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Monday, February 16, 2015

Is It Right-To-Die Time For Right-To-Work? And Driver's License Repeal Again Entangles Los Alamos State Rep 

The biz community is calling the right-to-work bill "historic" but it's actually history repeating.

It passed the Legislature twice in the early 80's only to be vetoed by the Governor. That was the heyday of right-to-work when the workforce was more heavily unionized and it was thought passing right-to-work might lure jobs. Not today. Total union membership--including public and private sectors--has tumbled below 6 percent.

One of the political problems: The pro right to-work argument seems to be losing momentum, as sloppy homework by proponents is being aggressively knocked down by opponents. In addition, Dem interest groups have turned out good crowds for the hearings and aggressively pushed back in the media.

This is do or die time for Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez who must show he can hold the fort when it really counts. So far, he appears to be faring well with his colleagues, with even the Martinez Democrats in the Senate holding off.

Sanchez's trifecta would be death for right-to-work, repeal of driver's licenses and third grade retention. Those are the Governor's wedge issues and the ones she is pinning her hopes on to further her national ambitions.

SNIPERS SPOTTED

Garcia Richard
Some Dems are sniping at Los Alamos area state Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard after she joined the R's last week in voting to repeal driver's licenses for undocumented workers, a perennial issue that seems to be Richard's brier patch.

In 2013, she got into it with Gov. Martinez over a procedural vote that the Governor claimed was a vote to kill the repeal. After that hit Richard said she would no longer be held hostage by Martinez and would only vote for repeal if Martinez crafted a compromise. In the 2014 session the repeal stalled in committee.

It was expected the Guv's political machine would hammer Richard over the issue in the '14 election in her Republican leaning district, but the machine could not come up with a suitable candidate. Richard cruised past her opponent 57% to 43%. She is now serving her second term.

The snipers say Richard should have voted against the repeal given that Dem interest groups backed her campaign.

Richard was one of two Dems--the other being Deming conservative Donna Irwin--who voted with the R's to repeal the licences and send the bill to the Senate on a 39 to 29 vote. That's actually fewer Dems supporting the repeal than in the past and is making repeal opponents optimistic that they can hold the Senate.

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