Two quick Flip Side editor’s notes before the feature presentation:
1. KRQE Channel 13 has disputed the Santa Fe Reporter story described below, going so far as to call it “not accurate.” They won’t say what’s not accurate, which makes their anchor’s statement utterly unethical. It is insane to do that. KRQE’s story was about a different FBI investigation. Channel 13 is helping The Governor by, firstly, smearing the reporters covering the Downs Deal and, secondly, changing the subject — from a corrupt state contract with campaign donors to the victimization of The Governor by someone who stole and leaked private emails about state business. KRQE is terrible. What they’re doing is not journalism.
2. Posts like the following are what happens when I’m constantly thinking about superheroes. Summer movie season will do that, I guess. Without further ado….
… Cellphones off, please …
Dear Linda Lopez, Gary King, or maybe Tim Keller….
You have a chance to do real good here, and also have some fun.
Don’t make your 2014 campaign for governor about policy. Make it about Susana Martinez — who she is and what she does. Gubernatorial hopefuls should absolutely love when you can slam an incumbent with actual, terrible stories being reported in the newspaper, pungent from the appearance of corruption.
She’s ripe to go down like a Batman villain. The Santa Fe Reporter just broke the story this week that the FBI is (apparently) investigating players involved in the Down Deal, a fat contract to run the state fair that was awarded to The Governor’s campaign donors.
Years ago she came into office with a professional propagandist and campaign cash conjuring “top advisor,” Jay McCleskey. It appears McCleskey’s job is to run Susana PAC year-round, and start little mini PACs at election time for smearing and insulting political foes in any local races he chooses. His mailers, riddled with typos, accuse Dems of siding with “child murderers” and putting “the welfare of convicted murderers above keeping our families safe.”
McCleskey was in on this Downs deal. He’s on many of the juicy emails that leaked out. The Governor’s campaign war chest is at $1.5 million, last we heard. You gotta say a lot of crazy stuff to get that much money from people who are not supposed to get anything back. Unless they do get something back….
So McCleskey’s The Governor’s Mad Hatter, trying to control our minds so he can rob us.
Keith Gardner, $135,000 taxpayer-funded Chief of Staff to The Governor, is Solomon Grundy: Huge, growly, grabby, and mean. (These are Batman bad-guy references, by the way. And “Batman Begins” was about taking down corruption.)
After Gardner told reporters he didn’t use private email for state business, his “friend” released a secret recording of Gardner saying exactly the opposite, and being vindictive and vulgar. “I’m about to fire that fucker,” he says, of the state-fair manager also involved in the Downs deal. “I’m so pissed. God they screwed up.” What’d they screw up, Gardner? And who’s “They?”
Put those questions to the big man and there is no way he will answer. Because, as he also says on this secret recording, “I don’t wanna go to court or jail.” No one asked if you did.
This screw-up was big-time, and it goes all the way to the top! The Santa Fe Reporter story, which says the FBI is specifically interested in Jay McCleskey’s Downs Deal connection, must have gone off like a bomb in The Governor’s lair. There have been many nervous huddles, you can bet, about how to get out of the trouble they might be in.
(And there’s so much we’ve left out here, like the publicly disgraced Downs political lawyer who called a reporter “dumb fuck,” and first gentleman Chuck Franco’s mystery trip to Louisiana, where the Downs owners reside. Or Tom Tinnin, a Republican who resigned the New Mexico Board of Finance over the Downs Deal and said “If I buy into this, I’m just as bad as the rest of them. … I will never be compromised to keep my position. A lot of people you meet will sell their soul to the devil for an appointed position, but I will not.”)
The Governor got a corporate tax cut passed in the closing minutes of the legislature this year. Other than that, it’s mostly been one go-nowhere political fight after another.
And traveling the country to raise money with McCleskey.
These things should be disqualifying. The Governor should not be allowed to get involved in a state contract with a campaign donor while New Mexico goes to shit outside her office window.
These money-focused favor-peddler politicians are making things everywhere worse, and you have a chance to fight back. Make this about her, and them. The Governor will say anything, so it’s what she does that should define her.