I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Martinez’s biggest donors are GOP bigwigs
Three high-powered donors were responsible for $350,000 in donations to Susana Martinez’s campaign over the past few months: Foster Friess, Michael Bleyzer and B. Wayne Hughes. The three are all prominent Republicans with connections to powerful GOP leaders including Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and John McCain.
Fries helped fund conservative website, promoted controversial anti-Islam DVD
Foster Friess is he biggest individual donor to Martinez during the last period. He gave $200,000.
He has also given generously to, among others, Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, Senator John Thune, R-S.D, and the Republican Party of New Mexico.
He also has promoted the controversial documentary Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. DVDs of the movie, criticized as inflammatory, were mailed out to swing state voters and inserted in newspapers in advance of the 2008 election. Although the film was made in 2006, liberal groups cried foul, saying the producers were trying to influence the election in favor of John McCain.
Friess is also an advocate for school choice. Denish and Martinez have tangled over vouchers, which Martinez now says she does not support.
The liberal magazine Mother Jones did a short profile on Friess in 1997, listing him as 14th on the list of top political donors in the country on a federal level.
Hughes was largest donor to Rove’s PAC
B. Wayne Hughes, the founder and chairman of Public Storage, donated $100,000 to the Martinez’s campaign in July.
Hughes was the largest single donor to Karl Rove’s political organization, American Crossroads.
In July, Salon reported that Hughes had donated $1.55 million to the group. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Hughes’ donation to Rove’s group makes him the second-largest donor to a 527 group this cycle. (The largest donor was Carly Fiorina, the Republican candidate for governor in California, who donated $2.5 million to her own campaign.) Hughes also made the list of top donors in 2006 when he gave $500,000 to Progress for America, a 527 group that supported President George W. Bush.
Bleyzer, former Exxon executive, advised Rumsfeld on the privatization of Iraq
Another of Martinez’s biggest donors is Sigma Ventures, which donated $50,000 in early September. The head of Sigma Ventures is Michael Bleyzer, a former Exxon executive who also heads SigmaBleyzer, described on its website as “a private equity buyout group with $1 billion dollars in assets under management.”
Bleyzer has close connections to Republicans as well. After the U.S. invasion if Iraq, he briefed U.S. officials including Donald Rumsfeld on how to privatize Iraq’s oil and gas industry.
Bleyzer also has connections to Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who appointed Bleyzer to the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Advisory Committee.