This week in the Las Cruces Sun-News there was a guest column by former Chairman of the NM Republican Party, Harvey E. Yates Jr. If you have ever wondered, ‘Who is the real Susana Martinez?’ Here is an illuminating, yet cautionary tale, told by a GOP insider:
“If you have never had a PC MUTE button aimed at you, but you want to add that experience to your life’s resume, here is a suggestion. Ask our governor, Susana Martinez, why she granted her political operator, Jay McCleskey, inordinate authority to affect state government, or suggest that McCleskey is using her as a profit center. Or alternatively, you could say to her, “You ran on effectuating ‘bold change’ in New Mexico. Where is the ‘bold change’? The PC MUTE button is likely to be aimed at you by McCleskey, by the governor or by one of McCleskey’s dutiful servants.
“If you are female and raise such questions, the PC MUTE button is apt to be, “She is wild-eyed and disgruntled” — meaning you are a screwball who cannot deal with the governor’s admirable administration or McCleskey’s upright fundraising operations. If you are a male who raises the questions, the PC Mute button likely will be, “What he said smacks of sexism.” And if you happen to be an Anglo, that also presents the PC MUTE button master an opportunity for an allegation of racism.
“The use of the PC MUTE button has long been part of McCleskey’s attack planning. Look at the period following the governor’s first legislative session. On March 19, 2011, McCleskey explained by text to Andrea Goff, then chief fundraiser for Martinez, “They’re trying to keep the brown girl down!!!”
That strange statement was made less than three months into Martinez’s administration. McCleskey’s description cast Martinez in the role of a victim, and it implied that racism was the reason she was a victim. The description also implied McCleskey was planning to use the PC MUTE button against foes.
“Yet, the fact that Susana Martinez is an Hispanic female benefited her in the election. Further, before her first legislative session, an aura of goodwill enveloped her. Several Democrat legislators had tired of Richardson and were pleased to have the new governor. Some likely had voted for her.
“Had Martinez approached the Legislature with open arms and asked them to join her in devising an intelligent plan to turn around New Mexico, she probably could have secured a majority for the plan. Instead she, the newcomer, lectured legislators. And, during the legislative session, McCleskey engineered robo calls against Democrat legislators who did not agree with Susana’s position on illegals and driver’s licenses. (These were the same legislators who would be needed to vote for any reform plan.) By the end of the legislative session, Susana and McCleskey had thrown much of the earlier goodwill to the wind.
“Election season again! Martinez and McCleskey are left trying to explain why our state is at the bottom of the good lists and at the top of the bad lists. Yet, they have two advantages. Gary King has been caught in the campaign finance web built by the progressives, which was intended to catch Republicans instead. And, McCleskey and Martinez’s expertise is the ‘attack.'”
“If we are to believe Mr. Yates’ commentary, and there is no reason not to, New Mexicans are now privy to a side of Susana Martinez that she and her handlers have gone to great lengths to hide from the general public,” says her opponent Gary King. “It certainly explains the cutthroat, diabolical nature of her attacks on me and anyone who disagrees with her.”