Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its list of the Worst Governors in America today. New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, fresh off of vetoing a minimum wage increase without explaining why, makes the list.
CREW explains her inclusion:
(1) using state resources for political purposes; (2) investigations into the awarding of a state contract to a large campaign donor; (3) using private e-mail for public business; (4) improperly withholding public records; and (5) improperly interfering with the labor relations board.
Here are some highlights:
In December 2011, The Downs at Albuquerque won a 25-year state lease worth over a billion dollars. In the previous year and a half, donors connected to the Downs contributed $75,000 to Gov. Martinez’s gubernatorial campaign and another $10,000 to Susana PAC. The FBI and other state agencies appear to be investigating.
In 2012, one of Gov. Martinez’s campaign advisors and manager of Susana PAC sought a list of non-union teachers and their email addresses so that they could counter union information about the governor’s proposed education reforms. The state Attorney General’s office is investigating possible violations of state ethics laws.
Gov. Martinez denied to release documents to the Associated Press on many occasions, including records regarding expenses connected to a Louisiana alligator hunting trip (!) taken by the governor’s husband. Turns out the trip was taken in a state-owned vehicle.
In 2011, Gov. Martinez waged a highly inappropriate campaign to fire John Boyd, executive director of the state collective bargaining board, which oversees contracts between unions and state agencies. Ultimately, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Boyd had to be reinstated. However, at the next available opportunity, Gov. Martinez replaced Boyd with someone she felt would be more favorable.
And so on.
New Mexico’s working families are still waiting for an explanation for why Gov. Martinez vetoed a minimum wage increase passed by both houses of the legislature, or the information about the veto was scrubbed from her official (publicly-funded) website.
“Sadly this comes as no surprise,” said Working America Regional Director Chelsey Evans, “but we’re glad the rest of the country is clued in to the damage Susana Martinez is doing for working people here in New Mexico.”