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Monday, June 25, 2012

Susana's Defense: "The Dems Did It Too"; Email Scandal Update, Plus: On The Heather Watch, And: Our Bottom Lines For A Summer Monday 

Republicans seem to be playing with fire with their strategy to deflect the email scandal that has engulfed the Martinez administration. They are now pointing to past examples of Democrats using private email accounts to communicate business--some of it official and some of it campaign related. The examples they provide are nowhere near the seriousness of a sitting Governor, her top aides and and her private political advisor conducting state business via private email, but the R's seem to be saying their email scandal--which we have said amounts to a shadow government--is no big deal. Why? Because they say others in government have used private email. But as your mom told you when you were seven, "If Johny jumped off the bridge, would you?"

We say the R's are playing with fire because they are not saying the private emailing by Martinez and her administration is ethically or legally proper. In fact, by pointing to past Dem emails they are trying to frame their case as "everyone does it, so please move on and leave us alone."

Didn't your mom also tell you "two wrongs don't make a right?"

And just why is it so hard to "move on?" Well, look at this:

The governor’s deputy chief of staff, Ryan Cangiolosi, sent the email to  (Economic Development Secretary) Barela in May 2011, saying chief of staff Keith Gardner wanted updates on a jobs report and on department operations. Cangiolosi could not be reached for comment about why his communication to Barela was sent from and to a personal email account. Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said that Cangiolosi “doesn’t recall” why the personal email account was used for state business.

"Doesn't recall?" We've heard that before. No wonder the R's want Attorney General King and anyone else who has the urge to look into that hole to just go away.

WEIGHING IN

The intrepid Rio Grande Sun weighs in on emailgate or whatever moniker this scandal is going to become known as:

All documents produced by a public employee or elected official, regardless of form, is a public record, unless it falls within the (legal) exceptions...The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government executive committee explained this tactfully to...the governor June 16 in a meeting in Albuquerque. Then the governor says, use your public email accounts. Good for her, but we like the old, “trust but verify” adage and that’s not possible here...

HEATHER WATCH

We don't think she is close to this yet, but NM GOP US Senate candidate Heather Wilson, who has refused to take a stand on the controversial Ryan House budget, has some thinking to do. The news:

The Montana Republican Party paid for an ad praising the state’s GOP U.S. Senate candidate, Denny Rehberg, for voting against House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s budget in 2011.

“Rehberg refused to support a Republican budget plan that could harm the Medicare program so many of Montana’s seniors rely on,” the ad’s narrator says.

Rehberg, a sitting congressman, was one of only four Republicans in the U.S. House to vote against Ryan’s budget plan in March 2011. He is now challenging Democratic Sen. John Tester in what’s expected to be a close race.

Wilson, a former five term ABQ congresswoman, has refused to say if she would have voted for the Ryan budget, but she has been trying to back off statements she made in 2002 in support of privatizing Social Security.

Social Security and Medicare are polling off the charts in terms of importance with many voter groups. It appears to be Heather's main vulnerability in moderate New Mexico. Will she need to pull a Montana and break with the Ryan Medicare plan? For Heather, everything has to be on the table--if she wants to win over Dem Martin Heinrich.

BILL NOT IN JAIL

Speaking of being on the table--or in this case at the table--former Governor Big Bill was a member of the Sunday Meet the Press round table to discuss the political issues of the day. The program also conducted an interview with Florida Senator and possible GOP VP candidate Marc Rubio.

Hey, wasn't Richardson supposed to be drawn and quartered, indicted and then thrown in the basement of the Dona Ana County jail and left to rot? See that, Susana? Don't worry too much about that email scandal...

And reader Jim McCaughey writes of Bill's latest network appearance:

First I see Governor Richardson on Meet the Press and now I see Attorney General Gary King on Fox News. What's the deal? Are they running for something, or is it summer and these guys are the only people available? Bill looked a bit chubby, so I am guessing he is not running for anything!

Bill isn't running for anything, Jim. But Gary King still harbors dreams of being New Mexico's Governor.

By the way, an Alligator writes in that under Big Bill the watch phrase was "Pay to Play" and that under Susana it is "Pay the PAC"--as in SusanaPAC.

LITTLE BEAR'S RAMPAGE

 Reader Ed Lopez of ABQ (son of the late legendary state Senator Eddie Lopez of Santa Fe) writes of the impact of this month's fire near Ruidoso:

Greetings Joe—Great job with the primary election coverage and related fallout…you’ve been one busy blogger!

I wanted to share with you the attached picture of what is left of a once great tree outside my little sister’s home near Ruidoso. The house burned to the ground last week.  Fortunately, everyone escaped safely and all was insured.  I was moved by the pic that my brother-in-law, Corey Walker, took not only because it contrasts a ray of hope in the wake of devastation, but especially because he took it the very day they were allowed to inspect the damage. I’m lucky to have family like these folks.


That is some photo, Ed. This has been a rough summer for our Ruidoso area neighbors. They have our support.

THE BOTTOM LINES

Reader Jose Campos writes from Valencia County:

Joe, When in the Los Lunas area, try TJ's restaurant for a true New Mexican meal. And who knows who you may run into there, the Majority leader of the Senate, or one of our other local politicians. TJ's has become the Barelas of our County. Also, in Belen is the restaurant run by Mayor Rudy Jaramillo. Rutillio's is also a local favorite. We are a little South of the big city, but not as far South as Susana!

We'll do it, Jose. Here's Jay Leno to wrap the Monday blog:

 "Well, the House committee is now recommending that Attorney General Eric Holder be cited for contempt of Congress. Now, don't confuse that for what you and I have. That's contempt for Congress. That is a totally different issue."

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