Thursday, September 18, 2014

No Policy Wonk: Susana Still Stumbling On Details Of Key Issues. Plus: Casanova Con Covers Campaign Con 

Despite nearly four years as the state's chief executive Gov. Martinez continues to struggle with the basic facts of major policy issues. Her latest misstep comes over driver's licenses for undocumented workers--an issue supposedly near and dear to her heart and one she has repeatedly used to hammer the Dems.

In leaked emails and audio tapes from her 2010 campaign Martinez revealed she did not know that WIPP was a nuclear waste disposal site or what the NM Commission on the Status of Women did. In a 2010 interview she also stumbled when asked about the DREAM Act which is a key part of national immigration policy. Here she is this week speaking to a group of NM sheriffs:

Martinez said people who are in the country unlawfully obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses, then are able to “easily exchange” them for licenses from other states. She said New Mexico’s licensing law is spawning fraud across the country because states that never intended to license undocumented immigrants are doing so unwittingly. In her speech, Martinez named Georgia, Florida and New York as states that will issue a new driver’s license in exchange for one from New Mexico. But a check of all three of those states showed that no such license exchanges are allowed. Georgia, for instance, requires an applicant for a driver’s license to supply a birth certificate or passport, a Social Security card and two documents showing a residential address, such as utility bills. 

Martinez's disinterest in policy details has her being compared to Sarah Palin who showed a similar pattern. It makes talk of Martinez being on a national political ticket seem disconnected from reality, but then Ronald Reagan often got his facts wrong, too.

There are two aspects of the Martinez political personality. The uplifting symbol of national progress as the nation's first female Hispanic Governor and the inspiration she provides to youngsters. And then there's the side documented here and by the national press and which Mother Jones describes as "weak on policy, nasty, juvenile and vindictive."

Because Martinez has been carefully handled, exposure to her personality has been superficial. And Democratic opposition has been ineffective in taking advantage of her foibles. Her 54% support in the latest polling is proof that the symbolic, likable Martinez still commands the stage, even if earlier polling hints of Martinez fatigue.

Dem Guv hopeful Gary King has been making fumbles of his own--the Latino heart comment, for example--and has so far run an ineffectual campaign. That gives Martinez room for error, even as it raises the question of why after four years as Governor she is still erring.


The Casanova Con is the latest campaign rage as Martinez continues to pummel Attorney General King who is woefully under financed as well as unable to put out a coherent message.  Imagine if the campaign was about this:

The Albuquerque metropolitan area’s economy suffered a grim setback in 2013 as its GDP growth rate fell into negative territory after growing for four years, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The four-county region’s GDP grew by a negative 0.1 percent in 2013, a sharp fall from its 1.5 percent positive growth rate the previous year. The 2013 growth rate put the metro area in 301st place for growth among the nation’s 381 metro areas. Albuquerque was the only major metro area in the region that had a negative growth rate.

Never mind the Casanova Con, what we've got around here is the Campaign Con--if you are generous enough to call this a campaign.

And what is Mayor Berry's reaction to this grim economic scenario and his administration's plans to address it?

Maybe we're all just tired of talking about it. It sure seems that way as we see that right-wing KKOB-AM radio has done it again--sunk even further in the ratings. The once mighty 50,000 watt giant gas tumbled to a 4.7% share of the ABQ radio audience aged 12 plus. That's down from 4.9% and way down from the 9% level of days of yore. The station has now dropped to third place in the ABQ ratings after holding the #1 spot for decades.


This guy has to be a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat:

After no victims were found at the scene of a one-car rollover accident in Roswell this week, crews had to rush back hours later when the driver said he woke up surrounded by donkeys in a field.

We guess he'll be seeing elephants after the November election.

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