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 backtracks on $60,000 deal to aide
Republican gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez backtracked on whether or not she would again buy $60,000 worth of supplies from an aide an “political ally” in a profile in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
While Martinez told the Albuquerque Journal that she would do it again in an Aug. 6 story, she now says that she would have done things differently — while still saying that she did nothing wrong.
The Albuquerque Journal reported the deal in August. Martinez’s office had “bought more than $60,000 in office supplies from a home-based company owned by one of her top deputies and political ally.” The purchases did not go out for a bid to other contractors.
The Albuquerque Journal reported at the time that she said she would do it again as governor “so long as there was transparency in that transaction.”
In the profile from the Santa Fe New Mexican, she appeared to back off of that statement.
A former deputy to Martinez made more than $60,000 selling office supplies to Martinez’s office, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Records obtained by The New Mexican show the company of Janetta Hicks, now district attorney in Chaves, Lea and Eddy counties, provided the District Attorney’s Office equipment including digital voice recorders and holsters, and self-protection supplies including body shields.
Martinez said in an interview that, looking back, she might have handled that situation differently. “Instead of just analytically studying the issue and seeing that I didn’t do anything illegal or anything wrong — but the second part of that analysis needs to include (asking) how would that look? And so, certainly, after doing it now, looking back (it) would be something I wouldn’t have done.”
Martinez’s opponent’s campaign said that it was an example of Martinez switching because of negative publicity.
“Susana Martinez didn’t change her position because it’s the right thing to do, she flip-flopped because she got bad PR,” said Diane Denish spokesman Chris Cervini. “That’s not the type of leadership or change New Mexico needs.”