A report last week announced that, “New Mexico’s economy is stagnant, largely because of the state’s reputation for corruption and crony capitalism and an environment that fosters pay to play behavior.” Now, there’s yet another story about Susana Martinez’s shady dealings, this time about her using her political power to bail out a big campaign donor. Crony capitalism at its finest worst. New Mexico’s reputation has taken a hit in many ways under Martinez’s administration, but perceptions of deep-seated corruption have been present from her very first day in office. Perceptions turned into proven reality starting last year as Martinez’s Tax and Revenue secretary began to be investigated, her friend Dianna Duran became a convicted felon, and her top-advisor came under FBI scrutiny.
Common Cause New Mexico released a poll today showing that four-in-five New Mexicans believe corruption exists in New Mexico politics – mostly because of the overwhelming influence of money in politics. Interestingly, their poll also shows Governor Susana Martinez’s job approval rating down to 55%. That’s down 11 points in 7 months. (a May 2013 SurveyUSA poll found Martinez approval at 66%). Read the Full Common Cause/Research & Polling Poll on our page here. Nearly four-in-five of New Mexico voters believe there is corruption in New Mexico politics
Albuquerque—Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) today releases December 2013 polling by Research and Polling, Inc. on money in politics in New Mexico.
In her own words: Wilson touts earmark for company that gave tens-of-thousands from execs
Five years ago this week, then Congresswoman Heather Wilson inserted a $2,000,000 defense department earmark for a company whose executives gave her thousands in campaign contributions.
The earmark, to the Lumidigm company, was for the “Development of a Robust, Mobile Multispectral Fingerprint Capture Device Employing Multispectral Imaging Technology,” essentially a fancy fingerprint reader, was sponsored by Wilson and introduced into the conference report after the House passed the appropriation bill on August 5, 2007.
When introducing the earmark, Wilson failed to disclose that she had taken at least $17,000 in campaign contributions from executives and lobbyists from Lumidigm and two other associated companies before the vote. Wilson received another $1,000 in 2008 from Lumidigm’s president after the bill and appropriation passed.
Wilson appeared at the Lumidigm company in 2007 just 11 days after the House appropriation bill passed to speak about the earmark to company executives. Lumidigm president Robert Harbour introduced Wilson and spoke favorably about the earmark but failed to mention the campaign contributions.
Watch Wilson in her own words on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdU8TDvDJLk)
From the Lumidigm YouTube channel: Lumidigm hosted Congresswoman Heather Wilson on August 17, 2007 as she announced that her $2M request for a Lumidigm project is part of the 2008 Defense Appropriations Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on August 6.