An increasingly desperate State Republican Party lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez this week following his successful job fair at Belen Middle School. Senator Sanchez’ event paired area employers with job seekers, drawing more than30 employers and 700 job seekers in Valencia County. Fidelity Investments, Ambercare, Inc., and BNSF Railways were among the private employers that participated. As Republicans enter a critical legislative election year saddled with Governor Susana Martinez’ worst-in-the-nation record on unemployment, jobs and economic performance, they are looking to distract the public from the real problem: failed economic leadership.
“When you have no record to run on, I guess all you can do is attack the other guy, and that is what New Mexico Republicans are doing today. Governor Susana Martinez and her puppet Republican majority in the House of Representatives have given New Mexico the highest unemployment and the worst economic performance in the country. Their policy of putting corporations first, and families and students last, has been a disaster for our state – that’s why job fairs like Senator Sanchez’ are so necessary and important. Republicans will have to answer for their record when voters go to the polls in November,” said Democratic Party of New Mexico Chair Deb Haaland.
For the past five years, Governor Martinez promised that her economic policies would create jobs. She even claimed in her State of the State Address in January that New Mexico is doing well, a stark contrast to reality.
The reality is that New Mexico is at the bottom for job growth in the nation, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 6.4%. After five years of Susana Martinez’ policies, there has been no job growth, and instead we have the highest rate of children living in poverty in the country.
Huge private sector job losses have hit every part of the state under Susana Martinez’s watch: Sprint closed in Rio Rancho, wiping out 400 jobs. UTC Aerospace closed in Albuquerque, costing 150 jobs. Caterpillar will leave Santa Fe, taking 50 jobs. Coke Bottling will leave Portales, eliminating 50 jobs. Mining operations in Silver City will close, and there goes 200 jobs. And CNM is cutting 100 positions.
Even more job losses came when the Governor wrongly accused 15 behavioral health providers of fraud, forcing them out of business and putting 1,600 people out of work. The Arizona firms who took over were connected to some of the Governor’s top campaign donors in a pay to play scandal.
In response to the one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation hitting New Mexico, Martinez tried to distract attention away from her dismal economic performance and her all crime, all the time agenda. Governor Martinez and House Republicans also continued to push more failed policies favoring corporations putting New Mexico in an economic bind and draining the state of revenues.