Monday, November 28, 2011

Martinez's New Script: Hollywood Is Now Cast As The Good Guys; What's Up With That? Plus: New Mexico And Her US Senators--All Of Them 

The Guv
The Martinez administration isn't exactly editing out the words it employed to bash Hollywood while taking after the film industry's tax incentives this year, but it has quickly switched roles from punisher to praiser of the film makers. Chief of Staff Keith Gardner signaled the change in the political set at a a recent industry gathering:

We are open and friendly for the film business, and we look forward to continuing that openness and friendliness in the future.

But, Keith, what about when Susana said Hollywood was taking money away from New Mexico's school children? Here she is during her inaugural address in January:

In these tough times, when New Mexicans are facing an historic budget deficit, I cannot support subsidizing the expense of Hollywood by cutting programs like child care services for working moms.

The Guv's new script is courtesy of Gardner and one that would make Hollywood proud:

Some people are going to try and say whatever they want to score political points. We’re talking about scoring business points. Politics should be outside of business. It’s about improving the industry. That’s what the whole discussion was during the legislative session. We said there has to be predictability in this program. And we’ve given the studios that.

The Legislature capped the tax incentives for film makers at $50 million a year and that may be costing the state numerous film productions, say industry experts.

Martinez and company no doubt are wary of a future campaign ad that shows a severe drop off in film making since she took office. And who knows? Maybe she's hunting Hollywood money for her campaign coffers.

Whatever the case, it is live and learn for the Martinez administration, in office barely a year now but confronted by a lengthy and brutal recession that is giving them little to boast about on the jobs or economic development front. Bashing Hollywood wasn't getting them anywhere and they learned.

Now if Susana could start returning to the center on some other key issues, we just might have a governorship that leaves adolescence and takes a starring role in some adult political drama.

Sen. Cutting
That question Wednesday from reader Jacob "Jackie" Block wondering whether New Mexico has had two non-natives simultaneously representing it in the US Senate was too easy for the Alligator types and political junkies checking in here.

A flood of responses resulted, with the first two winning the promised free enchilada lunch for the correct answer. A reader who prefers to remain anonymous nailed it first in the wee morning hours, followed by a reader who should know the answer--Terry Brunner. He's a former state office director for Senator Jeff Bingaman and currently the State Director for USDA Rural Development. (He makes a pretty good penny over there so he should be buying us lunch but a deal is a deal).

One of the reasons this was way too easy was because--unbeknownst to us--Senator Bingaman's web site has a section listing all of those who have served in the Senate from New Mexico, along with their birth places,

In any event, there was a wealth of information in many of the correct responses, so here's a selection:

Anonymous--In today's issue of your blog, you posed the following question from one of your readers: If either Martin Heinrich or Heather Wilson wins the Senate race that means that we will not have a native born New Mexican in the US Senate. Has this happened before and if so when?

The answer to this question is yes, it has happened many times, including from statehood in 1912 all the way until Dennis Chavez was appointed by Governor Tingley to fill the vacancy created by the death of Bronson Cutting in May 1935. In fact, Dennis Chavez was the very first native born New Mexican to serve as a US Senator from New Mexico, but NM did not have two native born New Mexicans serving in the US Senate at the same time until Pete Domenici took office in January 1973 and served with Joseph Montoya.

In fact, it is happening again right now. Current Senator Tom Udall was born in Tucson and current Senator Jeff Bingaman was born in El Paso.

A total of 16 individuals have served as a US Senator from New Mexico since statehood, and only five of those sixteen men have been native born New Mexicans (Dennis Chavez, Edwin Mechem, Joseph M. Montoya, Pete Domenici and Harrison Schmitt).

Seven men have held the Senate seat currently occupied by Tom Udall since statehood, and only one of those seven men was a native born New Mexican, to wit, Pete Domenici.

Take the amount that you would spend on me for that enchilada lunch and contribute it to the Roadrunner Food Bank or a similar local food charity. Thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving.

TERRY BRUNNER--What a good question from my friend Jackie as we approach 100 years of statehood. New Mexico's first two senators, Thomas Catron and Albert Fall were both born out of state. Catron was born in Missouri and Fall in Kentucky. Carl Hatch, Sam Bratton, Bronson Cutting, Holm Bursum and Octaviano Larrazolo (Born in Chihuahua, interestingly enough) were all born out of state. Dennis Chavez was the first native born New Mexican in the Senate and it wasn't until Pete Domenici got elected and served with Joe Montoya that we had two native New Mexicans serving at once.

DENISE LAMB--Joe, We’ve had more non-natives than natives as senator. Currently, Tom Udall, born in AZ. But Catron, Jones, Cutting, Larrazolo, Fall, Bursum, Bratton, Hatch and Anderson were all born elsewhere.

ROBERT PALACIOZ--Jeff Bingaman was the last non-native Senator for New Mexico who was born in El Paso, Tx. If you go to his web site there is a section that lists all of the past New Mexico Senators.

As iconic as he was as the senior U.S. Senator from New Mexico and chairman of numerous committees, Democrat Clinton Anderson, was born in South Dakota.

--Joe: It's happening right now. Neither of our presently serving U.S. senators were born in New Mexico. Jeff Bingaman was born in El Paso and Tom Udall In Tucson.

PATRICK KILLEN--Joe, to answer Jacob Block's question, we've most certainly had our fair share of non-native U.S. Senators--including both of New Mexico's current Senators! The list: Thomas Catron (1912-17), the scandalous Albert B. Fall (1912-21), Andrieus Jones (1917-27), Holm Bursum (1921-25; born in Iowa, despite his family's strong presence in Socorro these days), Sam Bratton (1925-33), Bronson Cutting (1927-28; 1929-1935), Octaviano Larrazolo (1928-29; Larrazolo was actually born in Mexico), Carl Hatch (1933-49), Clinton Anderson (1949-73), Jeff Bingaman (1983-present; born in El Paso, Texas), and Tom Udall (2009-present; born in Tucson, Arizona).

I don't think anyone can dispute the contributions of non-native New Mexicans like Bronson Cutting, a Republican newspaper publisher who helped elevate the national debate on censorship and freedom of the press, or Clinton Anderson, a Democrat who was instrumental in moving the space program forward. Whether you like him or not, Jeff Bingaman's contributions to the state over the past thirty years have been significant. So, without taking sides in the Senate race, it's clear that you don't have to be "native-born" to represent New Mexico with distinction.

ART TERRAZAS--A cursory review would seem to reveal that from 1912-1935 neither one of the Senators from New Mexico were native-born.It's also interesting to note that while Senator Jeff Bingaman was raised in Silver City. He was born in El Paso, Texas. New Mexico is currently represented by two individuals that are not native-born. Though, I would say that has absolutely no effect on either of them being wonderful advocates and Senators for the Land of Enchantment.

W. PEIFER--This is too easy. Try right now! No need to go back any further than today, because neither Udall or Bingaman are native-born New Mexicans. Tom was born in Tucson, AZ and Jeff was born in El Paso, TX.

DAVY JONES--From 1912-1935, all of the U.S. Senators were not native born (Catron, Fall, Jones, Bursum, Bratton, Cutting, Larrazolo & Hatch -- and later on, neither was Clinton Anderson) and again currently since 2009, since neither Sens. Udall or Bingaman were born in NM (Udall born in Tucson and Bingaman in El Paso).

In fact, since 1912, only for the 10-year period from 1973-83 have both Senators been native born to NM (the last 4 years of Joe Montoya's term and Jack Schmitt's entire term, along with Pete Domenici's service starting in 1973).

--Joe: I'm an daily reader of your blog and appreciate your work. I think that our 3rd and 4th Senators who served together from 1862-1927 were both born out of state. Andrieus A. Jones was born in Union County Tennessee and served from 1862-1927 Albert B. Fall was born in Frankfurt, Kentucky and served from 1861 to 1944.

DAVID ODEGARD--Senator Chavez was the first Senator born in New Mexico. So from statehood in 1912 until Senator Chavez took office on May 11, 1935, New Mexico did not have a native born New Mexican in the US Senate...Since then, we have always had at least one native born New Mexican as a Senator.

ELISA MONTOYA--Buenos días, Joe. New Mexico did not have two native New Mexican born Senators serving together in Washington until 1973 when we had both Pete Domenici and Joseph Montoya. From 1912 to 1935, our two elected Senators were not born in New Mexico. It was not until 1935, that New Mexicans sent their first native born, Dennis Chavez, to represent our interests in the nation's capitol.Please see the attached document for the citations. Do I get that free enchilada lunch?

Thanks, Elisa. You were not among the first two respondents, but our anonymous winner wants us to donate his lunch money to charity. Since you asked you are going to join Terry Brunner and me for lunch at Barelas Coffee House. He's from Chicago and we're from Pennsylvania so we need you to come along or they might not let us in the place.

Thanks to the readers for the responses and the interesting info. There's always more to learn about New Mexico politics--even when answering the easy questions.


Since we are already in the new week, this is the quote of the week from last week. It comes from Democratic consultant Harry Pavlides on the new lease deal the Republican Governor Martinez approved for the Downs of ABQ which is partly owned by Paul Blanchard, a major supporter of former Dem Governor Big Bill:

Blanchard's sheets were still warm from Bill when Susana was already climbing in...

The Downs gave $70,000 to Martinez's Guv campaign. There are rumblings that the state could face a lawsuit over its rushed approval of the new racino and 25 year lease deal, but nothing firm.

And so it goes...

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments.

Interested in advertising here? Drop us a line.

Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign