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Friday, April 06, 2012

Friday Clippings From My Newsroom Floor: Susana's VP Chances, Boosting The State Biz Scene, And: Happy Easter, New Mexico 

One of our Alligators sent us this pic of Governor Susana sporting her new and latest look. He says:

Susana visited the Carlsbad Battered Families Shelter sporting a new hair cut and a darker color. She looks VP ready, doesn't she?

Well, she certainly has been getting her fair share of mentions as Romney's possible running mate, but we have no idea if the Guv's new coiffure has anything to do with that. We do know that as a Hispanic female Governor in a party that has trouble attracting minority votes, Martinez will be mentioned as a possible VP pick right up until Romney reveals his choice.

Another Alligator says New Mexico should start taking more seriously the Martinez VP chatter:

With Romney getting pummeled among female voters and Hispanics in swing states, he needs Susana. You can't win with White men alone. You have to be competitive with women and the GOP has no potential moderate female VP candidates but Susana. I can't think of another one nationally.  The only problem is that Susana is really fuzzy on reproductive rights, but she can probably do a good job relating to moderate women....

Agreed. Martinez can growl with the best of them about the conservative agenda, but her pledges to not cut education and Medicaid spending has kept her near the middle ever since she made that statement as a Guv candidate back in the summer of 2010.

Meanwhile, former Guv Gary Johnson, a former GOP presidential contender now making the rounds as a Libertarian Party hopeful, dissed Martinez in a national news interview calling her "Palin-esque," a derogatory reference to 2008 GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin who ended that campaign with a reputation as an intellectual lightweight.

“This is a Sarah Palin-esque kind of choice. She’s served as governor of New Mexico for about the same amount of time,” Johnson said. “I think there were lessons learned [from 2008.]”

But hold on, Gary. Isn't Susana a lot like you? She wields her veto pen frequently as you did, she presides over a gridlocked government as you did and she has pinpointed a legislative leader--Michael Sanchez--as the state's archenemy like you did with then-Senate leader Manny Aragon.

One other thing, Gary. Like Susana, you were known more for your tenacious political personality, not your intellectual prowess.

IT'S THE ECONOMY

Now more of our continuing coverage of the state economy and biz scene. Reader Jim McClure weighs in our ongoing discussion on how to position New Mexico for better times:

Joe, your blog is the only place where any serious discussion of New Mexico's economy is taking place. I agree that it's unrealistic to either hope for continued federal largesse or expect a robust private sector to appear out of nowhere. There are, however, some things New Mexico can do to plant the seeds of a private economy while fighting for the remaining scraps in the government trough.

Improving the business climate would be a good start. It makes more sense to make the overall tax structure business-friendly than to bribe individual companies. Right-to-work legislation has enriched other states and will help here, too. Stepped-up state investment in tourism is a no-brainer. If Mississippi can promote tourism, so can we: Our work force is nearly as uneducated but we have better scenery.

Years ago the Navajo Nation created a national market for its jewelry and art. Since New Mexico has more artists and art galleries than practically anyplace else, can we make this a more effective economic engine? There may be potential in art tourism (We will need to keep the legislature from imposing a new tax on paint and brushes, however.)

NMSU's Chile Pepper Institute seems to be an effective partnership between a public university and a key local industry. Are there other strategic partnership opportunities that can utilize our overabundance of universities?  And, is there any potential for cross-border commerce with Mexico in something other than drugs and guns?

Good thoughts, Jim. We aren't in the "right-to-work" corner, but have been pounding the table for more state dollars to promote tourism--a major small business employer here. We wish Santa Fe would hear it.

Governor Martinez and state Economic Development Director Jon Barela deserve kudos for the attention they have given cross-border commerce. We are making progress. Your thoughts on using the universities for more private partnerships is interesting. We'd like to learn more.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by and making us New Mexico's #1 political web site. We appreciate it. And Happy Easter.

Reporting to you from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

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