Guadalupe County Democratic Party
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 23 July 2012 - 12:06pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2012
CONTACT: Shripal Shah, 202-485-3129
Heather Wilson Tries to Re-Write Her Record on Social Security
The Real Wilson Agenda: Privatize Social Security, Tax Breaks for Wealthiest Americans, Rubberstamp Republican Policies
Heather Wilson knows that her agenda is wrong for New Mexico’s middle class so she’s now trying to cover it up. This weekend it was reported that Heather Wilson falsely claimed she has never supported privatizing Social Security even though she has supported Social Security privatization plans repeatedly in the past. Wilson also continues to give her tacit support to a dangerous Republican plan to gut Medicare which would force New Mexico seniors to pay $5,900 more annually for their health care. However, Wilson is making one thing clear: she wants to protect tax breaks for millionaires and corporations that ship American jobs overseas.
“Congresswoman Heather Wilson can run but she can’t hide from her misplaced priorities that put billionaires ahead of New Mexico’s middle class,” said Shripal Shah, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “The fact is that Wilson would be a rubber stamp for the partisan Washington Republican agenda which includes privatizing Social Security, gutting Medicare, and protecting tax breaks for millionaires.”
Wilson and her fellow Republicans in Washington are pushing policies that would be disastrous for New Mexico’s middle class and Heather Wilson knows it. That’s why she’s trying to cover her tracks with misleading rhetoric. But New Mexico voters won’t be fooled. They know that her long record in Washington speaks for itself and that right-wing special interests are propping up her campaign because they know she’ll do their bidding in Washington.
“If New Mexicans send Heather Wilson back to Washington, there is no doubt that she would support the dangerous Republican agenda that calls for deep Medicare cuts and privatizing Social Security in order to preserve tax breaks for millionaires and companies that ship jobs overseas. That’s exactly why right wing special interests are spending so much money to prop up her campaign,” added Shah. “She’s not fooling anyone when she falsely claims that she’d be bipartisan and independent because her record speaks for itself.”
Despite Her Desperate Spin, Heather Wilson Has A History Of Support For Privatizing Social Security
BuzzFeed: “Former Congresswoman Heather Wilson says she's never supported privatizing Social Security, but her record indicates an openness to doing just that.” [BuzzFeed, 6/20/12]
Wilson Supported Private Accounts in 1998, And In 2002 Said She Was “Still Willing To Consider Such A Plan.” According to the Albuquerque Journal, “In 1998, Wilson told an Albuquerque newspaper she supported ‘innovative approaches that would allow working people to put at least some of their Social Security payments into personalized pension funds.’ A Wilson spokesman said the congresswoman is still willing to consider such a plan.” [Albuquerque Journal, 11/1/02]
Wilson Called for Private Accounts in 1999. In 1999, Wilson called for the creation of Social Security private accounts. Wilson called for Personalizing Social Security, “so that an account that you’ve been paying into your whole working life is yours - or in some way yours, with your name on it, which is not the way it is now.” Wilson added, “But at the same time it should remain a social insurance program, not a stock option fund. It is the safety net.” [AP, 1/9/99]
Wilson Supported Cut, Cap, & Balance Plan That Would Force Deep Cuts To Social Security And Medicare While Protecting Tax Breaks For Millionaires And Big Corporations. In June 2011, Wilson released a video announcing her signing of the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “It is inconceivable, however, that policymakers would meet the bill’s severe annual spending caps through automatic across-the board cuts year after year; if they did, key government functions would be crippled. Policymakers would have little alternative but to institute deep cuts in specific programs. […] Reaching and maintaining a balanced budget in the decade ahead while barring any tax increases would necessitate deep cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” [Heather Wilson Youtube Channel, accessed 8/15/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11]
CBPP President: Cut, Cap And Balance “Protects Tax Breaks And Tax Subsidies For The Wealthy And Powerful.” In a July 2011 statement, Robert Greenstein, president of the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said “The [Cut, Cap and Balance] bill overturns a feature of various bipartisan budget laws over the past quarter century, by subjecting programs for the poorest Americans to the specter of meat-axe across-the-board cuts. It does so even as it protects tax breaks and tax subsidies for the wealthy and powerful by erecting a constitutional barrier to any measure that would raise any revenue.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Robert Greenstein Statement, 7/16/11]
CBPP: “Because Taxes … Would Be Virtually Impossible To Raise As A Result Of The New Constitutional Barrier, Social Security Solvency Would Have To Be Restored Entirely Through Benefit Cuts.” According to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities statement on the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan, “Moreover, because taxes — including payroll taxes — would be virtually impossible to raise as a result of the new constitutional barrier, Social Security solvency would have to be restored entirely through benefit cuts. Balanced Social Security packages that include measures to raise Social Security’s $106,000 payroll tax cap, so that higher-income Americans do not escape the tax on much of their earnings, would effectively be ruled out.” [CBPP, 7/16/11]
By Continually Refusing To Give New Mexicans A Straight Answer, Wilson Is Giving Her Tacit Support For A Budget That Would End Medicare As We Know It, Raise Out-Of-Pocket Costs For New Mexico Seniors And Cut Taxes For Millionaires And Companies That Ship American Jobs Overseas
292,009 New Mexican Seniors Would Be Forced Onto Vouchers When They Retire. Starting in 2023, all New Mexico seniors will receive a voucher to purchase either private insurance or traditional Medicare. There are more than 292,009 near-elderly New Mexicans who are now ages 47-56 who, instead of getting Medicare as we know it when they retire, would only get a voucher to purchase their insurance. Private insurance plans will aggressively pursue the healthiest, least expensive enrollees, thereby allowing Medicare – currently the lifeline for 316,973 New Mexico seniors – to “wither on the vine.” [CBPP 3/20/12, Census, accessed on 3/20/12; CBPP 12/21/11; KFF, accessed on 3/21/12; NCPSSM, 3/20/12 via Democratic Policy and Communications Center,3/22/12]
For New Mexico Seniors, Republican Budget Will Increase Out of Pocket Costs By As Much As $5,900 Per Senior. The Republican budget would cap these vouchers for individuals at growth levels that are lower than the existing increases in health care costs. In other words, seniors could be forced to pay higher premiums in order to access the same benefits they would receive under the current system. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the plan could increase out of pocket costs by $5,900 and lead to diminished access to quality care. [CBO, 3/20/12; CBPP, 12/21/11; CAP, 3/20/12 via Democratic Policy and Communications Center,3/22/12]
Republican Budget Will Force 27,023 New Mexico Seniors Back Into the Prescription Drug “Donut Hole.” The Republican budget would “re-open” the prescription drug donut hole and cost the average senior who falls into the donut hole approximately $11,794 between 2012 and 2020. The “donut hole” forces seniors to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs after their yearly drug expenses exceed $2,840, and full coverage doesn’t resume until total drug spending hits $6,447 for the year. Since health reform was signed into law, 27,023 New Mexico seniors saved $14,727,323.14 on prescription drugs. [HHS, 3/19/12; State level data compiled by HHS, 3/20/12 via Democratic Policy and Communications Center,3/22/12]
Budget Would Cut Taxes for the Wealthy and Raise Taxes on the Middle Class. According to the Center for American Progress, “Hidden in the document released today by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a proposal to cut taxes for the wealthy and raise taxes for the middle class. Nowhere in the document does it spell that out. But it’s a matter of simple math. Any tax plan that purports to hold revenues steady while massively cutting taxes for the rich must make up the lost revenue by raising taxes on people who are not rich… The result would be a massive tax shift from the wealthy to the middle class, accelerating the income inequality that plagues our economy.” [Center for American Progress, 3/20/12]
The Ryan Budget Would “Nearly Eliminate U.S. Taxes On American Corporations’ Earnings From Overseas Operations.” In March 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported, “House Republicans, searching for an election-year message amid a muddled political and economic landscape, will introduce a 2013 budget Tuesday that cuts tax rates and provides for just two individual brackets of 10% and 25%. The budget would end the Alternative Minimum Tax, which originally was aimed at the wealthy but ensnares a growing number of middle-class taxpayers each year. The plan would nearly eliminate U.S. taxes on American corporations' earnings from overseas operations” [Wall Street Journal, 3/20/12]
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 12 July 2012 - 4:21pm
Bush Political Guru Karl Rove, A Close Friend of Heather Wilson, Now Spending Washington Special Interest Cash to Save Wilson’s Campaign
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 27 June 2012 - 2:56pm
Wilson Named One Of Washington’s Most Corrupt For Working With Rove On Justice Department Scandal, Wilson Continues to Benefit from Rove’s Politicking
George Bush’s political guru Karl Rove and former Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson have a long history together. So it’s no surprise that he’s now rushing to her aid. This morning it was reported that Rove is once again spending special interest cash through American Crossroads to prop up the former Congresswoman’s campaign with positive ads. Karl Rove almost never runs positive ads, but this one aims to boost Wilson's scandal-plagued image with voters. Wilson was previously named one of the most corrupt politicians in Washington for her role in a Justice Department scandal that centered on Karl Rove and the Bush White House. The National Journal noted that the group’s positive ads “stand in contrast to the negative spots it has been running everywhere else.”
“The last time Karl Rove and Heather Wilson teamed up they found themselves knee deep in a corruption scandal that resulted in Wilson being named one of the most corrupt in Washington,” said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Karl Rove is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in special interest cash because he’s hell bent on getting Wilson back to Congress so they can pick up where they left off. But New Mexico voters know that Wilson’s corrupt, self-serving political agenda is the last thing they need."
Wilson’s ties to Rove are well documented and their relationship resulted in Wilson being named one of the most corrupt members of Congress by a non-partisan watchdog group. Together, the two were implicated in a long running Justice Department scandal that stemmed from the politically motivated firings of several US Attorneys. Rove alleged that Wilson asked the White House to fire a New Mexico prosecutor who was moving too slowly in a case against New Mexico Democrats. All the while, Wilson was a reliable vote for Rove’s Republican agenda, voting for tax giveaways for oil companies and millionaires, and against minimum wage increases, all while voting to raise her own pay.
Wilson also sat on the board of one of Rove’s groups, Crossroads GPS, which is closely aligned with American Crossroads.
“Heather Wilson’s misplaced priorities puts millionaires, Big Oil, and her own politics ahead of New Mexico and the middle class. All the slick campaign ads in the world can’t erase her scandal-plagued past and her disastrous voting record,” added Canter.
Wilson Named One Of The Most Corrupt Members Of Congress For Her Role In The US Attorney Scandal. In 2007, CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) named Wilson to its annual list of the most corrupt members of Congress. They put her on the list because of her involvement in the US Attorney Scandal. According to former New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias, Wilson contacted him on October 16, 2006, to pressure him to take action on a political corruption case, which she was using as political fodder against her opponent Patricia Madrid. [CREW Release, 9/18/07; AP, 4/19/07]
Wilson Voted Against Raising The Minimum Wage Six Times. In 2006 and 2007, Wilson voted six times against minimum wage increases or to kill Democratic attempts to even be allowed to offer a minimum wage increase. [CQ Floor Votes; HR 2206, Vote 333, 5/10/07; CQ House Action Reports, No. 110-3, 3/20/07; HR 1591, Vote 186, 3/23/07; Leadership Document, “Democrats are Fighting for a New Direction: A Pay Raise for Millions of Americans,” 7/19/06; HR2389, Vote 382, 7/19/06; HR2990, Vote#364, 7/12/06; HR4411, Vote 360, 7/11/06; HR5672, Vote 319, 6/27/06]
Albuquerque Tribune Editorial Called On Wilson To Support Minimum Wage Increase While Allowing Her Own Pay To Go Up. In July 2006, the editorial board of the Albuquerque Tribune criticized Wilson for allowing a congressional pay raise to take effect while not supporting a meaningful increase in the minimum wage. They wrote, “The minimum wage has been stagnant at a mere $5.15 per hour for nearly 10 years now. That’s just shy of $11,000 per year and well below the poverty line for a family of three. For more than half of that time, Republicans - including Wilson, Bush and Sen. Pete Domenici of Albuquerque - have controlled the federal government. During the same period in which the minimum wage has been stuck below the poverty level, Congress has managed to give its own members more than $30,000 in wage raises, to the current $165,200 per year. That salary is scheduled, based on cost-of-living arguments that apparently affect only federal legislators, to automatically rise to $168,500. Domenici and Wilson supported the raise. Wilson voted for it last week, while the state’s other congressional Republican representative, Steve Pearce of Hobbs, continued his admirable practice of voting against congressional pay raises for himself and his colleagues…So why have Domenici and Wilson - often quick to support tax cuts for the wealthy, including repeal of the estate tax - been essentially AWOL on an issue that has gained substantial support among local lawmakers, despite its controversial nature and opposition by businesses? [Albuquerque Tribune, Editorial, 7/4/06]
Wilson Voted Six Times To Allow Congressional Pay Raises. In the House, Wilson voted six times to allow her own salary to increase. [CQ Floor Votes, 6/13/06; H RES 865, Vote #261, 6/13/06; CQ Floor Votes, 6/28/05; HR 342, Vote #327, 6/28/05; CQ Floor Votes, 9/14/04; H Res 770, Vote #451, 9/14/04; CQ Floor Votes, 9/04/03; H. Res. 351, Vote #463, 9/4/03; CQ Floor Votes, 7/18/02; H. Res. 488, Vote #322, 7/18/02; CQ Floor Votes, 7/25/01; H Res. 206, Vote #267, 7/25/01]
Wilson Repeatedly Voted for Handouts to Big Oil. During her career in Congress, Wilson voted at least 13 times to protect tax breaks and give subsidies for oil companies. [Vote 78, 2/27/08; Vote 80, 2/27/08; Vote 1140, 12/06/07; Vote 511, 6/19/07; Vote 232, 6/07/06; Vote 208, 5/25/06; Vote 40, 1/18/07; Vote 445, 7/28/05; Vote 320, 8/02/01; Vote 320, 8/02/01; Vote 630, 11/18/03; Vote 132, 4/21/05; Vote 528, 10/21/99]
Wilson Consistently Supported Bush-Era Tax Cuts That Overwhelmingly Benefited Millionaires. In 2001, Wilson supported President Bush’s first round of tax cuts. In 2003, Wilson supported another round of tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy. In 2004, Wilson supported President Bush’s budget that permanently locked in multitrillion-dollar tax breaks that mostly benefit the nation’s wealthiest. In 2005, Wilson backed a Republican bill that extended capital gains and dividend tax breaks for the rich. And in 2006 Wilson backed another Republican tax break package that the Washington Post dubbed a “windfall for the rich, and a hole in the federal budget.” [HR 1836, Vote 149, 5/26/01; HR 2, Vote 225, 5/23/03; Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/28/03;; H Con Res 393, Vote 92, 3/25/04; Vote 621, 12/8/05; Chicago Tribune, 12/9/05; HR4297, Vote 135, 5/10/06; Washington Post, 5/11/06]
2006 Study: 99% of New Mexicans Taxpayers Are Net Losers Under the Bush Tax Cuts. According to a study conducted by Citizens for Tax Justice, 99% of New Mexican taxpayers were net losers under the Bush tax cuts. For the wealthiest one percent of New Mexico residents, who have an average income of $720,500, the tax breaks outweigh the added debt burden accumulated from 2001 through 2006 by an average of $14,450 per family member. They have received an average tax break of $50,630 per family member, which exceeds their added debt burden of $36,179 by $14,750. In contrast, the added debt burden accumulated from 2001 through 2006 outweighs the tax breaks for the other 99 percent of New Mexico residents by an average of $7,589 per person. They have received a tax break of $2,305, but their added debt burden is $9,894 per person. [Citizens for Tax Justice, “99% of New Mexicans Are Net Losers Under Bush Tax and Spending Policies,” June 2006]
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 25 June 2012 - 2:38pm
In Case You Missed It...The Albuquerque Journal this weekend exposed and examined in even greater depth the promises broken by Gov. Martinez and her unaccountable, unelected political handler.
But questions still remain over whether the Governor will release the last 18 months of SusanaPAC emails and just how much influence Jay McCleskey has over state government.
With all the stories flying about the Emailgate scandal, Leslie Linthicum took a breather to explain what it all means and why the question of public vs. private email is so important.
The bottom line: We should care about the Governor's use of personal email to conduct public business because it's a sneaky way to hide what she's up to from the public, and that's not acceptable - especially from a politician who ran for office on a platform of transparency and accountability.
As Linthicum says:
"Wasn’t Gov. Martinez going to put an end to all these political shenanigans? Good memory. Martinez did pledge time and time again during her campaign for the office to clean up Santa Fe from what she said was a haven for “pay-to-play” corruption and make government transparent and accountable. One of the tests of elected officials is whether they use their power to do what they promised they would when they were asking for our votes."
Read the story below:
What’s the Deal With Those Emails?
By Leslie Linthicum / Of the Journal on Sun, Jun 24, 2012
By now your head may be spinning from all of the tentacles of “emailgate” or “PACgate” or whatever it is we’re calling the big political story that has dominated these pages for the past two weeks.
It involves two separate disclosures of state workers conducting state business using personal email addresses and email addresses related to the governor’s political action committee.
It has resulted in a request by Democrats for an attorney general’s investigation of the Republican administration, Republicans digging up emails from previous Democratic campaigns and asking for their own investigation, a meeting between the governor and the state’s open government group and a directive from the governor that employees of her administration stop doing what they – and she – were doing.
And because it’s all happening in our desert state, it also involves a guest appearance by a guy shooting at rattlesnakes.
Crystal clear? Probably not.
Let’s pause today and try to make sense of what is shaping up to be the first major political shiner on Susana Martinez’s young administration.
Why is everyone suddenly interested in email?
There are two separate instances of inappropriate email use by public employees.
In the first to come to light, Public Education Department spokesman Larry Behrens, in response to a request for the names and email addresses of all of the state’s nonunion teachers from the governor’s top political adviser, Jay McCleskey, compiled and sent the information – using his personal gmail.com address, his boss’s personal yahoo.com email address and the SusanaPAC.com email addresses of top Governor’s Office officials. Susana PAC is Martinez’s political action committee.
The second instance involved the governor herself. When she wanted to convey her dissatisfaction with a report about a prison escape, she used her Susana PAC email address to send a blistering message to the Susana PAC email accounts of her chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and others.
Doesn’t this go on all the time? What’s the big deal?
By its nature, it’s hard to know how frequently this goes on, and that’s part of why it’s a big deal. When state workers and elected officials – anyone from the lowly public information officer all the way up to the governor – communicate through their state email addresses, those communications are saved and are part of the public record. You, I, and anyone else who wants or needs to, can seek to obtain information under the provisions of the Inspection of Public Records Act. (Whether it must be given over depends on whether it falls under one of the exemptions in the law.) The law is a key component of open and accountable government.
The governor’s lawyer says using personal email is perfectly legal unless the communication falls under the category of something that is supposed to be archived by the state. New Mexico’s Foundation for Open Government takes the position that public records are subject to open records law whether they are on the state email system or a private one, but they’re certainly harder to find in the latter case.
In any case, if someone wanted to hide the public’s business, communicating about it via personal email is one way to try to do that. And that is a big deal.
Wasn’t this education department thing just a dumb mistake?
Behrens, a political appointee, said it was a mistake. And it was definitely dumb. (Grading on the PED’s easy-to-understand A-F system, you’d have to give it an F.) But that doesn’t mean it was just a dumb mistake.
Behrens and everyone else in state government works for you and me, not for any political party. According to the email that came to light, he and other public employees spent time going through existing documents to create new documents in response to the request from someone who is in the business of politics. If that were found to fit the description of using state resources for political purposes, it would be a violation of the Government Conduct Act.
Even if it’s not illegal, it’s especially chummy. Public information requests by news media and the public are often required to be in writing. And a request for anything that requires creating a new document, as opposed to providing one that already exists, is almost always denied. I’ll add that I have never gotten an email from a public information person on a personal email account and I don’t know any colleague who ever has.
Why do people like the governor’s chief of staff and people in her Cabinet even have Susana PAC email addresses?
I suppose that if you believe in your boss and you would like her to be re-elected, you would be motivated to work on her political behalf and that email address would be a way for you to communicate and receive communications. In state government, as long as you don’t do it on the public’s time or dime, you can be as political as you want to. In federal government, there are strict rules governing the political conduct of federal employees. It’s actually illegal for federal employees to use their office computers or telephones, or their work time, to do any political business. Those same rules don’t apply in state government.
Wasn’t Gov. Martinez going to put an end to all these political shenanigans?
Good memory. Martinez did pledge time and time again during her campaign for the office to clean up Santa Fe from what she said was a haven for “pay-to-play” corruption and make government transparent and accountable. One of the tests of elected officials is whether they use their power to do what they promised they would when they were asking for our votes.
But didn’t she say she would make sure it never happens again?
Kind of. The governor issued a statement and a directive to “all state employees under the governor’s authority to utilize official state email when conducting state business via email.” She did not acknowledge her own usage. And she did not vow to launch an audit to determine whether information that should be open to public inspection has been hidden from the public since she took office.
What about the rattlesnakes?
The governor’s use of her Susana PAC email for official business came to light in a lawsuit filed by a state corrections employee who was fired after he shot up a rattlesnake den under a doghouse at the prison grounds home he shared with the then-corrections secretary, who was his girlfriend.
Presumably, the guy was a good shot and the snakes are dead.
UpFront is a daily front-page news and opinion column. Comment directly to Leslie at 823-3914 firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to www.abqjournal.com/letters/new to submit a letter to the editor.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal
RELEASE: Pioneer Outsourcer Mitt Romney's Promise to Protect American Jobs is Breathtakingly Hypocritical
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 22 June 2012 - 12:54pm
DPNM Chairman Blasts Mitt Romney’s Breathtaking Hypocrisy on Jobs: Former Corporate Raider Says He Would Protect American Jobs but in Private Sector He Was a Pioneer in the Practice of Shipping Jobs Overseas
DPNM Chairman Blasts Mitt Romney’s Breathtaking Hypocrisy on Jobs: Former Corporate Raider Says He Would Protect American Jobs but in Private Sector He Was a Pioneer in the Practice of Shipping Jobs Overseas
Washington Post Investigation Finds That Mitt Romney Invested In and Profited Off Of Companies That Moved Jobs Overseas: LINK
For Immediate Release
June 22, 2012
Contact: Matt Ross (505) 263-4879
Albuquerque, NM - Javier M. Gonzales, Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, released the following statement blasting Mitt Romney on his breathtaking hypocrisy on jobs as chronicled in aWashington Post investigation which found that while Mitt Romney pays lip service to protecting American jobs on the campaign trail he was in fact a pioneer in the private sector in the practice of outsourcing jobs overseas. The Washington Post found that as the head of Bain Capital Mitt Romney was a serial outsourcer of jobs and that Bain was among the earliest companies investing in and promoting the practice as a means of making millions for Romney, his partners and investors.
“Today’s Washington Post story confirms that during his time at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney consistently placed profits before people and bottom lines ahead of those on the assembly lines. The story shows that while Mitt Romney was actively running Bain Capital, they invested in and owned companies that ‘were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components.’ That’s not what New Mexican families are looking for in a President.
“The fact is, it’s ‘Romney Economics’ to the core. It may have been a sweetheart arrangement for Mitt Romney, but for middle class Americans who saw their jobs moved overseas to increase Mitt’s profit margins, it was a raw deal. With this in mind, Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy on the issue of jobs in breathtaking. On the campaign trail he says he’ll protect American jobs but it turns out that Mitt Romney was one of the founding fathers of outsourcing American jobs – all while raking in millions for himself.
“President Obama knows we need an economy built to last ― that creates jobs of the future and makes things the rest of the world buys ― not one built on outsourcing, loopholes, and risky financial deals that jeopardize our entire economy and threaten the security of the middle class. That’s not what Mitt Romney wants—he has a long and documented history of placing short term gains for himself ahead of the long term well-being of middle class American workers. ‘Romney Economics’ didn’t work for Massachusetts, it didn’t work for middle class workers who saw their jobs shipped overseas and it’s not going to work for New Mexico's middle class families.”
Martinez/McCleskey Attempt To Move Past Shadow Government Scandal - But First New Mexicans Deserve to Know How Far It Went
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 19 June 2012 - 9:41am
State Democratic Party Calls on Martinez to come forward with full explanation of which Departments have been spending time on political work
June 18, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Ross, (505) 263-4879
Albuquerque, NM - On the campaign trail, Susana Martinez fed the media and the people of New Mexico a constant stream of rhetoric about the importance of transparency in government and how her legal expertise in the public arena would help her open up government. It was central to her victory and the reason many believe she was sent to Santa Fe.
But the facade of a new day in Santa Fe has collapsed completely. In direct opposition to her own promises, Susana Martinez took office and immediately started using her legal expertise to skirt public records law and operate her administration in the shadows, doing public business on private email for political purposes.
Today's Executive Order - issued only after she was very publicly busted - never addresses the business that has already been done outside of the reach of the public eye. For a year and a half, Jay McCleskey has been using the Governor's office as a political operation. No one voted for McCleskey, and he's not accountable for his job to anyone but the wealthy Republican donors who pay his hefty salary at Susana PAC. New Mexicans have no idea just how far his influence goes and they deserve answers.
"For a year and a half, Jay McCleskey has wielded a shocking amount of power over the day-to-day activities of our public officials and decisions over the direction of our State Government. But I don't remember seeing his name on any ballots, said Scott Forrester, Executive Director, DPNM.
"Every indicator says PED isn't the only department that was hijacked by the Martinez/McCleskey political operation, and today's Executive Order doesn't change the fact that for a year and a half Martinez and McCleskey were operating a shadow government in Santa Fe," added Forrester. "We're calling on Susana Martinez to come clean with New Mexico: What other departments has your "senior advisor" been using for political purposes?"
Forrester added, "Today the DPNM is calling on Susana to provide a detailed accounting of exactly how many times political appointees on the public payroll used private email addresses to conduct business for the benefit of Susana's personal political action committee. Until that full disclosure has been made the public cannot truly know the reach of Jay McCleskey's power or the extent to which Susana Martinez has focused her time in office on politics over government."
Morning Word, 6-18-12 – NM Telegram, 6/18: The saga of the Martinez administration’s email woes is not going away. While it is an open question of whether or not this will be an issue with regular, everyday voters, it is definitely a topic of conversation among politically-inclined people. So it could filter down to the lower information voters who actually decide the elections. And it is something that is not good to the carefully crafted image of Martinez as a reformer. That and more in today’s Word: The Albuquerque Journal story on Jay McCleskey being pushed onto the stage is one that will likely not be good for Martinez’s image. Martinez has to defend herself against accusations that McCleskey really runs the state and McCleskey basically says that Martinez is no different than any other politician: “It’s no different than any other governor. They have a political operation, whether that’s housed in a state party, in a PAC or a (nonprofit), they’re necessary efforts,” McCleskey said. “One of the major reasons why is, when she’s pushing for the reforms she’s pushing for, you’re going to get a lot of political opposition.”
New Mexico agency compiled email list for governor's PAC – Santa Fe New Mexican, 6/11
Personal emails used by Gov. Martinez and staff – Santa Fe New Mexican, 6/14: In her email, the governor is talking about a report, apparently about the escape. "I have painfully gone over this report and I have questions," she wrote. "I have also provided INSTRUCTIONS ... These have deadlines. These are not suggestions. I want my questions answered on this same document by the Corrections Department," she wrote. "... I want responses to my questions no later than Tuesday, August 17, 2011 at 5 p.m." Why was McCleskey included in the email? "It's likely due to the fact that he is an adviser to the governor, and like many governors, she seeks broad input on situations," said Darnell, the governor's spokesman.
AG Probe Sought Over Email List – Albuquerque Journal, 6/15
Report says Gov. used personal emails for state business – Associated Press, 6/15
Using personal email for business typical for legislators – Santa Fe New Mexican, 6/15: Egolf on Friday said he started using his personal email because it was difficult to get the government email to sync with his Microsoft Outlook program on his home computer. He says he forwards all Legislature-related email to his government email account so he'll have that in one place. But he also pointed out that legislators are part time and unsalaried and, except for the leadership, do not have full-time secretaries or records custodians. Thus dealing with public records requests would be burdensome. Unlike the executive branch, Egolf said, legislators don't issue contracts or implement policy. However, the Inspection of Public Records Act doesn't exclude the legislative branch.
Private Email Flap Grows – Albuquerque Journal, 6/16
Campaign Guru Finds Unwanted Limelight – Albuquerque Journal, 6/17:
“He’s running the state,” said one Republican politico. “You can’t get anything done that he doesn’t sign off on. … That’s the belief.” Martinez bristled at that notion. “What’s interesting to me is anyone who says that doesn’t even begin to know me,” she said in a Journal interview last week. “I wouldn’t get these kind of questions from reporters down south, who know me,” said Martinez, a former district attorney in Las Cruces. “They know that I’m a strong, informed executive, and I don’t win the office without having great passion for the policies that I’m pushing forward. No one tells me what to think.”
Emails, sent and unsent, reveal secrets of state – Santa Fe New Mexican, 6/14
Education Department Emails Are Troubling – Albuquerque Journal, 6/17: While state agencies are not required to compile information in response to records requests, they aren’t barred from doing so. Which begs the question, is this PED’s standard operating procedure? The Democratic-leaning Independent Source PAC, which has been critical of the governor, says it never has such luck with its records requests. The question of a state agency doing the bidding of a political group on the taxpayers’ dime is troubling. If that’s what happened, it should have no place in the Martinez administration, which has pledged transparency and the rooting out of corruption and abuse.
Political Consultant Rakes in Big Dough Working for Governor – ProgressNow NM, 6/12: Though McCleskey has stated "If I was driven by trying to make money, I would not have chosen to work for Susana Martinez," since McCleskey was brought on to consult on Susana Martinez's gubernatorial campaign in 2010, he and his consultancy companies have received $1,270,963.34 from Susana Martinez's gubernatorial campaign committee and her super-PAC (Source: New Mexico Campaign Finance Information System).
Martinez Said If She Was Elected She Would Make Sure Her Team Upheld The Same Ethics And Values She Had. Martinez said, “Sometimes it’s not the popular thing, however, it’s important to the team that I’ve developed that they carry the values and the ethics that I have. I’m the elected official and everyone that I bring as part of the team has to have the very same values because they speak for those that are elected within that administration.” [Martinez 6.1, Meet and Greet at Melting Pot, Albuquerque, 12/8/09]
Martinez Called For Increased Transparency In State Procurement Process. As part of her Economic Recovery Plan, Martinez would “Increase transparency in the procurement process by improving the state procurement website where all information regarding the state procurement process, including current contracting opportunities and information about all awards will be posted and make the site more user-friendly. Current state contracts need to be posted online immediately after awarded, not only at the end of the fiscal year as is the practice today.” [Martinez Campaign Website, New Mexico’s Economic Recovery, 5/6/10]
Martinez Called For “Real-Time” Campaign Reporting And Disclosure Documents For Lobbyist. As part of her Economic Recovery Plan, Martinez called for “Year-round ‘real time’ campaign reporting of contributions and mandatory e-filing of disclosure documents for public officials and lobbyists.” [Martinez Campaign Website, New Mexico’s Economic Recovery, 5/6/10]
Martinez Said She Would Randomly Audit Political Campaigns. As part of her Economic Recovery plan, Martinez would, “Require random audits of political campaigns to ensure finance reports accurately reflect actual contributions received and expenditures made.” [Martinez Campaign Website, New Mexico’s Economic Recovery, 5/6/10]
Martinez Would Revamp Ethics Laws To Eliminate Conflicts Of Interest. As part of her Economic Recovery Plan, Martinez would “Revamp our ethics laws. We need to eliminate conflicts of interest and enhance transparency so that public officials conduct the work of the people without the potential for personal gain or reward.” [Martinez Campaign Website, New Mexico’s Economic Recovery, 5/6/10]
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 12 June 2012 - 10:58am
New Mexico Public Education Department Was Directed to Compile Names and E-Mails of Non-Union Teachers for Susana PAC and Jay McCleskey, the “New Mexican Karl Rove”
June 12, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Ross, (505) 263-4879
Albuquerque, NM – Record-setting forest fires are devastating the land and displacing families, working people are struggling and the Governor's over-hyped efforts to attract business have failed spectacularly. But Susana Martinez is apparently too busy losing primaries in Clovis and plotting out her next attack on teachers to spend time addressing these problems.
A major investigative piece in the Santa Fe New Mexican today reveals that Gov. Martinez used a state agency, the New Mexico Public Education Department, to compile e-mails of non-union teachers for use by her Political Action Committee, Susana PAC. The story examines in detail how the Governor broke state law - the Government Conduct Act - and personally received notice from Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera of these illegal actions.
Jay McCleskey has benefited by over a million dollars from Susana Martinez, R.J. Berry and other Republicans since 2009. His actions have consistently been in his own interest, not the interest of New Mexico families.
In response, Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) Executive Director Scott Forrester released the following statement:
“It is clear Gov. Martinez is a purely political animal utterly uninterested in governing. After crusading against this exact behavior, her administration has been rocked by story after story of corruption, pay-to-play scandal, and letting politics take precedence over problem solving. It's business-as-usual in Santa Fe."
"It is illegal - plain and simple - to use state resources for political purposes. But once again hard working New Mexicans are learning the hard way that allowing the Governor's unelected, unaccountable political handler to call the shots for Susana is a mistake for New Mexico. Jay McCleskey and the rest of the administration broke that law, and now there is proof she knew about it. She needs to come clean with New Mexicans and explain her role in breaking state law and using taxpayer dollars to benefit her Political Action Committee,” said Forrester. "The fact that the Governor herself was kept in the loop at every step shows not only did she do nothing to stop it, she made it a top priority of her administration."
“The Governor owes New Mexicans an immediate explanation and should allow an impartial, outside party to investigate how the law was broken, exactly who was involved, and how many other times this may have happened with this or any other state agency.”
The full text of the Santa Fe New Mexican article is copied below and linked here.
New Mexico agency compiled email list for governor's PAC
Contact information of nonunion teachers sent from personal account
Steve Terrell | The New Mexican
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 6/12/12
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 6/12/12
An email obtained by a Democratic political action committee indicates state employees and computers at the Public Education Department were used to compile lists of nonunion teachers and their email addresses for Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's political director.
According to the email, sent May 2 by department spokesman Larry Behrens to political director Jay McCleskey and several government officials, the department's Information Technology Division compiled a list of all teachers and their emails. Behrens also said the department's budget staff compiled a list of which school districts have union contracts, and created a list of nonunion teachers' emails.
Behrens on Monday denied that he was doing work for McCleskey or Martinez's political operation. He said compiling the lists was in partial response to a public records request from McCleskey.
But the spokesman used a personal email account for the response, which was sent to nongovernment email accounts for all the state officials he forwarded it to. Behrens said that was an "oversight."
"I should have responded to the request on my state email address because responding to a request for public information is state business," Behrens told a reporter Monday.
The email was unearthed by Independent Source PAC, an organization headed by private detective Michael Corwin, who has worked as an "opposition research" man for former Gov. Bill Richardson and other Democrats. The group has been highly critical of both Martinez and Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera over the past year.
"Hey All," Behrens wrote in the email. "Attached are the teachers lists and here's how we got them just in case there's any holes I haven't thought of.
"We have no master list of all teacher e-mails so [information technology personnel] went through websites school-by-school and copied the publicly available staff emails. They formed the attached 'TeachersAll' spread sheet.
"We asked the budget division which districts have unions or agreements and they provided me with a list," Behrens continued. "Using the [department's] district codes, I filtered the addresses to pull out the non-union districts and the e-mails collected from each. So the 'FinalEmailList A' should be all the non-union teachers from the e-mails we've been able to gather."
The email with both lists attached was sent to McCleskey and the others, including Martinez's chief of staff, Keith Gardner, her spokesman, Scott Darnell, Skandera and her chief of staff. Skandera, using a personal email account, forwarded Behrens' email to the governor -- at her campaign email account -- with the message, "FYI" (meaning "for your information").
The email addresses for Gardner and Darnell were at "SusanaPAC.com." Susana PAC is the name of Martinez's political action committee.
Asked about his involvement in Susana PAC and whether the administration uses private emails to communicate about government business, Darnell said, "The Governor's Office and members of her administration have worked diligently to separate their official public business from any political activities they may be involved in or made aware. The susanapac.com email address was originally established during the transition [formerly susana2010.com] and is now utilized for nongovernment work, including daily political and news clippings."
Darnell said he and Gardner aren't officials with the political committee.
Behrens said that after sending the lists of teachers to McCleskey, a McCleskey assistant filed a subsequent request "seeking a complete list with physical addresses." On May 21, the department denied that request, "as the complete information requested was deemed not public information," Behrens said.
"When I responded to the follow-up portion of the request with a denial, we communicated that denial over state email," Behrens said.
It is not clear what the purpose of compiling lists of nonunion teachers might have been. McCleskey, who served as a consultant in Martinez's successful 2010 gubernatorial campaign, has been paid more than $100,225 in consulting fees by Susana PAC.
McCleskey on Monday backed up what Behrens said. “Like nearly every political organization, we request public information from all sorts of agencies throughout the state — Democrat and Republican,” he said. “In this case, the list we received pursuant to the original request was nothing more than public school addresses and therefore unusable. We followed up with an IPRA request for the detailed list and that request was denied.”
If Public Education Department employees did perform work for the governor's political committee, it could be seen as a possible violation of the state Government Conduct Act. That law prohibits state employees from "directly or indirectly coercing or attempting to coerce another public officer or employee to pay, lend or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency or person for a political purpose."
The act also prohibits state employees from using "property belonging to a state agency ... or allow its use, for other than authorized purposes."
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 6 June 2012 - 3:17pm
Governor Martinez Quietly Endorses Mitt Romney Overnight and Becomes Honorary Co-Chair of His Hispanic Leadership Team, But Why Was She Blasting Him in Newsweek Just a Few Weeks Ago?
June 6, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Ross, (505) 263-4879
Albuquerque, NM – Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) Chairman Javier Gonzales today released the following statement on Governor Susana Martinez’s endorsement of Mitt Romney and her new leadership position on his campaign as Co-Chair of his Hispanic Leadership Team:
“As quietly as she could, Governor Martinez endorsed Mitt Romney overnight and agreed to serve as Honorary Co-Chair of his Hispanic Leadership Team, but it seems she doesn’t want anyone in New Mexico to know. Perhaps she knows deep down that New Mexicans find Mitt Romney’s economic scheme familiar and troubling: more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, fewer rules for Wall Street – the same formula that benefited a few, but crashed our economy and punished the middle class.
“Her endorsement and new leadership position on Romney’s campaign also raises the question: How could she possibly agree to serve as Romney’s Hispanic Leadership Team Co-Chair when she so harshly criticized his stance on Hispanic issues just a few weeks ago? Governor Martinez blasted Romney’s extreme ‘self-deportation’ policy and said she has ‘no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign.’”
“The facts are clear: Mitt Romney may try to use Governor Martinez to Etch-a-Sketch his far-right record with this community, but nothing can erase the fact that Hispanics stand to lose the most from Romney’s insistence on the same failed economic policies that brought our economy to the brink of collapse.”
Governor Susana Martinez Blasts Romney’s “Self-Deportation” Strategy in Newsweek, Says “I Have No Doubt Hispanics Have Been Alienated During This Campaign.” In a major profile piece in Newsweek, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez responded to Romney’s immigration plan by snapping back, “Self-deport? What the heck does that mean?” She goes on to state, “I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign.” [Newsweek/Daily Beast, 5/14/,12]
Hypocritically, Governor Martinez Endorses Romney Three Weeks Later, Agrees To Serve as Honorary Co-Chair for His Hispanic Leadership Team. Three weeks after her comments to Newsweek, Governor Martinez endorses Romney, stating she’s “proud to stand with him and look[s] forward to working to get him elected”, and assumes a position as Honorary Co-Chair for His Hispanic Leadership Team. [Mitt Romney for President, “Mitt Romney Announces ‘Juntos Con Romney’ Hispanic Leadership Team, 6/6/2012]
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 6 June 2012 - 10:18am
Heather Wilson’s Misplaced Priorities Are WRONG for New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE (June 5, 2012) – Heather Wilson is now the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico. Starting tomorrow, millions of dollars of outside special interest money tied to Karl Rove will flood into our state to try and cover up Wilson's failed record and trail of corruption.
Below is a statement from Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales:
"New Mexico voters are smarter than that. They remember her time in office, when Congresswoman Wilson voted six times to raise her own pay, even as she voted six times against raising the minimum wage for New Mexico workers.
She gave us two wars and a prescription drug program that weren't paid for. And she voted for tax breaks for millionaires and a $700 billion taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout.
New Mexicans also remember that Wilson was named one of the most corrupt members of Congress after she was busted for trying to improperly pressure a prosecutor to pursue a case to help her campaign.
While Wilson continues to support tax breaks for millionaires, she refuses to oppose the Republican budget that guts Medicare and she supported privatizing Social Security. Working people in New Mexico have paid into Medicare and Social Security their whole lives and are counting on it for their retirement security."
# # #
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 4 June 2012 - 9:29am
Martinez & McCleskey Bring Tea Party Cash To Dem Primaries
For Immediate Release
June 3, 2012
Contact: Matt Ross, (505) 263-4879
Albuquerque, NM - Reform New Mexico Now, a Republican front group for Susana Martinez - funded by two of her contributors and run by her handler Jay McCleskey – is attacking Democrats in primaries around the state ahead of Election Day.
We are asking all who receive a mailer from this Republican front group to please alert the Democratic Party immediately. They are spending $200,000 interfering in Democratic primaries, and they could be in violation of state law.
Democrats, stay on the lookout for Reform New Mexico Now. The following is a statement from DPNM Chairman Javier M. Gonzales:
“Time and again, Susana Martinez and her political handler Jay McCleskey have turned to cynical political tricks to try and end-run the democratic process. Now they’re using money they raised on vacation in Malibu to interfere with local New Mexicans’ right to choose their own representatives,” said Javier M. Gonzales, Chairman, DPNM.
“At this point, Susana is spending more time setting up SuperPACs and directing attack ads than she is governing, and that’s not really acceptable – especially in this economy.”
Gonzales added, “Susana can feel the tide of this election turning against her. Republicans’ failed leadership – and complete lack of serious effort – on the problems we are facing creates a widening gap between her and the people of this state. She hopes by interfering now she can cut her losses in November, but what she’s not counting on is that Democrats – all of us – are united and committed to stopping her damaging agenda and moving forward in ways that make a real difference in people’s lives.”
# # #