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Friday, March 21, 2014

Susana's Sudden Turn On State Employee Unions Brings Reader Reaction And Analysis; The Local And National Angles 

Blog readers see Gov. Martinez's transformation this week into an outspoken foe of state employee unions as a clear play to keep her positioned in the national limelight. One writes:

Isn't Susana's new 2014 union position nothing more than her alignment with national Republicans to run as VP as the Koch brothers demographic trick against Hillary Clinton?  Why can't we accuse her of basically becoming a clone of Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker for no purpose but to woo that national base now?

As you might expect, Martinez's comments that union dues should not be automatically deducted form the paychecks of state workers opened up the proverbial hornets' nest. Another comment:

What, if any, history does (Gov. Martinez husband) Chuck Franco have of being represented by a union during his many jobs in law enforcement?

NM union leaders seem ready for a fight, if that's what the Governor is hungering for. American Federation of Teachers New Mexico (AFT-NM) President Stephanie Ly blasted away:

. . . Governor Martinez trying to distract from the fact that her policies have made New Mexico 50th in child well-being, increased child poverty and failed to put New Mexicans back to work. . . She is launching a political attack on those who disagree with her failed policies. . . .

This legislative session, we won real gains for our communities, students and schools. We are galvanizing thousands of New Mexicans to reclaim the promise of public education. . .It's clear that Governor Martinez is more interested in playing politics, attacking workers and defending the wealthy than standing with the working families of New Mexico.

WHY NOW?

Another reader circles the decision back to the national scene and how Martinez is positioning herself and why now:

She was just a blip on the radar at the recent Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) annual meeting and she wanted to change that. It is a bit like taking this week's game--her re-election bid--for granted to get ready for the big game. The downside may be that she is going to talk the unions into spending money here when they for the most part have set their eyes elsewhere.

Good point. We also see the burning desire of Guv political adviser Jay McCleskey to make long shot Martinez a national figure as key in driving the union attacks. And maybe the unions are the bogeyman that the R's try to use to take control of the state House in November.

As we pointed out yesterday, the union bashing excites the GOP base everywhere, but will it awaken the slumbering Dems and inflame a gubernatorial campaign that has been stuck on simmer? Like most politicians, this is a Governor who does a poll to decide what to have for lunch, so you know her answer...

EMPLOYABLE OR NOT?

Former GOP state Senator turned lobbyist Clint Harden picks up on the blog discussion centered on the large swath of the population here that may not be ready for good, highly-skilled jobs

Being unemployed and unemployable are two different issues. Being unemployable means that a job-seeker does not possess the prerequisite soft skills and qualities that a specific job demands, in spite of being technically proficient.. . .The crucial question we first need to ask is whether the available workforce is unemployed or unemployable? Are there enough jobs or do we really possess the right skills and qualifications for the jobs available? The solution lies not only in ensuring the balance between the two but also in measuring the employability skills efficiently.

Maybe a task force to take a look at the current status of the state workforce?

ANOTHER INSTALLMENT

Now ladies and gentleman--for your reading pleasure--it's another installment in the ongoing soap opera known as "The Most Transparent Administration in State History:"

Nearly six months after a request for expense records for out-of-state travel by the governor and her entourage, the Martinez administration still won’t say how much taxpayers spent on those political trips. The Governor’s Office has sent lists detailing Gov. Martinez’s out-of-state trips for campaign fundraisers and speeches, but the state Department of Finance and Administration has not provided costs of the trips, as formally requested by The Santa Fe New Mexican.

So where are the documents? Well, friends, only The Shadow (governor) knows....

MARCH OF TIME

It doesn't appear Dem US Senator is softening up much from all those desk bound hours in DC:

Senator Heinrich will participate in the 25th annual Bataan Memorial Death March on Sunday, March 23. The memorial event is a challenging 26.2-mile march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their very lives. 

This year's memorial march will include 6,200 participants representing each state in the union and nine foreign countries. At the opening ceremony, the 13 Bataan survivors attending the event will be recognized.

Heinrich is only 42 and should have no trouble completing the inspiring March. Heck, we've got ties older than that. . .

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