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Vice Presidential Push: NM Gov. Revives “Right-to-Work” Talk Despite Impossibility of Passage


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In her upcoming State of the State address, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez will call for the legislature to take on “Right-to-Work”, a move she has in the past called a “no-brainer.”  Gov. Martinez initially signaled her intentions last week during the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  

“Right-to-Work” made its way through the New Mexico legislature last year, where the House had its first Republican majority in over 60 years.  It failed to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.  Throughout the process, unions showed up en masse at the Capitol building in Santa Fe.  

During the recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon Martinez argued that “Right-to-Work” would make the state more competitive in attracting businesses:

“That is what is going to make us competitive.  When we recruit that is one of the first questions: What does your labor force look like and are you a right-to-work state?”

Democrats have accused the governor of “political grandstanding.”  Little has changed in terms of power balance since last year, meaning “Right-to-Work” has slim chances of passing and Martinez is simply stumping for ideology. As Joe Kabourek, Executive Director of the Democratic party, told the Las Cruces Sun-News:

“With New Mexico last in job creation and No. 1 in poverty, Gov. Martinez’s focus on political posturing and right-to-work legislation shows that she’s out of touch with working New Mexico families.”

When Martinez was elected in 2011 she was seen as a rising star in the Republican party. In 2013, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.  She was named head of the Republican Governors Association and has often been mentioned as a possible VP candidate in the 2016 election.  But her administration has been increasingly under fire for its actions.

Last November, the Sante Fe New Mexican reported that the FBI was investigating her time as a DA where she may have used her office’s power to retaliate against individuals who opposed her.  In December, a holiday party she hosted at a hotel was eventually broken up by police for being too rowdy.  An audio tape from the incident indicated that most parties involved believed Gov. Martinez was intoxicated as she berated officers.  She demanded that law enforcement tell her who made the complaint against her. She eventually apologized for the near-thuggery.

Reviving “Right-to-Work,” then, can be viewed as a push to re-enter the conservative eye in a positive light rather than a legitimate legislative goal. New Mexico would be the 26th “Right-to-Work” state if the unlikely happens.


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