When an IRS official experienced a hard-drive crash that led to some missing emails, much of the right immediately assumed the worst. Obviously, they argued, this is proof of an elaborate cover-up, intended to hide the truth about a devastating scandal. If the emails weren’t incriminating, the theory goes, they wouldn’t be missing. Reality points in a different direction, of course, and sometimes a crashed hard drive is just a crashed hard drive. But if missing emails are necessarily evidence of nefarious wrongdoing, I’ll be eager to hear what the right has to say about New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R).
One of the central themes in my April cover story about New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a rising star in the Republican Party touted as a potential vice presidential candidate, was the paranoia displayed by Martinez's 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Here's one of the juiciest nuggets illustrating this behavior:
We are at a pivotal moment in American history. Building the United States of America has been long, arduous and rife with setbacks. But throughout the years, we have undoubtedly moved toward a more inclusive democracy. We expanded the right to vote. We eliminated the poll tax. We banned corporations from donating to campaigns after the scandals of the Gilded Age and imposed stricter limits on donations and expenditures after Watergate. But today, those improvements are in serious jeopardy. The Supreme Court struck down a major part of the Voting Rights Act and Congress has yet to pass a fix. Voter ID laws are the new poll taxes. And thanks to years of pressure from conservative activists, five members of the Supreme Court have destroyed more than a century of campaign-finance laws.
AS SHE LIKES TO TELL anybody who'll listen, Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico, didn't start out a Republican. She and her husband, Chuck, like most everyone else in Las Cruces, had always been Democrats. But she'd long dreamed of running for office, and when word got out that she had her eyes on the district attorney's seat, two local Republican activists asked her to lunch. At the meeting, the story goes, her suitors didn't talk about party affiliation or ideology. They zeroed in on issues—taxes, welfare, gun rights, the death penalty. Afterward, Martinez got into the car, turned to her husband, and said, "I'll be damned, we're Republicans." It's a tidy little anecdote, and Martinez has put it to good use.
A Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it a felony to get an abortion after a rape.
A second Republican governor has agreed to carry out an expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care reform law. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced her plans Tuesday. Martinez and Nevada's Gov. Brian Sandoval are the only Republican governors to date to support broadening Medicaid eligibility to anyone earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which was $14,856 last year. In contrast, 10 other Republican governors have gone on record opposing a Medicaid expansion. Jointly financed and managed by the federal and state governments, Medicaid is one of the pillars of Obama's health care law, which would enroll as many as 17 million people in the program by 2022 if every state agreed to the Obamacare expansion.
A Republican political rivalry in New Mexico's first congressional district took a darker twist when Gary Smith, a primary candidate for the seat, was arrested under suspicion that he'd slashed his former opponent's car tires. Janice Arnold-Jones became the Republican nominee for the seat earlier in 2012 after mounting a lawsuit against Smith that eventually led to his disqualification.
U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today introduced legislation to designate the 45,000-acre Columbine-Hondo area in Taos County as wilderness. The bill is cosponsored by Senator Tom Udall and has strong support from the local community.