Wednesday, June 20, 2012
What Does Email Scandal Reveal About Her Guv Skills? An Alligator Analysis, Plus: Does Eric Griego Have Any Political Future? And: Hungry In DC
We start today today with an email from Governor Martinez that some of our analysts think is pretty revealing. It surfaced in the email scandal that shrouds Santa Fe. First, we run the email she sent from her Susana PAC account--not her official state email--and then the analysis:
The Guv's message is dated August 14, 2011 and the subject is "Mansfield Escape." It was sent to six top administration figures, including Chief of Staff Keith Gardner, Deputy Chief Ryan Cangiolosi as well as political advisor Jay McCleskey. The press reports:
"David Mansfield, an inmate at the state prison in Los Lunas, had escaped from a prison farm Aug. 13. He was captured the next day.
In her email, the governor is talking about a report, apparently about the escape. "I have painfully gone over this report and I have questions," she wrote. "I have also provided INSTRUCTIONS ... These have deadlines. These are not suggestions. I want my questions answered on this same document by the Corrections Department," she wrote. "... I want responses to my questions no later than Tuesday, August 17, 2011 at 5 p.m."
Okay, now to the analysis from one of our Alligators familiar with the workings of government at the highest levels:
This email provides a window into Martinez's management style. She clearly is having a difficult time building an effective operation if she needs to email six people across state government to deal with a relatively minor corrections issues and outline to the group a list of explicit directions in a demanding fashion. Most Senators, Governors and other executives in political office develop a strong Chief of Staff who dispenses the Governor's orders to staff which then go down the chain of command. Her reliance on McCleskey also shows that she has difficulty relying on her official staff.
The email also shows a governor lashing out at staff and frustrated with their inability to follow direction. That's not the fault of staff as much as it is the Governor for failing to recruit and develop competent staff. It is also indicative of a Governor that is unable to see the big picture, gets lost in the details and is far away from learning the job. This explains not only the lack of progress made by her Administration but also the lack of consistency. She's got some major problems over there that need fixing.
Interesting stuff. We do note that Susana's email was sent 10 months ago and maybe there's been some change since, but this email clearly shows a frustrated chief executive.
Does Eric Griego still fantasize about winning a seat in Congress? Well, he isn't saying, but the Progressive Change Campaign Committee which devoted a lot of energy and money to his unsuccessful bid for the Dem nomination for the ABQ US House seat comes with this:
Eric is not just a candidate. He is part of our progressive movement who has been elected twice to public office. We look forward to working with him for many years in the future--including when he eventually serves in Congress.
It's hard to see where Griego goes from here. His term as a state Senator expires at the end of the year. If Dem Michelle Lujan Grisham wins the ABQ seat over Republican Janice Arnold-Jones, which in the early going seems likely, that seat could be off the market for years to come.
Griego gambled when he gave up a $90,000 a year job at NM Voices for Children to run for Congress Not all gambles pay off. Now, even if Griego was looking to play the roulette wheel again, it's hard to see any space where he could even place a bet.
Some Dems are also chattering that Griego is not coming with any backing for Michelle. They speculate he is still upset about the negative TV spot she cut revealing his checkered traffic record.
THE HISPANIC FACTOR
Hispanics by the numbers:
In 1992, 87 percent of the electorate was white, according to exit polls. Sixteen years later, whites made up just 74 percent of all voters. (The number of white voters as a percentage of the overall electorate has dropped in each of the four elections since 1992.)
Over that same time period, Hispanic voters have quadrupled as percentage of the overall electorate--going from 2 percent in 1992 to 9 percent on 2008. (Black voters have grown more marginally--from 8 percent in 1992 to 13 percent in 2008 — while Asian-Americans have largely stayed stagnant.)
Obama leads big among Hispanics and with his plan to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants the GOP has its hands full here.
There are so many cool things to see in New Mexico, things we need to be promote to the nation so our tourism industry recovers from the long bear market. Could we use more lures? Why not? From DC:
Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced legislation that would designate Manhattan Project sites around the country as a National Historical Park. Senator Tom Udall is a cosponsor. The legislation stems from the findings of a report prepared by the National Park Service and the Department of Energy that says the best way to preserve and interpret the Manhattan Project is for Congress to establish a national historical park at the three sites where much of the critical scientific activity associated with the project occurred: Los Alamos, Oak Ridge (TN) and Hanford (WA)....
Well, if they are going to cut funding for Los Alamos, maybe we can make a little of it with tourism dollars.
THE SENATE RACE
Speaking of Los Alamos (and Sandia Labs) we've been pounding the table that federal funding for them--and the billions in other cash that flows here from Uncle Sam--needs to be front and center in the race to replace Jeff Bingaman in the US Senate this year. Sure, national issues are important, but none more so than our own economic future so tied as it is to that federal funding.
Glad to see the Journal's Michael Coleman putting some heat on our Senate contenders--the GOP's Heather Wilson and Dem Martin Heinrich--on the issue. A highlight: Heather says she would protect the labs in the Senate, but would not tell the reporter how she would have voted on a cut to Los Alamos that the GOP controlled House recently papproved but contained billions in other funding for the state. (Heinrich voted for it).
Heather, you can do better than that. But give her credit. She is ready to have the debate over who will fight for the state's funding--and with no apologies to her party's radical right wing. As for Heinrich, was it a master political stroke for him to win a seat on the House Armed Services Committee during his first term in the House?
Certainly, we are hoping for a productive campaign from Martin and Heather. Having just come through an ABQ congressional campaign where traffic tickets and nursing home conditions were the prominent issues, we know we can do better. That means Heinrich should stay away from the story from back in the day about Heather's hubby allegedly patting a pizza boy on the butt and that Heather should stick to Heinrich's voting record--not to his scattered work history--before he entered public life. We've heard enough about both....
The Senate contenders aren't just on TV, they're starting to work the grassroots as well. About Heather:
Heather Wilson, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, announced Tuesday (June 12) El Prado resident Mike Dobbs and Taos resident Ken Scarborough will serve as the campaign’s co-chairs for Taos County.
“I’m happy to bring Ken and Mike aboard our campaign to get America on track,” Wilson said in a prepared statement. “With their help, we will continue to build momentum and strong grassroots support all across the state.”
HUNGRY IN DC
Our restaurant reviews from last Friday's blog secured the attention of Ned Farquhar, a New Mexican doing time in DC:
Joe, Here I am in Washington, DC, three and a half years distant from the many enticements of New Mexico (after moving here to work for Secretary Ken Salazar at the Interior Department). Like other beached New Mexicans who washed up on this shore, I avidly consume your daily blog. The politics are great. Sure. But nothing beats Friday's food column. I was transported by your evocation of flavors, scents, and the affordability of life on the Middle Rio Grande. Thanks.
Thanks for checking in from DC, Ned. And thanks to all our readers here and around the USA for making us New Mexico's #1 political web site. It's a hoot...
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