Friday, April 18, 2014

Readers React To Those Leaked Audio Tapes And Their Governor's Response 

You wouldn't expect anything different. There will be no apology from Gov. Martinez for any of the off color and often profane remarks disclosed on that leaked audio tape this week and incorporated into a Mother Jones magazine article that blasted her and her administration.

But that doesn't mean Martinez isn't taking hits for the remarks which included an aide referencing former House Speaker Ben Lujan as a "retard." On those tapes Martinez also showed a startling lack of knowledge about NM as she talked with aides in the Oct. 2010 taped conversation. We turn it over to the readers;

Joan Fenicle writes:

I found the ignorance more telling than anything. For example, having to ask someone to remind her what the Dream Act is. If they think the national GOP is going to embrace her, they need to rewatch her speech at the last national convention where every time she spoke in Spanish the audience sat on their hands.

A reader writes:

It is quite telling to hear Gov. Martinez on tape ignorantly bashing the NM Commission on the Status of Women since she accepted a 1997 Governor's Award for Outstanding Women through the auspices of the Commission and regularly touted the award in later campaigns, including her last campaign for DA.  The information is from a Las Cruces Sun-News report.

Michael Corwin writes:

As a professional investigator something in the Mother Jones article caught my eye. That's Susana Martinez's use of an investigator in her district attorney's office to run license plate information to identify people during the campaign. That's illegal under both federal and state law, and on its face appears to violate the governmental conduct act, which prohibits using state personnel and resources for political purposes.

Following the 1989 murder of Rebecca Schaeffer, a young rising star, the federal government and most state governments, including New Mexico, curtailed access to motor vehicle information. Identifying individuals working for a rival political campaign, or those who through free-speech opposed Martinez's bid for office, would not fall within the permissible uses of either the federal or state law.

Accessing motor vehicle records leaves a trail. Federal and state government law enforcement officials should examine Martinez's DA investigator's access logs.

The Santa Fe Reporter did get on the license plate story and ran into a brick wall. The state says it has destroyed any records relating to the checks and the FBI is not responsive. From the SFR.

Reader Jim Moore writes:

In recounting the Mother Jones article did  the ABQ Journal conveniently leave out the part about  criticism of Martinez by former NM GOP Chairman Harvey Yates?? He called her out before on the Downs racino deal. Whatever one might think of Yates and his oil-based wealth, he's not cut from the same cloth as Susana and her boys and criticism from the old guard of the GOP hardly qualifies as a "desperate" liberal attack. I wonder if any reporter is trying to get a copy of Yates' ten-page letter.



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From a news release from state senate Democrats:

A voice recording reveals Health and Human Services Department Communications Director, Matt Kennicott, referring to late Speaker of the House Ben Lujan as a “retard” after he and the governor share a chuckle regarding Lujan speaking in English.

“I’m stunned that our governor would allow such a term to be used in her presence with no repercussion. That is inexcusable,” said ABQ Senator Bill O’Neill. “What’s even more disturbing is that she not only didn’t call him (Kennicott) on his use of the word but that she later appointed him as the spokesperson of an agency that provides services to the developmentally disabled population. ‘Retard’ is such an offensive term to any family affected by disability…and to use it in reference to the deceased speaker Ben Lujan? That is so outrageous!”

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez  is disappointed not only by the vulgar and derogatory terms that were used, but by the messages conveyed in the recordings. “Allowing her staff to mock those who sound different than they do is an insult to the late Speaker and those who grew up speaking Spanish as their first language. Being bilingual is a source of pride and should not be denigrated by others, especially by a governor who touts the diversity of New Mexico.”

Reader Kimothy Sparks writes in support of Gov. Martinez:

Mother Jones is a left liberal rag not even worth using as toilet paper and they come out with a hit piece on our Governor regarding comments that were made in strategizing. . . As a result of the Mother Jones article, I am even more of a Martinez supporter than I was before. In fact, I sent her another check  for her brashness and honesty.

Diane Denish was and is a bitch and I am sure she has used that same term non-sparingly in describing her political opponents. Ben Lujan did sound challenged when he tried to speak English. He had been in power for too long. Teachers do get 2 1/2 months off a year as Martinez said. 

I am so positive that Democrats Richardson, Denish, Colon, Lujan, Heinrich, Udall, and whatever other liberal you want to pull out of the closet, have used  "salty"  language but  you don't have them on tape or some panty-waist traitor turning on them and releasing the tapes that may have them on it.


Theresa Trujeque writes:

I am appalled that the Governor defends her use of the word "bitch" but fails to even touch on the fact that her Deputy Campaign Manager in the 2010 election made a very disparaging remark against House Speaker Lujan. I don't know how long Matt Kennicott has been in New Mexico but he should know that most of us Hispanics speak with a Spanish accent. Why did she not reprimand him and why is he still on staff? Of course, we all know why. She is bought and sold by non-Hispanic males.

Dem consultant Stephen Clermont writes from DC:

Hi Joe, great coverage  of Susana, Jay, the tapes and the collapse of the NM media. There's one point from the Mother Jones piece  and the National Journal storyfrom November  that cannot be emphasized enough--this is a pure Republican on Republican crime.

Susana and Jay have pissed off the wrong people in Harvey Yates and other powerful and wealthy Republicans and this is their revenge. Despite the presence of these tapes in Mother Jones, it’s clear from the National Journal story where this disenchantment is coming from. They know they probably can't stop her in New Mexico but they know they can hurt her nationally. It also doesn’t help Susana that New Jersey Governor Christie is effectively finished. The 2016 GOP presidential nominee is likely going to be far more conservative and won’t be looking to balance the VP slot with someone like Martinez who decided to take Obamacare Medicaid money.

Democrats are not capable of causing her the type of damage these two stories have. Consultants/hacks like McCleskey and politicians like Susana come and go but people like Yates are around forever. They are making that known.

Loyola Chastain writes:

My concern is that "...as the guardian of her mentally disabled sister, Leticia," she allows someone to say that Ben Lujan sounds like a "retard?" This shows a lack of courage and conviction to stand up to someone who is using a word that could easily be used on her sister and a word that was used on people like her sister before it became a derogatory term. Does she aspire to higher office in America? I don't know, but what I do know is that don't want to be represented by and won't vote for such hypocrisy. Thanks again, Joe, for the sunshine you provide in covering NM Politics.

A reader writes,

Joe, thanks for staying on the Mother Jones story. Que Verguenza! (translation- How Shameful!)

Republican reader Rick writes:

Something that seems to be falling through the cracks. I am a Republican, and agree that foul language in private should not be held against the governor. Jay McCleskey and his crew are trying to make the article about that one small fact. However, I think the article points to not just the petty, vindictive nature of the Gov and the people she surrounds herself with, but also screams of a totalitarian mentality. Not just in the political arena but in every arena.

From the article: " Martinez's crew saw enemies everywhere. A former staffer recalls the campaign on multiple occasions sending the license plate numbers of cars believed to be used by opposition trackers to an investigator in Martinez's DA office who had access to law enforcement databases. In one instance, a campaign aide took a photo of a license plate on a car with an anti-Martinez bumper sticker and emailed it to the investigator. "Cool I will see who it belongs to!!" the investigator replied."

Having had dealings of a personal nature with McCleskey, I can tell you that government resources are used to crush, suppress, subdue and "dig up dirt" on not just people in politics, but anybody that opposes him, his agenda, or his desires.

What I think the real point of the article is, is the selfish nature of the Gov (both shadow and figure head) and their "win at all costs" approach to politics, life and of course business. The people of NM suffer, while a select few consolidate their wealth and power, and crush anybody that dare say otherwise.


On the topic of the APD crisis, Mayor Berry is running into a headwind from more media types. Welcome aboard, Leslie. We've been waiting for you.


We continue to get mail over the April 4 lament of political PR pro Chris Cervini about his having to leave NM to find better opoporutnies elsewhere (his full post is here). Cervini's onetime boss, former Lt. Governor Diane Denish, writes of the diss on Cervini on the Wednesday blog:

Unfortunately, reader Reuben Montes failed to do his homework. Chris Cervini never made a 6 figure salary in state government. He made a name for himself the last 8 years in the private sector as a respected public relations executive in healthcare with a national firm. He was most certainly not jobless when he left NM. 

 Chris is a native New Mexican who wanted to come home--and did. At first, he enjoyed the optimism that swept in with our administration and served us well in state government--getting things done. Like the other professionals he profiled in his blog post, he could see the lack of leadership in the business community and the insistence that we stick with the status quo. He is saying out loud what many people are whispering. He shared his ideas about how to do it better and even pointed out that he was associated with me. New Mexico is the loser when young professionals like Chris Cervini and his wife, Georgette, depart.

And reader Steve Dick on the same subject--Wednesday's Montez letter slamming Cervini:

Reuben Montes' comments show a complete misunderstanding of what is going on. I am a native New Mexican, born and raised, went to NMSU for two degrees (and a stellar education there). But yet, it is virtually impossible for me, as an engineer, to find work in New Mexico. Everywhere else I can find offers quite easily. But not New Mexico. So sure, raise me to love the state, train me well with the schools that are available, but then tell me "good luck and write when you find work." No, that isn't how this is supposed to work.

I have the strongest desire to be able to live in the state, but between the mediocre business leaders and the even more mediocre political class in the state the only way it looks like I can move back to New Mexico is when I retire to take advantage of the cheap unskilled labor force that will work for peanuts when I return. That is not what I want and the state deserves better than that.

While Montes may revel in the fact that Chris Cervini has to leave because he is a Democratic political operative, his is only one of many professions where it is no use to stay because people want to be able to provide food and shelter for their families. Cracking wise because he is a former Big Bill employee is knee jerk. New Mexico is going downhill on a bullet train. The sooner the "business-oriented" disciples of the Republican Party realize that Governor Martinez is taking the state down with her Nero approach the better off everyone will be.

Happy Easter, New Mexico.

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