DPNM: Martinez Too Distracted by Scandals, Politics to Do Her Job

Governor Failed to Invest Billions in Available State Funds to Create Jobs

The Democratic Party of New Mexico on Friday said that Gov. Susana Martinez has been too focused on her highly political agenda and too distracted by her administration’s string of scandals to do her job as governor, which DPNM says, are the reasons that the governor failed to invest the more than $4.4 billion dollars at her disposal for job creation.

“From greenlighting road construction projects to setting up job training programs, Gov. Susana Martinez could have—simply by doing her job—stimulated New Mexico’s economy,” said Joe Kabourek, Democratic Party of New Mexico Executive Director. “Instead, she’s spent the last year ducking questions about a federal investigation into abuse of power charges against her, trying to distance herself from convicted former Secretary of State Dianna Duran, and making politics more important than the livelihoods of working families.”

Kabourek’s comments were in response to the annual Fund Balance Report released Friday by the Office of the State Auditor. The auditor and his staff combed through 398 funds in 86 state agencies and the State General Fund to identify untapped resources. According the report, $4.4 billion in allocated state funds have been sitting—untouched—in accounts controlled by the governor and her administration.

“Governor Susana Martinez has failed the people of New Mexico,” Kabourek said. “That’s all there is to it. For the past two years, while New Mexicans have searched for jobs and worried about how to pay their bills, this governor has been sitting on billions of dollars that could have put those people to work, provided quality early childhood education for their kids and put food on their tables. This is an outrage.”

With less than a week left in the 2016 legislative session, tensions have been running high as legislators work to craft a state budget for the coming year amid dismal state income projections. Martinez has further fueled budget fears with a law-and-order political agenda that demands that the limited pool of state funds be used on prisons instead of education, Kabourek said.

“This governor has been using scare tactics to advance her narrow political agenda,” Kabourek said. “In reality, the biggest financial crisis facing our state isn’t the collapse of the oil and gas industry, it’s the fact that the governor is too distracted by scandals to manage state money.”

The auditor’s full report, which details the accounts and funds that comprise the $4.4 billion in unspent moneys, can be found online at http://osanm.org/government_accountability_office.