Cronyism in Full Force: Gov’s Pal, Duran Campaign Manager Running Espinoza Race
The Democratic Party of New Mexico on Friday once again called out Gov. Susana Martinez for playing politics after she used her official position to promote the Republican candidate for secretary of state by allowing last-minute elections bills introduced by the candidate to be heard while Democrats’ bills to create jobs languish.
“Thousands of New Mexicans are without work,” said Joe Kabourek, Democratic Party of New Mexico Executive Director, “but the only person Gov. Martinez is interested in helping to get a job is Rep. Nora Espinoza. The governor has endorsed Espinoza for secretary of state and now is allowing her elections bills to be heard. Meanwhile, the governor is ignoring dozens of sound proposals by Democrats to boost the economy and create jobs.”
On Thursday, Martinez issued executive messages allowing two of the three last-minute elections bills Espinoza introduced to be considered by the Legislature during this 30-day budget session. The bills, which Espinoza introduced less than 24 hours after filing as a candidate for secretary of state, are the first elections-related bills the Roswell state representative has introduced in her nearly a decade in the House.
“This is politics, plain and simple,” Kabourek said. “Unfortunately, after the scandals that have plagued the Martinez Administration, it’s business as usual. From the governor’s own investigation by a federal grand jury to her secretary of state ending up in jail, corruption has been rampant under Gov. Martinez’s watch. Instead of cleaning up her act, the governor is still using her power to promote her friends while ignoring the needs of working families.”
Adding another layer to the cronyism at play, Kabourek said, is the fact that Martinez’s friend and former state Sen. Rod Adair is running Espinoza’s campaign. Adair also ran both campaigns for convicted former secretary of state Dianna Duran, who syphoned money out of the campaign accounts Adair oversaw in order to fuel her gambling addiction. Further, Adair held a plum position in Duran’s official offices where his duties included overseeing ethics rules.
“How can the Republicans continue to do the same old things with the same old people and not expect the same old results? This is a recipe for more corruption.” Kabourek said. “New Mexicans have had enough of Martinez’s brand of corruption. It’s time to stop playing politics and to make a fresh start toward transparency and accountability in state government.”