Steve Pearce made it official on Monday. Pearce will be vacating his $174,000 congressional job in an attempt to pick up a $110,000 gig as governor. Those salaries may not mean much to a man who has consistently ranked among the richest members of Congress, but being a rich oil executive doesn’t help you relate to voters so Pearce pointed to his parents’ humble beginnings in his campaign announcement this week. (Hat Tip to a reader who spotted this and sent it to us!)
“Steve grew up south of Hobbs as one of six kids. His parents did everything possible to provide for him and his siblings while earning a $2.62 hourly wage.
Pearce, one of the richest members of Congress, has also staked out some of the most extreme positions on issues voters outside of his conservative leaning Southern New Mexico Congressional district aren’t likely to agree with, like saying poor seniors should stay healthy until they are old enough for Medicaid, or that women should “voluntarily submit” to their husbands.
As the third highest office in the state, the SOS is responsible for filling that role when the Governor and Lt. Governor are unavailable. And it happens more often than you might think.
Since GOP stalwart Dianna Duran’s spectacular fall from grace last year, the current interim Secretary of State, Brad Winter, has stepped up into the acting governor role at least three times.
And that should have your really worried considering one of the two candidates for that position this November is Nora Espinoza and even acting governors can control the national guard (and so so much more).
Espinoza was quoted in an interview this week saying that, “her work ‘has given me the kind of experience required for supervising the staff and operations of an administrative office, one geared to ensuring that procedures and policies are carried out in accordance with the law and established rules.’ ”
Take a look at a few of the proposals Espinoza has championed from her perch as State legislator (and imagine what she would do if she had full authority to direct the state police, national guard or guard the state’s checkbook without anyone requiring anyone else’s approval at all).
“With a team of communication directors and public information officers who collectively earn more than $1 million annually, getting information from the Martinez’ administration shouldn’t be a problem, but for many reporters, such access is limited or nonexistent.” – Peter St. Cyr, Santa Fe Reporter
After coming into office promising to be the most transparent and accountable governor in New Mexico history, Susana Martinez’s administration has developed the reputation for closing the door to anyone with a tough question or in-depth follow up to her public relations team’s carefully scripted photo ops and polished press releases. But it’s not for lack of staff to help facilitate that public communication – in fact, taxpayers pay more than a million dollars per year, the Santa Fe Reporter found, for a team of spokespeople and public information officers who ignore the press and public questions. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.