Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Looking For A Legacy: New PAC Comes With Ads Bolstering Martinez And Mayor Keller Has A Pet Project Ahead Of Him  

It's the Legacy PAC and it's trying mightily to create a legacy for Governor Susana Martinez who enters her final year as governor January 1 and who has by most accounts a thin record of wins.

In a radio spot the PAC tries to make lemonade out of lemons when it comes to the state's high jobless rate by wrapping Martinez in the arms of Facebook:

It was Facebook official. Gov. Susana Martinez went to California, convinced Facebook to come to New Mexico, creating nearly a thousand jobs. And just last week more big news. Facebook announced its investment will now be $1 billion in New Mexico, tripling their size and creating even more jobs.

Fact check: Facebook is planning on spending $1 billion over the next five years to build its Los Lunas data farm, but the number of permanent jobs when it's all done will only be about 300. The big boost will be the temporary construction jobs.

Back to the spot:

New Mexico was  hit hard by the federal budget crunch, by federal defense cuts, then again by the global oil crash--factors outside our control. But we're coming back thanks to Gov. Martinez and local leaders fighting to make New Mexico more competitive, less dependent on federal spending. By cutting taxes 37 times small business are growing and we're attracting big companies like Facebook. That's why New Mexico was recently named top ten in the nation in private sector job growth. Call Gov. Martinez and tell her to keep fighting to grow jobs in New Mexico. . . 

The state has indeed been hurt by external factors like federal spending, but shortly upon taking office Martinez closed the state office in DC that watchdogged federal funding. As for making the state less dependent on federal spending, we have yet to reclaim the employment level sfrom when the recession started ten years ago and continue to have a declining or stagnant population growth.

As for cutting taxes 37 times, most of that is a reference to various tax cuts already on the books and being automatically renewed. Her big tax cut was the 2013 reduction in the corporate income tax. However, that tax has ended up costing the state much more than predicted and the gobs of corporate jobs promised as a result of the tax cut have not materialized.

The spot is right in saying there has been recent private sector employment growth, but the jobs being created are mainly of the low-paying variety.

Gov. Martinez's popularity has plummeted into the 30's and there's no reason to believe it will rebound. The slick radio spot does its best to make wine out of water but the fact is Martineznomics has not been a success.


A reader who follows such matters says Legacy PAC is organized as a (501 (c) (4) for which records are hard to come by and none could be found, but our Republican reader reports that they believe the PAC spent only about $7,000 for the radio buy.

The PAC also put out a mailer that you can see here. Martinez's longtime political consultant Jay McCleskey is heading up this PAC as he has with others in the past.


Given the recent news backdrop it's probably a good time to note that no lieutenant governor in state history has ever been elected in their own right to the office of Governor. Two lieutenant governors have assumed the governorship upon the death of the executive and another via a gubernatorial resignation but none of them were later elected. John Sanchez, the current Lt. Governor, has decided not to make a Guv run in '18.

And we stopped in at the ABQ downtown Brixens where new ABQ Mayor Keller is sometimes spotted. It was a a good tip as we immediately ran into one of the Alligators who laid this on us:

Joe, if a strong female candidate got into the Dem lieutenant governor race she could clean up the field. What about BernCo Assessor Tanya Giddings or state Sen. Linda Lopez who has run for the position before or former BernCo Commissioner Deanna Archuleta? This looks like an opportunity but it is passing quickly. 

Okay, ladies, start your engines.

Reader Michele Connelly writes:

Speaking as an out gay woman who’s lived and worked rurally in NM for 37 years, you’re exactly right, Joe, that Javier Gonzales being gay would be an issue in the lieutenant governor race in rural NM. Your critics are the “dinosaurs" for not getting out of the metro corridor and experiencing something other than New Mexico Magazine. His being Hispanic (a plus in most of the state) would be canceled out by being from Santa Fe (anywhere south and east of the metro). And while he wouldn’t be accosted or slurred for being gay there aren’t enough rural Dem voters for whom being led by one isn’t an issue. I doubt it’s radical feminism as much as the basic city/country split. Don’t get caught up in the nonsense!

Thanks for that, Michele. In this era nonsense abounds.


Ludwick (Bralley)
Mayor Keller is busy looking over all the department directors that now fall under his command. This Alligator games out the maneuvering to head one important agency:

An upcoming appointment could have animal lovers who voted for Keller wondering if they made the right choice. Mayor Keller could make a misstep in hiring Jim Ludwick as his Albuquerque Animal Welfare director. Mr. Ludwick has been lobbying hard for the post and campaigned for Keller.

Ludwick was apparently instrumental in the ABQ Journal's story, throwing the then shelter director under the bus, alleging that Animal Welfare was adopting out "dangerous dogs." Mr. Ludwick in fact lacks any education or experience with animals, and does not have the support of shelter staff or volunteers.

The shelter is currently a bright spot for Albuquerque. It has great public support and, under its past few directors, has greatly increased its adoption rates and lowered its euthanasia rates. The picture would likely grow far dimmer under a Ludwick leadership, who appears to favor the type of outdated and debunked breed-specific regulations that cost the city of Montreal its reputation and important tourist dollars.

Ludwick, an animal analyst, is a former ABQ Journal City Hall reporter who went to work for the agency under Mayor Chavez and then under Mayor Berry became a whistle blower about his boss, Director Barbara Bruin. She was forced out of the department in '16 after accusations that she released dangerous dogs for adoption rather than have them euthanized. She disputed the charges and was given another position within the department.

The director position has been a hot seat. The latest director resigned amid controversy as soon as Keller took over. The department is currently being supervised by interim Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Rael.

Maybe the mayor goes out of state for a director to cool things down and keep the barking at animal welfare at a minimum?

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