Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mama Mia! Mother Jones Marks Martinez As A Petty Player And Lays Into Shadow Governor Jay; Latest National Media Blow Further Lays Bare The Guv's Image Versus Her Reality, Also: Impact On Guv Campaign Analyzed And Local Media Treatment Of Latest National Scoop 

Sometimes it's best left for others to say. And so it is today in the aftermath of that Mother Jones piece that follows others in unmasking Governor Martinez and her Shadow Governor Jay McCleskey. From Salon:

The result is a really enlightening peek into what this sort of administration actually sounds like on the inside. By “this sort of administration,” I mean one run by a bunch of petty assholes who play-act like politics in a Mamet-scripted masculinity contest. It’s easy to imagine that the governorship of George W. Bush wasn’t entirely dissimilar, with a checked-out executive and a powerful political operative running the show. Other recently released internal communications suggest a similar environment in New Jersey.

Bad boy behavior (and now bad girl) has run amok in the Martinez administration. It includes Chief of Staff Keith Gardner caught on tape calling a state senate leader a cocksucker and saying he uses private email--not government email--so he won't go to jail. And then there's political adviser McCleskey's private email saying "Buster screwed us" as the administration apparently tried to wire the lucrative ABQ Downs racino deal. And, of course, Republican lawyer/lobbyist Pat Rogers making racist comments about Native Americans and as a result being forced out of the Modrall law firm.

The image that the Governor and the Fifth Floor so carefully craft for public consumption is so diametrically opposed to who they truly are that they make Jekyll and Hyde look tame.

The cynicism and narcissism exhibited by Martinez and her Anglo entourage in the room where the leaked audio was recorded in Oct. 2010 is palpable. But, as Chris Rock says, "If it's all White, it's all right."

Top campaign aide Matt Kennicott likens the now deceased House Speaker Ben Lujan to a "retard." But Martinez--who showcases her developmentally disabled sister at every opportunity, including in her latest TV ad--doesn't utter a peep of protest.

Kennicott apologized for the comment, but no one in the inner circle of Susana has to worry about being fired. Not when your exit interview might be with the FBI.

(Adding insult to injury Kennicott is now a top figure at the state Human Services Department that administers mental health programs.)

The Speaker's son, northern Dem US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, reacted:

“These disrespectful comments about Speaker Luján and my fellow New Mexicans are appalling and disgraceful. It is sad that a Martinez official believes that New Mexicans who speak with a Spanish accent have a disability or that they use such disparaging terms. It is troubling that Governor Martinez has allowed a culture in which these comments and other offensive remarks by her staff are deemed acceptable.

Does the Governor have the class and character to pick up the phone and apologize to the Lujan family?


The ignorance Martinez shows on the leaked tapes about the state she hopes to lead is stupefying:

"What is podash? Or ashpod? WIPP?"

Uh, that would be potash, Susana, the stuff used for fertilizer that is a prime driver of the Carlsbad area economy. And you really didn't know in 2010 what WIPP was? Really?

In that declaration of startling public policy illiteracy all of the worst fears about the true purpose of this administration are realized.


Of course, at this point in the proceedings we must issue the standard rejoiner that all of us--both locally and nationally--who dare write or criticize the administration are sexists, racists, political hacks and misfits. Hold it. Are they describing us or themselves?


Speaking of sexism. From the article:

The state's Commission on the Status of Women, a panel created in 1973 to improve health, pay equity, and safety for women.

"What the hell is that?" Martinez asked.

"I don't know what the fuck they do," replied her deputy campaign manager, Matt Kennicott.

"What the hell does a commission on women's cabinet do all day long?" Martinez asked.


The last thing this is about is the use of "salty language" as the Martinez camp tried to spin. Even Diane Denish would agree that Martinez calling her "a little bitch" is hardly news. She's been called that and more in a lifetime in politics.

No, the story has been and continues to be the stranglehold that McCleskey and his acolytes have on the state and city governments, the disastrous results from allowing a political consultant to craft state policy and Governor Martinez's contrived image that is thrown up like a smoke screen to disguise what is really happening in this deeply troubled state.


Speaking of Jay he reprises his hit man role in the Mother Jones piece, screaming in capital letters in a text message about former ABQ GOP state Rep. Janice Arnold Jones:


That kind of borderline personality behavior is old hat around here. The news is the long and painful disclosure to the mass public that Martinez is Jay's clone.


Democratic Guv candidate Lawrence Rael was first out of the gate with comment on the Mother Jones piece. He earned a TV shot for it, a rare event in this sleepy primary campaign. And in a move that got to the heart of the political impact--he released his response first in English and then in Spanish:

New Mexico is a state that is proud of its diverse heritage, including our broad linguistic roots: we may speak with different accents and sometimes in different languages, but we are proud of who we are and where we came from. Her views on women are equally appalling and disrespectful. Gov. Martinez claims to work in a bi-partisan, respectful manner, but it is increasingly clear that the truth is quite the opposite. Her comments about teachers are particularly telling: say one thing, but do and mean another. Her blatant wiliness to deceive New Mexicans and cover up her true beliefs, in order to win elections, are proof that to Gov. Martinez, the truth doesn’t matter.

Rael was born in Sandoval County and has a touch of a Spanish accent--not as heavy as the one Speaker Lujan had--but he is representative of many in the Spanish north and that's where that "retard" comment is going to hurt Martinez.

No one is delusional about the impact of the comments. With millions in campaign money and no singular comment that would cause her polls to immediately plummet, the Martinez machine will keep on keeping on, But this is yet another round of ammunition delivered to the Dems free of charge by the national media. If and when they find a gun to fire, they could be dangerous. 


Noticeably absent in posting any mention of the Mother Jones piece on their websites during the day Wednesday were the ABQ Journal and KRQE-TV.

The Journal has been an arch-supporter of the Governor's. Previously, one of its editors dismissed a revealing National Journal piece on Martinez/McCleskey as a rehash and maintained--erroneously--that the Journal had covered the explosive information contained in that piece. They may have a more difficult time dismissing audio recordings never heard before as a "rehash."

The Journal did do a story for today's print edition. They dutifully report the piece--but with no context, no reference to the previous National Journal article, no mention that McCleskey is trying to get Martinez on the '16 prez ticket and no mention of McCleskey as a key figure in the article and the administration. As journalist Sherry Robinson said recently:

The Albuquerque Journal. . . .has been so blatantly pro-Martinez as to sacrifice its credibility.

The pettiness and vindictiveness revealed on those audio tapes was enough to have even ardent Susana backer Scott Stiegler of conservative talk station KKOB-AM radio calling for a time-out on his love fest with the Fourth and Fifth Floors. "I have a problem with this" he told his audience. . . .

KRQE-TV has done a bang-up job on the APD crisis and aggressively questioned ABQ Mayor RJ Berry. But when it comes to Governor Martinez the station still can't seem to bring itself to provide hard-hitting coverage. They were the odd man out in TV land in not covering the audio tapes on their website. KOB and KOAT also covered the story on both their early and late newscasts. KRQE covered it only at 10 p.m.

Producers are insistent that there is no bias at the station, but the way its news department handled the big political story in comparison with its rivals doesn't help their argument.

In addition, the one-hour long 9 p.m. KASA-TV news produced by KRQE had no mention we saw of the Mother Jones piece. What was it? Dean Staley's poker night?

Why is it the national media--the National Journal, Mother Jones and Real Clear Politics--that has to tell us of the seamy underbelly of New Mexico government? With the exception of NM Politics with Joe Monahan and a few other "alternative"outlets, the mainstream media has too often turned its back on reporting the real story. And that's why they are getting their asses kicked by the nationals.

Another example of all this came on Twitter from Las Cruces based journalist Heath Haussamen who came to the defense of Kennicott who made the retard comment about Lujan:

There's a difference between saying words were racist and calling a person racist. We know Kennicott's words, not his heart.

Okay, so we can go around using the "N" word but that doesn't make us a racist because that is not what is in "our heart?" This is the thinking of the state's "journalists?" Please, bring on the bloggers. . . .

The real Martinez story is only going to get bigger as her camp promotes her for the 2016 presidential ticket. The media that refuse to cover it--or cover it up--are only going to look even smaller.


It seems New Mexico is making more national news than New York. There's the radiation leak at the southern NM WIPP site--(you know about that one, don't you Guv?), the national scandal over APD and the Justice Department intervention and now the audio tapes of the nation's first Hispanic female governor acting out a high school locker room mentality with her tough boy home boys. Of course, businesses and tourists will be flocking here to see all of these spectacles in person. What? They won't?.. . . .


The most watched state representative is back in the news. Dem Sandra Jeff is still not out of the woods when it comes to getting on the June 3 primary ballot:

Rep. Sandra Jeff is still not assured a spot on the  primary election ballot, after the Supreme Court reversed a decision by a Gallup district court judge and sent the case back for an additional hearing.
The Gallup judge had previously dismissed an attempt to bump Jeff, a maverick Democrat, off the ballot for failing to turn in enough valid voter signatures. In that ruling, the judge found Jeff had not been provided adequate notice of the allegations against her. However, the Supreme Court today ordered a Friday hearing be held on the merits of the candidate challenge.

Our money is on Jeff to make it, but maybe that's because she makes blogging fun and it would be tough losing her. . . .

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