payroll through attrition, furloughs, negotiated salary cuts and other cost-saving measures.

MONEY NOT EVERYTHING?

Rep. Martin Heinrich has opened up a two to one money lead over rival Hector Balderas, but this emailer recounts the 1998 race for the Dem nod for Lt. Governor featuring Diane Denish and Stephanie Gonzales that they say might apply to today's Senate contest:


Money isn't everything in the Senate race. I can't exactly remember the numbers but when Denish ran against Stephanie Gonzales in 1998, Denish outspent her by about 10 times and won in a squeaker. My point is that the gap won't be so wide with Hector and Martin. Hispanic Democrats are hungry for the spot.

THAT "BOLD" CHANGE

You remember Susana's campaign slogan--"Bold Change." Well, it's back:

If there was one word that Texas Gov. Rick Perry wanted Republican voters to remember about the tax reform plan he unveiled this morning in South Carolina it was “bold”.

He said it no fewer than three times — he even threw in a “very bold ” — during his 30-minute speech designed to unveil his 20 percent flat tax proposal. Perry also railed against the “status quo” on any number of occasions — “Americans are not looking for a reshuffling of the status quo,” he said at one point — and repeatedly used words like “re-invent” and “re-order” to describe what he was aiming to do.

You mean "Bold Change" was not a spontaneous and authentic description of our Governor's intent? You mean it came from one of those scientific focus groups that tests phrases? You mean it is still working so its been adopted by a presidential candidate? Gees, it's enough to turn you cynical about politics today....

LITTLE JOE

We receive this word from reader Pat Corcoran about Little Joe Montoya of Santa Fe, son of the late Dem US Senator Joe Montoya:

Little Joe Montoya died Sunday afternoon in Albq @ the Heart Center. Joe was a wonderful person and he and his family sure meant a lot to me---He was just about to finish a cabin.

SPORTS CORNER


What do you think? Replace the UNM football Lobos this weekend with the outperforming UNM soccer team? Things can't get any worse in Lobo football land, can they?

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