Governor Martinez’s help isn’t quite so helpful these days.
West Virginia’s gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole, a Republican, was the subject of a Democratic party press release today after he asked New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez to validate his candidacy with her endorsement.
Martinez’s endorsement was pretty much expected for a Republican candidate for governor. She is the chairwoman of the National Republican Governors Association and that makes her responsible for raising millions of dollars annually to help elect GOP Govs.
But this is the first time (but probably not the last) her infamous pizza party episode has become a topic in another state’s campaign.
From the West Virginia Democratic Party:
For Immediate Release: February 5, 2016
Bill Cole Endorsed by Disgraced NM Gov Under Ethics Cloud
Martinez Infamous for Abusive Conduct after ‘Pizza Party’
Under Martinez, NM Ranked ‘Worst-Run State’ in US
CHARLESTON, WV— Today, West Virginia Gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole received the endorsement of disgraced New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez – who was last seen in December making national headlines after her conduct at a late night ‘pizza party’ at a Santa Fe hotel.
In December, Martinez was caught on tape trying to use her status as governor to stop the investigation into a noise complaint at a hotel where Martinez and staff were celebrating. The incident made Martinez ‘a punch line’ among national Republicans, according to the Washington Post.
While Martinez was partying, New Mexico residents have not been celebrating her disastrous economic leadership. Under Martinez, New Mexico was named the ‘worst-run’ state in the country, ranks 49th in education, and had the highest unemployment rate increase in the country in 2015. Meanwhile, Martinez’s political operation has been under an ethical cloud as the FBI investigates her fundraising activities.
“Bill Cole and Susana Martinez are two peas in a pod: two ethically challenged politicians with a record of failed economic policies,” said Brittni McGuire, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Democratic Party. “Used car dealer Bill Cole has relentlessly pushed for laws to make himself richer, while turning his back on middle-class West Virginians. So, it’s no surprise that he’s been endorsed by an ethically challenged New Mexico Governor who presides over the worst-run state in America.”
Associated Press HEADLINE: ‘Police Recordings Haunt New Mexico Governor.’ According to the Associated Press, “The woman who met police in the hotel lobby at 1:30 a.m. waved them off a complaint of rowdy behavior and demanded in a sing-song voice to know who called them. Accompanied by her own state police detail, she scarcely needed to identify herself — but did anyway. She was New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the host of a hotel ballroom holiday party for staff members that spilled upstairs into a noisy fourth floor room and balcony, prompting complaints from other hotel guests. [Associated Press, 12/23/15]
Education Week Quality Counts 2016 Ranked New Mexico 49th in the U.S. According to the Albuquerque Journal, “New Mexico students have shown achievement gains in math, reading and graduation rates since 2003, but the state still ranks near the bottom nationally on quality of education measures, a new report shows. New Mexico ranked 49th in the U.S. – ahead of only Nevada and Mississippi – in Quality Counts 2016, an annual report issued by the Education Week Research Center. The state scored an overall grade of D, which is unchanged from last year, when the state also ranked 49th. Fourth- and eighth-grade students scored among the lowest math and reading test scores in the nation in 2015, even though student scores showed marked improvement over the last 12 years, the report found. ‘When we look at reading and math scores, we see that New Mexico is near the bottom on current performance,’ said Sterling Lloyd, senior research associate at the Education Week Research Center. ‘But when we look at achievement gains, New Mexico is doing fairly well over time.’” [Albuquerque Journal, 1/8/16]
New Mexico had the Only Significant Over-the Year Unemployment Rate Increase in 2015. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant unemployment rate declines from December 2014, the largest of which occurred in Rhode Island (-1.7 percentage points). The only significant over-the-year rate increase was in New Mexico (+0.7 percentage point).” [U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary, 1/26/16]
New Mexico Named the Worst-Run State in the Country. According to the New Mexican, “According to a new report by the online financial publication 24/7 Wall St., ‘New Mexico is the worst-run state in the country with some of the worst social and economic outcomes.’” [New Mexican, 12/3/15]